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Plan for success in 2020 – Part 1
“Take a minute to look at your goals. Then, look at what you’re doing, and see if it matches your goals”
I listen to podcasts and audiobooks as I drive and when I heard this line it blew me away! So much so that I immediately pulled the car over to write it down and listen to the whole chapter again.
The book is “The New One-Minute Manager” and the main concept is about helping you manager others as efficiently as possible by helping them be crystal clear about what you want them to achieve.
One of the key concept’s is the idea of one-minute goals (or targets). A one-minute goal is a simple statement that can be reviewed in (you guessed it) one minute. If you were to write a one-minute goal it should be no more than a paragraph (think 200 words or so). For comparison, so far I’ve written 154 words.
The key take-away is to be specific with your goals.
Goals are fantastic but goals but without a plan will never be achieve.
As the year draws to a close, our minds start to move towards New Year’s resolutions of better abs, a leaner more toned physique and an overall healthier version of ourselves.
We usually wait until the New Year to start (when we should have started immediately!) and then we’re really diligent for a few weeks before the excuses start to build up.
A few weeks later we think “Monday is a fresh start” and we’re back on track for a few weeks before things fall away again.
This cycle usually repeats itself a few times over the first few weeks or even months of the year before we eventually concede defeat and find something to blame for our failure.
It’s usually a pretty good excuse, but nevertheless, it’s still an excuse.
Wow! As I write this in a coffee shop (I’m a green tea man by the way) an old member just walked past me who, as well as being an absolutely fantastic guy, is one of the best examples of this that I have ever seen.
He comes in for a few weeks and starts to see results but then misses a day for one reason, another day missed for a different reason and this eventually snowballs until he stops working out.
The worst part is that every-time he comes back he’s heavier than his previous ‘fresh start’.
It breaks my heart to know that in a few years when he starts having health problems he’ll look back and wish he took a few hours a week to look after his health.
You’re busy, maybe you have kids, or a puppy (which I’d like to meet please), work long hours, have a commute or (my personal favourite) ‘things are just crazy right now’.
I get it, we now live in a world where there are a million different things demanding our time and there are only so many hours in the day.
If you truly value being healthy you WILL make it a priority.
This is why YOU HAVE TO plan for success!
Now that I’ve (hopefully!) convinced you that you need a plan, tomorrow I’ll talk to you about a few easy steps to help you plan for success in 2020![/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”black” border_width=”2″ el_width=”50″][vc_column_text]
Now that you know that you need a plan, it’s time to figures out where to start?
Remember, if you don’t plan for success you ARE planning for failure. It’s your decision.
Let’s say that your goal is to lose that ‘extra 10 lbs’, tone up or get stronger.
To do any of those you have to be consistent week in week out with going to the gym and your nutrition.
Let’s deal with getting to the gym today.
So how do you plan for success?
If your goal is health and fitness related you need to go to the gym 3-4 times a week, every week.
By the way if you do this, you won’t be worried about working out when you’re on holidays as you’ll be too busy showing off your body on the beach!
4 hours a week is literally 2.4% of the week! If you sleep for 8 hours a night, that 4 hours becomes a tiny 3.6% of your week. Even if your commute to the gym takes another hour that’s a measly 7.2% of your entire week!
Everyone can find that time. Anyone that says that they can’t is making an excuse. Is that too blunt for me to say? Maybe. But is it true? definitely!
We all find the time for what we value.
If we truly want to achieve a target we will find the time. If we can’t find the time, we don’t truly value the target.
Step 1 – decide which days of the week that you WILL go to the gym?
I’ve found that the most successful people break their weeks into blocks to ensure that they are consistent with their workouts.
Block 1: Monday & Tuesday. Start as you aim to continue.
Starting the week off with a workout is a great way to get over any over-indulgences from the previous weekend and sets you up for a great week of fitness. Everyone should get at least one workout in on Monday or Tuesday.
Block 2: Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. Balance the books.
After getting off to a great start you can now build on that. Everyone should aim to get 1-2 workouts done between Wednesday, Thursday & Friday.
