By now many New Year’s “resolutionists” have staggered, stumbled and fumbled a bit since that inspired commitment was triggered just a few months ago. Some, okay maybe many, have given up completely on their way to a more muscular, leaner, faster, healthier, sexier specimen.
What happened? Summer is staring at us in the face beckoning us to come over and play but our master plan to rule our own world and finally get to the gym, knock out our intense but brutally effective workouts and stick to that genius diet plan has somehow been derailed.
Maybe you haven’t quit. Maybe you have simply slacked off on your consistency, drive and focus. Whatever the situation, you have every opportunity to step on the gas and level-up your training and nutrition once again! Here are a few guidelines to help with your renewed commitment.
- Have purpose: What is a journey without the end-goal? You need to have a specific purpose/goal/vision/outcome in order to push you forward, in order to move you ever closer to exactly what you are trying to accomplish. This will be your fuel to get you through those tough days or weeks, to push you during workouts and to hold you accountable for your nutrition.
- Make a plan: Write it out. Yes, write down exactly how you are going to go about reaching that goal. What will the time commitment be? How will you structure your day? How many days per week will you train? What will be the new grocery list? Will you have to limit social activities for a while?
- Refine the plan: Write out your nutrition and training programs: sets, reps, volume, intensity, cardio training, meals per day, etc. Be specific and make it realistic and attainable.
- How will you measure: Put in place a system of measure so you can track progress. Don’t just blindly start a new program without knowing if it’s effective or not four to six weeks from now. Is it bodyweight? Tape measure? Body fat? Keep track so you can make adjustments along the way if necessary.
- Prepare for damage control: Some days you may get off track or give in to temptation due to unexpected changes in your schedule, work stress or any other type of unforeseen circumstance. Have a “contingency plan” in place when this happens so you can refocus, power through the challenge and continue on your path.
Wipe the Slate Clean with a New Program
With a new sense of direction/focus you should be fired up to start planning out the next phase of attack – your training program. Try not to do what so many blindly follow every single day, week, month and year. Don’t be a robotic, unthinking cog.
Sit down and realistically think about what you – YES YOU – need to do to get to your goal(s). What steps need to be taken? What does a successful program look like? Can you look at things in an unbiased perspective so that you can get to work – real work?
There is no one, perfect routine for everyone. You’ve read that line countless times, I am sure, but do you truly believe it? Do you honestly listen to your own body, behaviors and weaknesses?
I normally will ask others a series of questions so as to get a semblance of a structure together and start the process of developing their very own personalized program. Only you can answer these questions and find out what you are capable of once you have your goals set and are ready to go! Physically write these questions down and answer them…
- Will you require a gym, at-home equipment or a combination of both?
- How often can you realistically get to the gym/workout?
- How long each day can you dedicate to training?
- Will you be training in the morning or in the evening?
- Will you require free weights, machines, body weight moves, etc.?
- How much weight training, cardiovascular training, etc. is required?
- Are there any other special requirements needed?
Once you start answering these questions (in relation to your goals) you will quickly find out what you need to do and what steps are needed to get there. Only you can give the answers but you can always ask for advice from others regarding new and effective training strategies that you may have never heard of before or to teach you certain modes of training unfamiliar to you.
Afterwards, review your answers. Do they match your goals or do they just feed into your strengths and ego? Are you on your way to building a roadmap to success or are you simply copying what the big guy is doing in the gym next to you?
Be realistic. Start with a clean slate and move forward with a specific plan of action that finally gets results!