This is the time of year which everyone states their new years resolutions. “I need to lose weight”, “I want to run a marathon this year”, “This is the year I finally start eating better”, “I want to get stronger to help me with my sport”, “I want to be healthier”.
But one of the reasons why many of these individuals fail in achieving their goal for the new year is they never properly sit down and draw a map for their success.
What do I mean by drawing a map? I mean sit down and take the time to draw out everything. You have to have your Point A (start) and your Point B (finish).
Lets start with Point B cause this is what everyone usually wants to begin with anyways. Sit down and write down some REAL numbers or measurable achievements. For the lose weight goal, are you speaking Fat Loss? (most are). Then you need to write down the goal that you would like to achieve. Be realistic. Instead of the lose weight, I like to hear one of the following:
“I want to lose 3 pant sizes”
“I want to lose 2 inches off my waist”
“I want to drop by body fat percentage 2%”
“I want to drop 5 pounds of body fat”
For the marathon goal.
“what is my goal time to finish”, If this is your first marathon the goal should be “I want to successfully train for and FINISH a marathon”.
For the eating better
“I want to improve my meal complaincy to 90%” is a good option
“I want to eat a vegetable and a protein with every meal”
“I will slow down when I eat”
“I will eat until I am 80% full”
“I will reduce my eating out to 1 time per week”
“I will slowly reduce my soda/latte/calorie drinks from 3 per day to 2 per week”
For the stronger for my sport:
“I want to increase my bench press 20 pounds”
“I want to increase my squat or deadlift 20 pounds”
“I want to improve my vertical jump to 1 inch higher”
For being healthier:
“I want to reduce my cholesterol levels _____ points”
“I want to increase my bone density to ____ level”
“I want to be able to perform insert everyday activity here without pain or issue”
I believe you are starting to see the point. Pick a goal, then WRITE IT DOWN, post it somewhere where you can look at it or see it every day.
NEXT thing you need to do is figure out where you are starting from (Point A). This is another time which would be beneficial to find measurable points for which you to address and improve on. Things that I suggest to help you determine your Point A:
- Functional Movement Screen
- Blood Work
Fat Loss or Muscle Gain
- Track body fat percentage, fat mass, lean mass
- Track body girth measurements
- Food Diary
For eating better
For stronger for my sport
- Stats (sport specific)
- Performance scores (vertical jump, long jump, med ball throw, really anything that reflects your sport)
The reason I put the EVERYONE category together is cause it is important to have your foundation set before you try to put anything else upon it. Getting a physical and some blood work done is helpful in the fact that you are making sure your body is in working order before going after your goal. When you go on a car trip wouldn’t drive a vehicle low on oil or gas correct? No, you would get an oil change, fill up the tank, clean the windows, and make sure the car can make it to the destination. Same here goes for you and your body. Having a goal of running a marathon and then at your physical you find out you have cancer will greatly change your goals.
The functional movement screen is in the same as you are making sure you have a proper movement foundation to succeed with your health and fitness goals. EVERYONE needs an FMS. You wouldn’t go on that car trip with your car out of alignment would you? It would greatly affect your ability to drive the car, make proper stops, it would burn more gas and wreck the car if you push it too hard. Same here with your movement baseline. In fact, overcoming movement imbalances is a very quick way to help you achieve your goal in less time.
The next thing I feel that is important when mapping out your journey is the idea of time. You have your point A and point B. You have your starting point and your destination, now how much time will it take to get from Point A to Point B? Some individuals will take less time to achieve the same goal (point B) based on their point A (start). IF you want to improve your sports performance and you map out your A and B which are far apart from each other but your season starts in 3 weeks then I am afraid you will not make your goal. Plan ahead and be realistic again. Losing 100 pounds in 3 months is unheard of, but I have had a person tell me that was their goal. The only way that would be achieved would be by taking off some limbs.
Now you have your map in place, don’t just put it aside and forget about it. That is the easiest way to get lost. Use it as a guide. Have a workout program that you feel will help you lose weight? The only way to tell is to look at the map and ask yourself “will this help me get from Point A to Point B in the shortest amount of time? IF so then you use the program but do not forget to recheck the map and your measures to make sure you are making the progress towards the goal, if you are moving farther away from your goal then reassess your point A and tweak your program and go again. When heading down the journey towards your goal, when you come at a crossroads (fast food restaurant, newest fitness workout, etc.) say to yourself once again, will doing this help me get to point B? IF not, disregard it. As Dan John says, The GOAL is to keep the GOAL the GOAL.
So my best wishes to you on your New Years Resolutions. If you are in the Omaha, NE area and would like to take advantage of our Complimentary Diagnostic Health and Fitness Consultation which includes a Functional Movement Screen. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-915-3636