5 Reasons To Keep A Training Log

“If you want it, measure it. If you can’t measure it, forget it.”

Peter Drucker

basic program log

If you want to improve your performance, you MUST track it. This sounds like common sense because it is, but how many people do you see in the gym keeping a training log? Do you keep a training log? The difference between exercising and training is a training log.

 Here are the 5 Reasons You Should Keep a Training Log:

  1. It is what athlete’s do.
  2. It allows you to measure the effectiveness of your program.
  3. It will cause you to consistently train harder.
  4. Recording small wins helps to sustain motivation.
  5. It is your best tool for overcoming training plateaus.

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#1 It is what athlete’s do.

If you don’t keep a log, I would suggest you aren’t training; you are exercising. There is nothing wrong with exercising. You are still lapping everyone who’s sitting on the couch watching Netflix, but if you want to make progress, I suggest you train like an athlete. A large part of CrossFit’s effectiveness can be attributed to the tracking of personal records (PRs). When you are working out to improve performance by setting new PRs you are training like an athlete.

Athletes set performance goals and so should you. Instead of going to the gym with the vague goal of getting stronger and fitter, set quantifiable goals. For example, run a 7-minute mile or a five-pound increase in your five-rep maximum deadlift by the end of the month. fractional plates.PNGFractional plates allow you to break down your strength training goals even further. You can use ½ pound fractional plates to add 1-pound to the bar at a time. So instead of attempting to increase your deadlift by five pounds all at once, you can attempt to increase it by 1-pound each week. Most gyms do not have fractional plates, but my gym does. That is because I purchased them. I did not want to carry the plates to and from the gym, so I decided to risk the 33 dollars I paid for the plates and left them at the gym.

You can also break down your monthly cardio goals into smaller weekly goals. For example, you can increase your treadmill speed as little as 1/10th mile per hour (MPH) each week to reach your monthly goal. Small incremental improvements are easier to achieve and sustain. Progress by the yard is hard, but by the inch is a cinch.

The program I provide in my book encourages you to set performance goals around building your strength. Getting stronger makes daily activities easier, including biking up a hill or climbing stairs. Strength training helps you improve your performance on cardio-based activities. This is supported by a study, which concluded that heavy strength training improves running and cycling performance following prolonged submaximal work, in well-trained female athletes.[i]

Elite athletes are meticulous trackers. They track their training, their nutrition, and their sleep at a minimum. Some will track other metrics like their waking heartrate because a spike of 5 to 10 beats per minute, could be an indicator of overtraining or illness. Elite athletes track everything because they are serious about performance. If you want to improve your performance, keep a log.#2 It allows you to measure the effectiveness of your program.

Maintaining a training log allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your program by measuring your progress. Without a training log, you are essentially flying blind. Your training log will provide you with valuable insights. The more information you register in your log, the better. At a minimum, we should record:

  • our workout volume
  • our workout intensity
  • the number of hours sleep we get
  • the quality of our sleep (poor sleep can be a sign of overtraining)
  • the number of calories we consume
  • weekly average grams of macronutrients (protein grams at a bare minimum)
  • weekly bodyweight average

You will learn from your log, how much training volume you can effectively recover from. You will learn what training frequency yields the most progress. You will learn how long you can maintain a high level of effort before you need to a de-load week. A de-load is when you intentionally train at a lower intensity to promote recovery. You cannot maintain a peak level of training indefinitely. I suggest a de-load week every 3 to 6 weeks, depending on your ability to recover.

Everyone makes great progress when they first begin to train hard. I would not use your initial training program as a gauge for what works. The programs you follow after your first 6 to 12 months are a much better indicator of what works and what doesn’t. If you are making progress on your current workout routine than it is effective. I wouldn’t change things very much until your progress halts.

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#3 It will cause you to consistently train harder.

I don’t maintain a log when I am recovering from a peak training cycle. When we keep a log, we naturally train harder. We’ll look at what we did last week, and we will challenge ourselves to do better. Maintaining a log helps to foster healthy competition with ourselves.

