Sometimes it’s easy to be focused on what you have to do to achieve success and conquer your end goal. IT’s what gets you excited every morning and springing out of bed to attack the day.
Other times it’s hard work…
So what should we do at times like this?
Some people find the end goal is enough of a motivator to get them up and moving and into the gym on these colder mornings or on the darker nights. For others it starts to break them down.
I have found that the best way to focus on reaching your goals if you’re not the type of person that can just turn up everyday, day in, day out, is to switch your focus.
Start to focus on task mastery rather than purely on your end goal.
Do you find it super satisfying when you get to the end of the week or end of the day even, and you have ticked the ALL of boxes on your to do list? If so then this is for you.
All we need to do is turn your end goal into a series of daily tasks.
Turn the completion of these tasks into one successful week and we are well on our way.
Turn one week into two, two weeks into four and you are on your way on the journey to accomplish your goal.
Say your goal is to run 10k’s in a respectable time of 50 minutes. What do you need to do to achieve that? What are the steps. How many times per week will you need to train to achieve that.
Break that down. Then have the individual tasks on a daily basis become your new goal. Completion of each of these individual tasks throughout the week become your focus.
If you don’t know how to break it down reach out. It’s what I do day in and day out with people and I’d love to help!
If the bigger picture scares you but you are the type of person who loves becoming proficient in something this is the ideal way to do that.
Stay the course and even when things go wrong. Mastery of your daily and weekly tasks can change when you need re-plot the course slightly.
If the course now has to include say rehab work to recovery from an injury or needs to include more speed work to ensure you hit your 50min goal for your 10k run then that can become part of the new bigger picture.
Break the big bits down into little bits, no matter the goal and you will find yourself a lot more focused, centred and able to front up when things are getting tough.
We get it. You’re training hard. You’re putting in the time in the gym. You’re sweating it out. But for some reason you’re just not getting the results you want.
What is it?
Is it your metabolism? Your thyroid? That doughnut you had for lunch? Or maybe you have just got big bones?
The chances are realistically it’s not actually any of the above.
I have worked in the health and fitness industry for more than 15 years now and in that time, I have worked with pretty much everyone. From athletes to new mums, to men wanting to shed weight and women wanting to tone up. You name it, I’ve seen it.
The reality is that we have more control over our bodies and our progress than we give ourselves credit for and most of us simply need a little push in the right direction. Taking help and using the power we have to be healthier will create less frustration for you and more importantly see you achieve lasting and sustainable results.
I might mention here, that in some instances a genuine medical intervention is required when a dysfunction occurs, but unless that has been determined, it is important to remember that we do have the opportunity to be our healthiest and fittest every day for the rest of our lives and here is how:
1. You’re just not doing enough
So you get to the gym once or twice a week. That’s enough right? What does the rest of your time look like? Sedentary? Bed to car, car to desk, desk to car, car to couch, couch to bed?
If you want to experience genuine change you are really going to need to up the work ethic. Making exercise only a habit once or twice a week simply isn’t enough. Ensure that you are getting in a solid focused exercise session at least three times a week for 45 mins per session to start to genuinely see your body start to adapt. Similarly get moving incidentally! Make movement a habit not an exception.
2. You’re fluffing your way through your sessions and not working hard enough
Are you more interested in scrolling your Instagram feed when you’re training than actually focusing on the work at hand? You want to create results. That requires focused attention, both mind and body. Leave the phone in your bag or better yet, work with a trainer or in a class environment so that you are 100% focused on the task at hand, not the latest cat meme or how you’re looking in the gym mirrors.
3. You’re inconsistent
Did you have a ripper training week last week? What about the one before that? And the one before that? Consistency in your approach to training is one of the biggest factors along with intensity that is going to illicit change.
It is not enough to have focus for one week here and one week there. You need to have a consistent focused approach ongoing if you’re really wanting to get great results and feel better for the rest of your life!
Think about those people that you know that have always just been fit… Do you think it’s a little bit of magic that they were born that way? Or do you think it could have something to do with the fact that they always seem to be consistently prioritizing their health and fitness?
Consistently creating and committing to healthy habits are what is going to have you living your best.
4. You’re eating too much. Full stop.
We look at foods as both type and quantity. Too much is too much. Excess is excess. And junk food is called junk food for a reason.
But I only had a muffin for brekkie… Really? Maybe you’re not eating copious amounts of food but you’re definitely eating too many calories. Specifically the wrong ones.
As Australians we typically eat far too many simple carbohydrates for our activity levels. Higher calorie foods or more simply processed carbohydrates do have their place in our diets at specific times… Well most things at least, definitely not Froot Loops, but generally focusing on eating more whole and real food in smaller portions sizes will help.
You may have heard the old shop on the outside aisles of the supermarket line? It does work. That doesn’t mean you should be eating nothing but toilet paper, but it does mean you should spend most of your time, energy and dollars on real foods like vegetables fruit and lean protein rather than things that are packaged.
5. I needed a rest day.
A rest day here and a missed session there can add up.
I’m all for programmed rest and recovery, but make sure you’re sticking to your schedule. Failing to plan is planning to fail. But failing to stick to the plan can be just as bad.
If your body isn’t up to it one day that’s fine. Acknowledge it and regroup. But don’t let the day become a pattern and get into the cycle of: “I’ll start again Monday…”
For many people Monday never comes.
For some people there might be more than these 5 things holding them back. But for many getting these basics right will have a huge benefit.
Keep it simple. Keep it focused and you will get your body to where you want it to be.
