Last week’s article was a bit of a rant about people not following through with their goals. There are some people out there who honestly don’t know what they need to do, but a lot of people fall into the category of knowing but needs to happen, but not doing it.
People know they should do mobility in their own time, or they need to eat better, but they don’t. I’m going to tell you right now that wishing won’t make it happen, but planning will. Change ‘I really should do x’ into ‘this is how I’m going to do x’. You wouldn’t get very far in your career by idly wishing for a promotion, so why is your training any different?
So, that being said, today’s article will be a collection of tips for planning that I’ve found useful over the years. I’m going to focus on the biggest three issues: mobility, eating, and training.
Mobility – This is definitely something that often goes into the ‘wishing’ box. I can count on one hand the number of people I know who honestly believe they do enough mobility. Everybody knows they need to do more, but they never seem to get around to it. So come up with a plan. Find a time that you will do your mobility. Do you watch TV? Maybe every time you watch TV you spend every ad break on the LAX ball. Do you have a shower before you go to bed every night? Then set a timer for 5 minutes and every time you get out of the shower you spend five minutes doing some stretches. Not only is that another half an hour of mobility a week, it’ll also help you go to sleep easier. If you can find something that you can do whilst doing mobility, you’re more likely to actually do it.
Also, one of the nice things about mobility is it even small amounts of time can help. If you sit down all day, then every hour get up and do two minutes of stretching. A couple of minutes here and there throughout your day can end up making a big difference over the course of a week.
Eating – This one applies both to the person looking for a better beach body and the kid trying to bulk up for Rugby. Once again, if you need to eat cleaner, or you need to eat more, planning and preparation are your friends. I know people who eat junk food because they’re starving and there isn’t any healthy options. My question is always why aren’t there any healthy options? If you want to eat better, then make sure you bring better food with you.
Don’t put yourself in a situation where it’s a choice between going hungry or eating junk. Bring your lunch and some healthy snacks with you to work every day, and then you won’t have to swing past Macca’s. Every Sunday I cook my meals for the week; it’s really not that hard. Monday to Friday I live out of tupperwear, but it means my nutrition is exactly where I want it to be. I don’t miss meals and I don’t have cheat meals.
Training – Get a training partner; there is no better way to become more consistent with your training than this. My housemate and I both did the Commando Selection course together. For the six months leading up to it we kept each other motivated, training hard, and out of trouble. The days I didn’t feel like training because I was too sore or tired, I did anyway because I didn’t want to bail on him, and vice versa. It gives you some accountability outside of yourself.
Now, if a training partner isn’t going to work for you, then there are some other options. If you go to classes then try and show up to the same ones each week, and get to know the other people there. That way someone will notice if you’re not there. You could also keep a training diary. Write down every time you train, and also write ‘Rest day’ or ‘Didn’t train today’ when you don’t. You’d be surprised how much difference even that little change can make to people’s consistency.
Having a strategy in place to fix a problem is always going to be more effective than just hoping that the problem will fix itself. If there’s something that you wish you were doing better, then you need to ask yourself, what’s your plan?