And just as importantly, these actions need to be achievable…
I don’t only mean achievable from a practical sense. Obviously, you can’t train at 6 am, 8 days a week.
I mean achievable from a realistic perspective of yourself.
If I’m feeling really motivated to reveal my abs for a summer holiday in 3 months, and whilst I’m riding that wave of enthusiasm I tell myself I’ll train twice a day, 6 days a week and will follow a strict diet 24/7?
Yes, that would probably work really, really well.
If I could stick with it that is. Which if I’m honest with myself, I know I couldn’t.
Ignoring the prospect of burning out from a physical perspective (let’s assume my programming and nutrition was 100% on-point and well prepared so I don’t over-train)- from a psychological standpoint? There’s no way I’ll be able to maintain such a schedule; the social isolation alone would make such an endeavour too unappealing for me to commit to.
I’d probably end up giving up after a week or two, and become demotivated.
That wouldn’t happen however if I were realistic with my expectations from myself.
I can objectively say that if I want to look great for a holiday in 12 weeks, I need to train. Ideally, I’d love to commit to 3 or more days a week.
So with that in mind, I’d check my schedule out, and see where I could fit those necessary days of training is – whether that be before work, lunchtime or in the evening.
These are your non-negotiable training days; so make sure they’re achievable.
Now, what other actions, atop my 3 training sessions, will help me reach my goal?
Yep, you guessed it – you’ll need to look at what’s achievable for your diet.
This can be as simple as making sure you’re taking nuts and fruit as a mid-afternoon snack to work instead of the crisps, or meal prepping on Sunday so you haven’t got to grab lunches on the go.
There are countless possible adjustments you can make- so acknowledge which are achievable for you, and write them down.
For example for my fictional holiday in 3 months (which I’m beginning to think about actually booking now, I’m making myself jealous!), my goals might be as follows:
- I will eat a protein and fat breakfast 6/7 days of the week
- I will drink 3 litres of water per day
- I will not have more than 2 black coffees each day
- I will take a protein shake to work for if I get hungry
- I will only have a takeaway once a week
- I won’t eat distracted, and as soon as I begin to feel full, I’ll stop eating
The specific adjustments you might need to make will be dependent upon your goals and circumstances, but the key is creating ‘rules’ you know you’ll be able to adhere to.