We naturally push harder when we track our performance. Not only will we push harder during our workouts, but we will also be more consistent. Recording an activity automatically modifies our behavior by making us more mindful of it. Recording our workouts will make us more aware of our workout consistency.

A log doesn’t lie. If we have been missing workouts or skipping leg days, the log will make it obvious. If we aren’t getting enough sleep or are eating too many calories, the log will make that clear.

#4 Recording small wins helps to sustain motivation

Natural bodybuilders and modern powerlifters go to the gym to set new PRs. They advocate avoiding muscle failure. They want to perform a goal number of repetitions on each set successfully. They want to build small wins. These small wins keep them motivated because each victory is another step closer to their goal. After all, our goal is to get bigger and stronger, not failure. Achieving these short-term goals generates the small wins we need to stay motivated during the pursuit of our long-term goals.

Using this philosophy, they have built an impressive amount of muscle. Powerlifters cycle their weights. For example, each week they might attempt to increase their three-repetition max (RM) slightly. If your three-rep max on the bench press was 185 pounds, and you could increase the weight just one pound each week, at the end of the year your new three RM would be 237 pounds. That would add an appreciable amount of muscle to your chest, shoulders, and triceps. It is much better to succeed with a one-pound increase than to fail with five. Fractional plates make these small increases possible.

#5 It is your best tool for overcoming training plateaus.

When we fail to make progress, the three areas to examine are our DIET, our TRAINING, and our RECOVERY. All of this information is contained in our training log. Without a log, we are relying on our memory. Not the most objective source of information. A log would be a lot more reliable source of information. “The palest ink is better than the best memory.” Chinese Proverb

If our goal is to gain muscle mass, and we have stopped making progress we would examine our log and determine if:

  • 1) we were eating enough calories and protein
  • 2) if we were getting enough sleep
  • 3) if we were training too much or too little
  • 4) if we were getting stronger
  • 5) if we needed a de-load week

As we gain muscle, we will need to continually increase the number of calories we consume to continue gaining weight. The reverse is generally true for weight loss. We might initially lose weight consuming 1,900 calories a day, but eventually, as our bodyweight decreases and approaches 170 pounds, we might need to consume fewer calories. I provide these numbers as an example. Everyone’s metabolism varies, that is why using the MyFitnessPal is a fantastic tool for determining how many calories we need to consume to gain or lose weight.

Our training log is our best tool for determining what we need to do to break through a training plateau. Without a training log, we are simply guessing.

Best Wishes and Best Health!

Self-awareness is the first step in transformation. Change your habits, change your life! 

Learn more Why a Natural Lifter Should Never Train Like Someone Using Steroids – How Naturals Should Train

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Book Available on AMAZON [Paperback, Kindle & Audible Audiobook]

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to act. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. 

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

#theFatLossHabit #FatLoss #WeightLoss  #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation #naturalbodybuilding#traininglog #workoutlog

[i] Vikmoen O, Rønnestad BR, Ellefsen S, and Raastad T, “Heavy strength training improves running and cycling performance following prolonged submaximal work in well-trained female athletes,” Physiol Rep. 2017 Mar;5(5). pii: e13149. doi: 10.14814/phy2.13149.

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The Fat Loss Habit – Book Introduction

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Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss, but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to take action. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program like the change techniques, have all been proven effective and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

This book is full of change strategies and provides a blueprint for how they can be applied to transforming your body. These strategies can also be used to transform your relationships, build your career, and improve your life. You will learn the importance of creating a sense of urgency around your goal, tweaking your environment to foster new habits, finding bright spots, and generating short term wins to help you sustain momentum. Motivation is fleeting, that is why you will learn techniques to keep you stoked. You will learn how to apply solution based therapy’s miracle question to subdue personal struggles. You will learn how Starbucks teaches willpower to their baristas to produce a first-class customer experience. You will learn about action triggers, and how they are the key to adopting instant habits. You will learn how to use your smart phone to lose body fat, improve your workouts, and create new habits.

