Subscriber’s Secret Article 3

Planning to Succeed

Welcome back to the third article in this series.

If you missed the previous two you can catch up Here for Article 1 & Here for Article 2.

So far we have learned that heavy dieting and fast weight loss can be detrimental to your long term fat loss goals. I’ve shown you how to go about ensuring you don’t fall into this trap and a better way of setting up your body transformation programme. We’ve covered the reasons why celebrity diets and workouts, reality shows and magazine routines should not be your inspiration for success and how they are rarely grounded in reality. And I’ve shown you the correct way to track your progress to ensure you are getting the right results.

Now I want to take a look at the ways to prepare for success that will increase your chances 100 times over. Any one of the tips or processes I am about to cover can improve your returns dramatically, but if you put them all in place, you are sure to find the process of transforming your physique, health & fitness levels a great deal easier.

Set your goals

The first thing you have to decide is, what is it you want to achieve?

There is no point in simply deciding you want to lose a bit of weight or you want to pack on some muscle. It’s too vague, too vanilla. Your goals must have purpose; they must have clarity; and most of all, they must be grounded in emotion.

Imagine you are going on holiday. You don’t just pack your bags and head off in the direction you think you want to go. You have a destination, you plan the route (or someone plans it for you) and you follow it. So long as you know where you are headed, even if you get diverted, you still know where you are going. It’ll take a little longer, but you will get there.

If you are just travelling aimlessly, how are you going to know when you have arrived?

Similarly, if you don’t have a clear goal, how are you going to know when you have achieved it?

But you have to want to get there and that want has to be stronger than the want for any of the distractions you WILL encounter along the way. Will power will only get you so far, but on those days where work was too stressful or your friends are hitting the town and calling for you to join them, there has to be a stronger emotion connected to the result you are aiming for than there is to the distraction at hand.

A simple process I like to use with potential clients is the ‘why’ process.

Ask yourself, what is it ‘specifically’ you want to achieve? Once you have your answer, ask yourself ‘why?’ whatever answer you come up with, ask yourself again ‘why?’. Continue to do this for as long as you can. Eventually you will run out of whys and you will arrive at the truth.

For example, a 25 year old male wants to lose a bit of weight and build up his chest, shoulders and arms.

That’s not specific enough.

So, a 25 year old male wants to drop 10lbs of fat and gain an inch on his chest, half an inch on his upper arms, show some definition on his abs and bulk up his shoulders over the next 12 weeks.

That’s a little better. Why?

In 12 weeks time he is going on holiday and wants to look good in a T-shirt and on the beach.

Ok – Why is that so important?

He is going on holiday with a large group of friends and he wants to look his best in front of them.

Getting closer – why does he need to look good in front of these people though?

He has been single for 2 years and is craving companionship and there is a girl in this group that he really wants to use the time away to get to know in the hope of sparking a relationship.

Hello! Now we are looking at an emotive reason for achieving these results.

We could possibly keep going and go deeper, but the point is, when it’s Friday night and he has planned to hit the gym and head home for a nutritious meal of salmon, greens and sweet potatoes that he spent the previous night cutting into crispy chips ready to grill and the boys are calling to head to the pub because “one night off isn’t going to kill you”, he can then weigh up the emotion connected with the night out with the lads and compare it to how he will feel if he doesn’t achieve the best results possible by the time the holiday rolls around and only by finding something that has such a deep emotive response will he find it easy to pass on the night out with no regrets and joy of knowing what he is achieving.

And the holiday target brings me on to the next thing:

Have meaningful targets.

In the case above there was a definite date in which to achieve a specific goal. 12 weeks and a drop of 10lbs of fat etc.

It is extremely difficult to just push on and on with no end in sight.

Yes we want to be making lifestyle changes rather than yo yo dieting, but without a target it can become a bit of a drag eating healthily, training hard and keeping your lifestyle in order for infinity.

So specific targets are a good way to spur you on. It’s always easier to push a bit harder when you can see the finish line.

Make the goals achievable

You don’t want to go back to the crazy diets we ruled out in article 1 in order to achieve the unrealistic results thrown at us by the media, covered in article 2  only to be shattered when we fail and end up regressing through disappointment.

Also, keep the targets in sight.

It’s OK to have big goals (in fact I encourage it) 1 year, 3 year, 5 year plans are fantastic. But then you need to break them down into bite sizes. You might want to be able to fit into a size 8 dress, but if you are starting out as a size 20, then that size 8 can seem a lifetime away. Rather, shoot for a size 18 by the holiday you have in 6 weeks time; follow that up with a target of a 16 by your best friend’s birthday party 7 weeks after that; by that point it may be another 14 weeks to the New Year, so maybe you can push for a size 12 in time for the bells.

Just remember, every time you make a new goal, make it specific; ask why? And make it emotional.

Never start a day until you have finished it.

That might sound a bit strange, but actually it makes perfect sense. Essentially it means that you should have your entire day planned before that day actually happens. Whether you prepare the whole week on one particular day or the following day on the night before depends on your schedule. But, the point is, plan your day in advance. Schedule everything. Plan your meals, do any prep work required and schedule the time for your workouts etc.

Use your diary

A diary shouldn’t be there just for meetings, it is there as an organizer, so use it to stay organized. Schedule your meals in like meetings. Same thing with workouts. Then if someone asks you to do something at those times, you then have to decline as you have an ‘appointment’.

Fail to plan and you plan to fail.

It really is that simple. Life will always throw you curve balls and if you are not organized enough to deal with them you will fail eventually.

How much willpower do you have in your account?

Willpower is great, but no matter how much you have, you do have a limit.

If you consider willpower as money in the bank and each day you withdraw your maximum allowable for that day. That is all you have to live on and you can’t go and get more. You will use some of it getting through a stressful work day, some of it on dealing with stressful people, family issues, then you might use up the rest to get you through an evening gym session. By the time you get home you are spent. There is no way you are going to have anything left to push you to prepare a healthy meal from scratch or to do your prep work for the next day. That’s when you reach for the cookies or the ready meal.

That’s why it is important to plan well in advance, have back-ups and basically do all you can to ensure you stay on track no matter what.

Depending on how stressful or filled your days are, it may mean that it is impossible for you to find the strength and commitment to plan a your meals or a new gym programme. In that case you need to look for another solution. Ask for help. Hire a trainer or a coach, find a friend with experience (but one that you trust completely with this stuff) and get the leg work done for you.

Your health & wellbeing are too important to put on the back burner.

So make a commitment right now to make a change.

Set out your goals.

Be specific.

Ask yourself ‘why’?

Make it emotional.

Be organized and plan ahead.

Never start a day until you have finished it.

And if you find you just don’t have enough willpower left in the bank – Get some help.

I hope you have found these articles useful.

There will be more coming soon, but in the meantime, keep an eye on the website, follow me on twitter @DCSfit and head over to our Facebook Page and hit ‘like’.

As ever, I can only provide the information you need if you let me know what it is and we can only know where we are going wrong with constructive feedback. So please take some time to leave a comment in the box below. I appreciate them all.

Now go and make a plan to be your BEST self and put it into practice.

Talk to you soon,

Mark.

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