If you did one workout in Block 1 (Monday & Tuesday) you should do two workouts in Block 2 (Wednesday, Thursday & Friday) and vice-versa.
Well done, you’re up to 3 workouts a week!
Block 3: Saturday & Sunday. Bonus fitness!
A busy life may make the weekends harder to find the time get to the gym but that’s why early morning sessions are ideal for your weekends’ fitness. One extra session on the weekend every week or every other week will add up a lot over time and make a huge difference to the speed in which you reach your goals.
If your goal is 3 workouts a week; Do one workout in each block.
If your goal is 4 workouts a week; Do one workout in each block and a second in either block 1 or 2. Why do the second in block 1 or 2? Simply because experience has taught me that the later in the week that we leave it to make up workouts the less likely we are to follow through.
If your goal is 5 works a week; Do two workouts in each of block 1 and 2 and a one in block 3.
How to adjust for your specific lifestyle? If you can’t get to the gym on weekends or specific days per week. Simply spread the workouts evenly across the other days.
Try to not workout more than 3 days in a row and, if possible, never go more than two days without a workout! Good habits break very easily after all.
Step 2 – book your class ahead of time.
This is a key step in planning. I work c. 60-80 hours a week so I have to diarise all of my workouts well in advance. For example I know that tomorrow is going to be crazy for me so I’ve booked the class that I want to do and I know that I have to finish my other work before then because when it comes to that time; I’m working out – it’s non-negotiable because if I don’t stay fit and healthy I won’t have the energy to work the hours I do and give my fantastic wife the attention that she deserves!
Also, let’s be honest about it, I want to look good naked!
Now that you know the days that you want to go to the gym, pick the time that you want to workout at and book it a week in advance.
If you know that a specific day will be chaos, try a different time for your workout. If you’re a morning person this may mean that you’re working out at lunchtime or in the evening but there will be a time that you can make it work.
If a certain day is 100% off limits for whatever reason, no problems, try a day that you don’t usually workout. The advantages of this are that you get your fitness in and you may even meet some awesome people that you don’t usually see.
Value it and make it non-negotiable.
Step 3 – pack your bag!
This is so simple but amazingly effective. I find that packing my bag in advance and putting it by the front door or in my car ensures that I have my gear with me on all of my workout days.
I personally take it a step further and always have spare workout gear in my bag just in case I find spare time to do an extra workout. Co-incidentally this happened last Sunday for the first time in a very long time and the energy from that workout fuelled the first part of this writing.
The green tea is also helping.
Step 4 – every day is a chance to get back on track
We can all fall behind our targets sometime, but that doesn’t mean that you have to wait until the next magical Monday to get back on track.
If you go the gym today, well done, you’re right back on track!
Now that you’ve got a plan for getting to the gym, tomorrow we’ll talk about planning your nutrition.
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Over the last few days we’ve (hopefully) convinced you that you need a plan and showed you how to put together a simple plan to ensure that you get to the gym regularly.
Now let’s talk about nutrition.
Nutrition is the base of the fitness pyramid and planning your nutrition ahead of time is key.
If you read our recent blog, How Much Protein Do You Actually Need? https://crossfituv.ca/blogs/much-protein-actually-need/, you’ll know that you need 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. I tested the higher end of this during the first 9 months of 2019 with fantastic results. However, it meant that I had to get 200 grams of protein every day for 9 months straight!
I tried this a few times in 2018 but I couldn’t manage it. However once I sat down and took a few minutes to plan it out it became very simple. Here’s the video if you want to hear more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx1G3lk_qYg&t=21s
The quick version is that I had to break the 200g of protein as evenly as possible across my meals and snacks. I don’t have the time to eat regularly so I end up with two meals per day, a post workout meal and a pre-bed snack. A daunting task but with planning I was able to find the right foods to make it easy.
I also found that I’m a bit of a salad dodger! So now when we do our weekly shopping, I buy a mixed salad and have it with my dinner every night. That simple task took me from having almost no salad to having salad nearly twice a day! (I now have a salad at lunch too because these days I crave it!).
