“How do I (lose 5lbs/gain 5lbs/run a mile in under 6 mins)?”

Somewhere out there is a simple tip or program that will get you to that goal.

20 minutes three times a week. = “Join a gym or a class.” Basic dietary clean up. = “Give up sugar.”

You’ll start it with the best intention to follow through.

You’d also do it until the first big set back and fail.

No matter how good the advice you find, if it only contains random “tips” or “tricks” it’s going to unravel at the first set back.

Starting a training program is a behavioural change. For any behavioural change to take root, it needs to be part of a long term strategy to incorporate it into daily life. Set backs are inevitable and a set of guidelines for dealing with them needs to be set up.

Prepare correctly.

Set up a framework to embed it in your life.

20 minutes three times a week?

What time of day? What days? With who? Doing what?

Want to start eating clean?

How are you going to change your shopping habits to make that easier? What are the major foods you’re going to buy each week? What are you going to eat when you get home and have no energy?

Plan for set backs.

Set backs pop up. It’s inevitable. Something has to be in place to deal with them.

Prepare If “X” then “Y” scenarios. Make the response to the set back the simplest actionable step you know you can take to get yourself back on track.

If “I miss a scheduled training session.” then “I will make the next one.”

If “I pig out on twinkies” then “I will go back to paleo at the next meal.”

If “event that messes up my goal” then “response to get me back on track.”

Track the results of your changes.

You need a metric to gauge progress.

Checking how much you weight every morning? Dumb metric.

Trying a heavy squat program and testing your 5RM every 10 days? Smarter metric.

Having body composition tested every 6 weeks? Also a smarter metric.

Combining a performance based metric (5 RM back squat) with a physical one (body composition)allows a clearer view of progress in case one metric stalls.

Summary:

  1. “Tips” only work short term. You need an actionable strategy for long term change.
  2. Plan for the set backs that are inevitable.
  3. Intelligently track your progress.
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