Monday, August 1, 2011

How busy people make time for training.

Brought to you by Tom Venuto

The answer: WRITE IT DOWN!

Write what down, you ask? Everything! Take the time to sit down and do some serious "strategic planning" of your menus and your training program.

It's been said that action without planning is one of the biggest causes of failure, and I believe that is 100% true - especially when you're a super busy super achiever.

The second you write things down, they begin to crystallize right in front of you and become more real. Writing things down sends unmistakable instructions to your subconscious mind. Having a written plan gives you a sense of direction. You know where you're going, how you're going to get there, when you're going to arrive and that makes you feel certain, calm, confident and motivated.

First, start with your goals.

It's important to have goals for multiple time frames, including multi-year, 1 year, 12 weeks, weekly, and daily
goals. You should have goals in multiple categories, including weight, body composition (body fat% and lean mass), and measurements.

You can also include fitness parameters such as calories burned, intensity, duration, strength, density (amount of work per unit of time), repetitions performed, and whatever else is relevant to you.

Once your goals are on paper, keep them in front of you constantly. Carrying a goal card with you is one of the simplest yet most powerful motivational tools (it's literally my secret weapon... I learned it from my success mentor Bob Proctor, who learned it from his mentor Earl Nightingale)

Second, write down your menu. Meal by meal, write down your "target eating" for the day. Then crunch your numbers: calories, protein, carbs and fat. An EXCEL spreadsheet works beautifully, or use some type of menu planning software.

Wait... you're not done with your menus yet. Write a time of day after each meal... and make those meal times become habitual. Then print your menu and stick it on your refrigerator.

Third, write down your training routine. Put it all on paper: your weekly schedule and routine, exercises, sets,
reps and so on.

Fourth, take your training routine and transfer each workout one day at a time into your daily planner.
Schedule your workouts just like you would any business or personal appointment.

In this day and age, your schedule will always fill up with something else if you don't BLOCK OFF chunks of
time for the most important priorities in your life - one of which is your health.

It's not enough to just have your workout "in your head." There is a huge difference between saying "I am training tomorrow, and writing, "I am training chest, shoulders, triceps and abs tomorrow at 7:00 am sharp."

Anthony Robbins once said, "If you talk about it, it's a dream, if you envision it, it's possible, but if you
schedule it, it's real."

This is a really simple discipline, but very powerful.

When I train for competitions, I write out a full 12 to 16 weeks of training in advance on a calendar. Then as each workout approaches, I transfer it one day at a time into my appointment book. This keeps you so laser-focused you can't help but succeed.

Make no mistake, strategic planning is work. It requires quiet, focused time with a pen and paper (or computer), and it requires some thought and analysis. Strategic planning is the mental work and preparation that takes place before the physical work.

Planning, goal setting and writing things down must become a habit. It's a winning habit that will pay greater dividends than perhaps anything else you ever do in your life.

Two more quick points about time:

(1)  We all have the same amount of time: All there is... and that is 24 hours in each day. No one has more time than anyone else. It all boils down to priorities (or lack of), not lack of time.

(2) The great Earl Nightingale once said, "You can't manage time, you can only manage activities."  Earl was 100% correct. The clock keeps on ticking. You can't control time, only what you do with your time. If you want to manage your activities, you can't leave it to your (very limited) memory. Your manage your activities by putting them in writing. 

From Olga:

I write down everything. I have hand-written running/exercise logs (books) dating back to year 2000. Not into computer programs, but fine if you're one of technology-savvy folks. I have Excell spreadsheets for training with final "big" races as goals and every day's workouts outlined, week after week. I have meal plans for various calorie consumption, and while on a "normal day" don't follow every letter, do have it hanging on the fridge and at work for reference. I have a log-in for to follow my food intake when fall off the wagon on the weight scale - which, weight, I monitor and write down as well. I have 2 wall calendars - at work and at home. I try to make sure both have same entries - my massage appointments,  my yoga classes, my and my husband's races, our kids' activities, school stuff, our travel plans, big days like birthdays of friends and relatives - and even our "dates". When and if we need to shift things around, change them up and so on - at least I can figure out where and when to move them. Vacations, of course, are different matters, but they are, like, 1 week twice a year, it's the time to be spontaneous and play!

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