Most worthwhile accomplishments in life require a plan of action to achieve success. To get through school, you need to consider all of the classes that you need to take and the order in which you need to take them. You have to manage your time, complete assignments, and construct your ideas to prove to your teachers that you learned something. In business, you need to plan on your expenses, your net earnings, how to obtain customers, and then how to retain them. Achieving results from your workouts is no different. A plan of action will take out the guesswork, keep you focused, narrow distractions, and lead to the health (and the body) that you’re after in!
3 distinct cycles to workout success.
- The first cycle is the macrocycle. However, let’s not get caught up in terminology. For our purposes, we’ll call this your ultimate goal. Your ultimate goal might be to lose (or gain) 20 pounds, or it could be lowering your body fat percentage so that you can see your 6 pack, or maybe your goal is to bench press your body weight. This ultimate goal is the big picture that your training regimen will lead to with a general time frame of 6 to 12 months.
- Next you have mesocycles. These cycles are shorter-term goals or building blocks that you will need to accomplish before you can reach your ultimate goal. These steps might include loosing (or gaining) 5 pounds, developing lean muscle, or adding just 5 or 10 pounds to your bench press. While not your ultimate goal, I feel that these goals are important because each of these building blocks is a success that allows you to measure your progress and makes you feel good about accomplishments. Every time you complete a shorter goal, you are inspired to keep on working towards your ultimate goal! These cycles usually run 2 to 3 months.
- Then, you have microcycles. These short term goals are comprised of just a couple of weeks and include all of the tasks that you must complete as the building blocks that make up your larger goals. These tasks include completing all of your planned workouts for the week and attaining those increases in reps and pounds that lead to your larger goals. Although it’s difficult to see from a day to day perspective, this is where your success in achieving your ultimate goal will happen. This is the grind! Showing up day in and day out, and doing your workout, being CONSISTENT, is what will determine your success in achieving your much larger goals!
Currently, my goal is just to maintain an optimal level of fitness and live an active and healthy life. This is something I’ve been doing for years and I’m not that concerned with losing or gaining weight, putting on a lot of muscle, or lifting more than the guy next to me. Therefore, my own fitness focus places more emphasis on shorter-term goals. Career wise, I want to leave my corporate day job and do JohnnyFit and training full time. First, there are some things I need to accomplish before I can make that a reality.
Here Are 5 Steps I Will Use to Attain My Goals
Set a goal. There’s something that you want in regards to your fitness, or else you wouldn’t be reading this article. Years ago, before I started getting really fit, I wanted the person looking back at me in the mirror to resemble the person I pictured myself as in my head. It took about a year to get there, and I did it one day at a time. Now is no different. I want to maintain an elite level of fitness; after all, I’m JohnnyFit! I still have a day job that is not in the fitness industry, and I have a goal of making this website and my training into my full-time job. I am the walking, talking billboard advertisement of my product that is the way I train and motivate. This is the vision of where I want to be.
Plan it out. Decide what steps you need to take every day in order for you to complete your short term goals. Decide what short term goals you need to complete in order to accomplish your larger goal. Write it out, put it down on paper, post it to your social networks. DO NOT allow it to remain loosely in your head. Place it out into the universe, the world, post it on your refrigerator, whatever! Writing it out solidifies the importance of it to you! Writing it out and putting it out there for others holds you accountable to it. This is an important step. There is something about being held accountable in the eyes of others (and your own eyes) that reminds you every day that you have goals to accomplish and you’re not there yet! Additionally, being a source of let down to others, and yourself, can turn into a viscous cycle, and result in poor self esteem. However, accomplishing the tasks you’ve laid out for yourself can be a source of great pride, good feeling, and admiration, no matter how small each of those tasks might be.
Show up. We all have good days and bad days, but showing up is half the battle. If you’re not there, you have no control of the outcome. I plan my workout every day, at the same time, and I do it! You have to make this a priority in your life in order to stick with it. Just like you go to work every day, just like you brush your teeth every day (hopefully), just like you eat every day, work out every day (that you have it planned). Some days I might just go through the motions and struggle to fit in my hour. Other days I might kill it and finish feeling like a million dollar rock star! Either way, I show up. Consistency is the key thing. If you want to run a mile then you have to go 5,280 feet and you have to do it one foot at a time. Show up!
Recognize obstacles and work on reducing them or eliminating them. Everyone is busy and we’re no different from each other in this regard. We might have different responsibilities and priorities, but we still have other things that can and will intrude on the time we need to take care of our health and fitness. Actively work at removing these obstacles from your path. If going to the gym is a problem for you then work out at home. I do. If the morning is not a good time for you to work out, then do it in the evening. If you have friends who negatively influence your health and fitness, then make yourself unavailable to them. That sounds kind of harsh, but being fit and healthy will allow you to live more actively and you might just be surprised by the doors that it opens for you. I know that your body will thank you. I want to live a long and healthy life, and hopefully I will. I know that taking care of my body is a very important aspect of that goal!
Think ahead. Something is going to come next. It’s up to you to decide what that something is. If you set a goal, plan the steps it will take to get there, show up and work at it every day, and go around the obstacles in your way, then sooner or later you’re going to get where you want to be! This is not a race, this is life. You’re never going to get from point A to point B and discover that you’ve found your happiness. There is always something else: some pressing need, some desire, some other goal. Just as each of these goals I’ve talked about here are combined to form larger goals, so too can your ultimate goals be building blocks for something else. Happiness comes from the passions that drive you forward. Please, keep going forward and you will achieve more than you ever set out to, or imagined that you could.
“The person attempting to travel two roads at once will get nowhere.” Xun Zi