If you plan to get 0.8-1.2g of protein per pound of bodyweight and eat a salad everyday then you will make a massive difference to your nutrition, how you look and your energy levels will improve immensely!
We have a lot of nutrition tips on the way in future posts so look out for them. The final tip is a another game changer!
Looking at your nutrition across the week instead of on a day-to-day basis is a fantastic way of keeping you on track to reach your goals.
Apps like my fitness pal are very easy to use and fantastic at helping you staying within your overall calorie goal.
If you over-indulge on a given day then you have the entire week to balance the books. Therefore, if I decide to over indulge tonight I can simply cut back on the carbs and fat over the next few days so that when I look at the week as a whole I’m in line with my goals.
It’s that simple but very effective.
Drop us a line if you need help setting your calorie and macro goals.
Do not keep chocolate, sweets, crisps (chips to Canadians), fizzy drinks or any other unhealthy food in your house.
If it’s there you will eat it.
Please don’t say “but I have to have it for the kids”. That’s a terrible excuse because by giving them easy access to it you’re hurting their health and building a terrible habit of eating sugary foods which they will spend their whole lives struggling to break. Believe me, I struggle with it constantly.
Try to avoid buying any junk outside of Saturday or Sundays (the weekend doesn’t start on Friday night when it comes to nutrition!) and try to avoid bringing any junk food into the house. If you do bring it in it must be consumed that day or thrown out. These are my rules for junk food and it has literally been a game changer for me.
Gym visits are planned out and nutrition is taken care of so tomorrow we’re going to talk about the most important thing to plan if you want to achieve your body and fitness goals.
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We’ve discussed your gym visits and then you’re nutrition but not it’s time to delve into the most important aspect of planning for setting you up for success in 2020!
We constantly preach the value of a good night’s sleep because is the fastest and easiest way of; reducing body fat, gaining lean muscle, improving recovery, concentration, strength, enhancing mood and even virility!
That’s why sleep IS the ultimate performance enhancer.
In simple terms, 7 hours or less of sleep is sleep deprivation, not just insufficient but deprivation! If you are getting insufficient sleep you are surviving, but we want you to thrive!
Right now I bet you’re saying that you’re one of those people who ‘don’t need much sleep’. I can almost guarantee you that it’s not true. What’s most likely happening is that your body is in the habit of getting up at the same time so it’ll wake up at that time even if you haven’t had enough sleep.
Check out this absolutely fantastic podcast by Dr Matthew Walker where he does an excellent job of summarising the benefits of sleep.
Ok, so you’re sold, you’ve finally realized that improving your sleep is the fastest way to getting leaner, having more energy, improving your mood, skin, strength, virility and basically being an all-round better person.
Now here are some simple tips:
- Decide what time you need to get up at and count back 8 hours. This is your bedtime! If you need to get up at 6am then you need to be in bed, phone off and lights off before 10pm. It is literally that simple.
- If you normally go to bed much later then it will take you a few days to get used to your new bed time but it will change your life!
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Our bodies get into a rhythm so it’s important that we get up at the same time every day, even on weekends!
- Make the room as dark as possible – get blackout blinds (or an eye mask like me) and turn off all lights in the room.
- Remove electronic devices from your room – leave your phone in another room, and definitely don’t have a TV in your room.
- Keep the room cool – 19.5 degrees or lower – you can always throw an extra blanket on the bed if you feel cold.
- Invest in your bed – buy a medium-firm mattress that supports your posture, buy as high-quality sheets as you can afford, get a pillow that helps you sleep on your back or side.
- Unwind your mind – avoid looking at screens within 30-60 minutes of bedtime and try reading a book just before bed.
Do the above consistently and it will change your life!
Over the last few days we’ve tried to help you make a plan so that 2020 is your best year ever!
This was originally meant to be a one-page mail to help sew the seed of why you should plan but, as you can see, it really snowballed because our target is to help as many people as possible thrive and live the lives that they’ve always dreamed of.
To do that we want to ensure that you get 2020 off to the best possible start, a start with a plan!