Finding Time: Where To Start When Building Success
I recently signed up for Precision Nutrition’s yearlong Level 2 Master Class. Having been certified as a level 1 coach for the last 5 years, I know I can expect many “ah-ha’s” over the next 12 months. Perhaps one of the many things I love about Pn is the simplicity behind all of their guidance and actions. I’ve learned over the years of being a coach that no matter how much useful information you might have, it’s useless unless you can relate it to your clients in a way they can succeed; which leads me to today’s post.
Regardless if your goal is to deadlift 500 pounds, lose a few inches off your waist, or learn something new, chances are high that you’ll have to develop a new habit along the way in order to succeed. Today I thought I’d share the first step you should take in accomplishing a goal, no matter what it is. If I’m lucky this post will serve as a catalyst to your next accomplishment.
Where Do You Start?
- You need a clarity of “why”
- A discipline of “how”
- And the consistency of “what”, in order to achieve long-lasting results.
For some, consistent application of each task is enough to get the ball rolling and maintain steam throughout their journey. For others they’re still left scratching their head wondering what exactly that means and again, where do I start?
I’ve worked with a number of different clientele over the years, from the uber-self motivated, to the need for constant hand-holding, I’ve learned that there’s no one way to train everyone. However I have learned that universally in order to be successful you must start with something you know you can achieve and build from there.
There’s no denying that we’re all busy. If you’re striving to make a change in your life, throwing something new into your already busy life is likely to only make it busier, more hectic, and more stressful. While that’s completely understandable, last time I checked adding stress to your life isn’t exactly the recipe for success.
So perhaps you make a few adjustments in your schedule for the first few weeks and ride out your high, achieve a small amount of success and hope it holds… only to see yourself become increasingly frustrated when you start falling behind. No matter how well prepared you are to set out on accomplishing a new goal, you likely might have missed one key ingredient that’s so small you probably wouldn’t even think of it – more on that in a minute.
I’ve learned through my meditation practice how important balance is to so many areas of life. Meditation specifically has provided a balance between the present moment and allowing my thoughts to wander off into the future. It’s helped me stay more focused and be more productive. It’s a skill, and therefore requires constant practice. Nonetheless it’s provided balance in my life.
As a coach I try to give as much balance to my clients as I can. From a literal standpoint I’ll make sure their program has a balance of flexion/extension, push/pull, etc. But I’ve noticed the mental balance is perhaps the most crucial aspect in my clients who achieve their goals and those who struggle, which leads me to the key ingredient to building success.
Before you chunk down your goal, make a program, visualize success, and actually start working towards your goal, you need to make time for your new goal. Making time does a few things:
- It is a great way of establishing a habit
- It ensures you’re going to do whatever it is you want to do
- And, it de-clutters your schedule, making point that you fit it in everyday
It’s such a simple, seemingly insignificant task you can see how easy “finding time” for your practice could go unnoticed. Yet so often simply finding time can be the missing piece between someone achieving their goal and someone who’s constantly struggling. Here’s how I recommend you begin.
If you have a goal you’ve wanted to achieve, schedule some time everyday to start planning and preparing for what’s needed to achieve your goal.
Find out what it’s going to require of you, what have other people done who have a goal similar to yours? Will you need to join a gym? Will you need to change your diet? Look at the entire picture so you know what’s ahead of you, then start small back at square 1 by simply scheduling time everyday to focus on your goal.
Do this for 2 weeks so you’ve proven to yourself you have the time to commit to your goal. If you can’t even set aside time everyday to think about your goal, what do you think the likelihood is of you actually achieving your goal when physical work is required?
Plan, Prepare, and Commit To A Regular Practice
Only consistent, repeated, focused action, creates change and growth.
During this time it’s important you focus on the task at hand. Avoid letting your mind wander and think about the future. You’re where you are now for a reason. Instead, channel the present moment and decide what small steps you need to take to get closer to your goal. For example:
When training for a particular event, aside from knowing what the event entails, it’s critical to know when the event takes place. From that date, you can begin to work backwards and form a training calendar. You can plan for holidays, events, a time of the year you know you’ll be traveling, and plan accordingly. Sometimes this type of planning might take a week or two, but the planning process helps solidify your chances of actually achieving your goal. Do a little bit every day so you get in the habit of thinking and acting on your goal every day.
While it might be a bit easier to plan and prepare for a strength-related goal or event, nutritionally you’d want to take the same approach. At the end of the day you really need to prove to yourself you can commit time out of your schedule to your goal. Once you’ve gone 2 weeks of setting time aside everyday, you can begin to plug and play new habits and start to build on your success.
“In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
This was a quote given to us during our first week of coaching. As a coach I feel this isn’t understood or appreciated enough. There’s no fast track to long-term success. Hurdles, pot-holes, divots, and speed bumps are inevitable. If you can find the time in your schedule to commit to your goal, then you know without a doubt you’ll be able to plan, prepare, and even manage your success along the way. It’s the little things in life that have the biggest impact. Finding time for yourself could prove to be the easiest way to get started on a life-changing goal.