As always. If you’d like some help reach out. It’s why we do what we do.
How do you know you’re making progress? How do you know you’re headed in the right direction? How do you know you’re on track?
Your phone starts ringing. It’s an emergency phone call.
You have to be in Sydney by midnight. Tonight!
You have to drive as you’re taking an emergency delivery to a family member.
Can you make it happen?
Of course you can… With time to spare!
You know your destination. You know your timeframe. You know the way (or at least you know that google maps does). You’ll make it there by dinner time…
So why should any other demanding task or achievement in your life be any different?
You can and should approach your fitness journey in the exact same way.
First, what is your goal?
Now this is an important point. What is your goal. Not what is your end point, but what is your next marker?
You’re not going to drive to Sydney and suddenly decide you’re going to stay after you make your delivery. Think of your fitness journey in the same way.
If you’re goal is to lose 5 kilos or increase your squat to 150kgs know that this isn’t a full stop. Otherwise your hard work will be undone pretty easily. Know that once you reach that goal, or preferably before you reach your goal you need to set the next marker that you need to achieve otherwise progress can stall pretty quickly. We all know the stories of people who have dropped the weight or ran the marathon to only bottom out pretty quickly afterwards.
Give you self a chance to enjoy the spoils of each little victory but refocus quickly. After all before you leave on the trip to Sydney you know that you’ve gotta get your arse back to Melbourne at some point don’t you? Or at lease you’d better. You can only tolerate Sydney coffee for a maximum two days running.
Know that your goal posts can be fluid as well. Swinging by Newcastle for a night shouldn’t be out of the question right?
If your goal is to lose 5 kilos and part of the way there you feel like it is not enough, raise the bar. Alternatively if you find that as the 5 kilos of body fat is starting to melt off you feel like you’re becoming too lean and feel like you need to increase your muscle mass start to shift your focus.
The import thing is that you have markers to measure your performance.
On your drive to Sydney you have a heap of distinct and very measurable markers:How far have you come?How far have you got to go?How much fuel have you got?How much will you need?How fast are you travelling?Is it fast enough for you to meet your objective?Is it too fast and you’re risking getting a ticket?
The point is that it is very easy for you to take a glance and your cars dashboard and the clock and know exactly where everything sits.
Any fitness goal (or life goal for that matter) should be the same.
Break down the big picture into manageable chunks. Know what you need to achieve along the way and by when. Know how much time and energy and work it is going to take. Decide if the work is worth it for you. Do you really want it?
If you don’t know how to formulate this sort of plan get the advice of someone that can help. Find someone that can break down each of the steps for you. Someone that can set the timeframe and workout the markers for you and guide you every step of the way.
Then, when you’re ready to go, get behind the wheel and drive that sucker hard. After all no one else can drive your life but you!
If you need a hand, reach out. I’m happy to help and there’s nothing more I love than seeing people achieve great things. 🙂
Sometimes it’s hard enough remembering to consume enough water on a daily basis but particularly coming into the cooler months of the year, it can be difficult to hydrate our bodies and maintain a good water balance to assist us with recovery and physical performance.
Water is vital to health, healing and life. The human brain is made up of approximately 95% water, with the lungs at nearly 90%. As is evident, not only is water abundant in the body but it is also the single most important nutrient your body needs to function.
According to Don Tolman, the Indiana Jones of Wholefood Medicine, an individual needs to consume around 1 litre of water for every 22kg of body weight. For someone of 70kg, this is around 3L of water that should be consumed daily.
In a previous blog posting ‘Optimising your recovery from training’ we discussed that a common recommendation for adults is to drink 2.1-2.6 litres (8-10 cups) daily, but most experts agree it’s not possible to specify a quantity that is suitable for everyone.
There are many factors at play when it comes to determining your water requirements; these include genetic, body size, fitness levels, environment and exercise.
You will lose body water content through regular daily processes including breathing, sweating, bowel and urine movements and this can total a fluid loss of 4% total body weight so replacement of this as a minimum is essential.
Exercise performance is impaired when an individual is dehydrated by as little as 2% of body weight. It can reduce an individual’s ability to thermo regulate and tolerate heat, which is a very important mechanism when it comes to engagement in physical activity. Dehydration can also contribute to the early onset of fatigue in prolonged exercise.
Dehydration occurs when we are not replacing our fluid losses throughout the day.
There are some common signs and symptoms when we experience dehydration. See if you can relate to any of these.
Signs of dehydration
decreased sweat rate
yellowing of the eyes
reduction in blood volume
increased core temperature
extended recovery time
lowered immune function
decreased reaction time
decreased cognitive function
Water should be the go to fluid for the majority of the day in regards to hydration, however when we perform exercise we sweat more and lose electrolytes that can only be replaced by food or electrolyte drinks such as hydralite, shotz and gastrolyte. These should be used in conjunction with water and alongside medical advice.
The general advice around fluid consumption after exercises is for every 1kg loss through sweat and exercise, a replacement of 1.5L is required.
Understandably it can be hard to prioritise hydration on a daily basis given the busy nature of our working lives but it is something that I personally and professionally recommend drawing focus to for increased performance, injury prevention and overall wellbeing.
If drinking water for you is difficult, you can add natural flavour by adding fruits, vegetables and herbs such as lemon, strawberries, cucumber, orange, mint and raspberries. You can also consume your water warm/hot infused with the above food products. These will give you the added immune benefits and help you remain cold and flu free throughout winter.
Make sure you always have a bottle with you so it can act as a reminder to maintain daily water requirements.