You will learn how group norms help US soldiers returning from Vietnam, overcome heroin addiction. You will learn what is often perceived as a “people problem”, is often a “situation problem. It is much easier to change one’s environment, than one’s attitude and behaviors. You will learn about internal struggles between your logical brain and your emotional brain, and how you can leverage their respective strengths to achieve your goals, instead of sabotaging them. You will learn to break the habit of procrastination by applying the 5 second rule. You will learn that measuring an activity, automatically modifies your behavior because of the increased attention it is receiving.

You will learn why you should prioritize strength training while on a weight loss program. Learn how to properly design strength training program, that can burn more calories than traditional cardio. Learn how to build strength and muscle based on science, not bro-science. Learn when and how to incorporate cardio sessions into your routine to get leaner, stronger, and fitter. Learn to prevent normal loss of muscle that occurs during most fat loss programs, which results in early plateau and gaining back the weight lost, and in some cases a few extra pounds. Learn three methods to keep the weight off and reset your body’s set point body weight. No foods or alcohol are off limits. This is not an extreme 12-week quick fix program. Those programs do not often work because they are not sustainable. This program is designed to fit in to your personal lifestyle.

There is a lot of inspiration in the pages of this book. In many cases, real life examples are used to illustrate the effectiveness of the strategies being taught. You will learn how an unwelcome American advisor, with meager resources, and a limited timeframe to achieve significant results, was able to solve the problem of childhood malnutrition for millions of Vietnamese children. You will be surprised to learn that solution to complex problems, are often simple if you observe the patterns surrounding them. For example, a US Military Army Officer, in Kufa, Iraq; noticed that preceding violent riots, protesters would gather at dusk and shortly thereafter food trucks would fill the plaza. After requesting the food trucks not enter the plaza at dusk, the number of riots dramatically dropped.

Most people would agree with the statement that we are the result of the thousands of decisions we have made during the course of our lives. If you are overweight, it is a result of the many decisions you make daily; particularly eating and drinking choices. Your daily habits are what make you who you are. Confucius said that “men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that carry them far apart”

What if I told you that most of our daily decisions are made automatically? The area of our brain responsible for cognitive thought fatigues quickly, and can become overwhelmed if it is force to make too many decisions. This condition is called “decision fatigue.” Many business leaders suggest that you tackle complex problems and make difficult decisions early in the day, when your energy is at its highest, and reserve less complex tasks for the afternoon. Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs were said to have simplified their lives by having their closets full of identical outfits, to avoid having to decide what to wear each day. President Obama said, “You will see I wear only gray or blue suits… I am trying to pare down decisions. I do not want to make decisions about what I am eating or wearing. Because I have too many other (important) decisions to make.”

The basal ganglia, sometimes called our primitive brain or reptilian brain, was once thought to only help control movement; but is now thought to play an important role in how we learn, process emotions, make decisions, and adopt habits. It is the part of our brain that takes over when you are performing repetitive daily activities. This primitive brain, frees our conscious mind from having to make countless decisions we face each day. Many of these decisions are inconsequential. Decisions like which pant leg to put on first, or putting Splenda in your coffee mug before creamer. It is a huge advantage to delegate these task to the basal ganglia, so the conscious brain can focus on more important decisions. Have you ever gotten into your car and drove towards your work instead of driving to your doctor’s office, even though your conscious mind knew you had a doctor’s appointment? That is because your conscious mind was not in the driver’s seat. It was your primitive brain directing action out of habit. What is habit? Habit is an automatic behavior.

Habits are not good or bad. We place those labels on them based on whether they are or are not in line with our goals, objectives, and in some cases, “perception of our own reality”. They are simply learned behaviors. “Bad” habits can be interrupted and replaced by “good” habits. You just need to muster up enough discipline to make the new routine stick. Fortunately, we can change our habits and do it quickly by creating action triggers. Action triggers create new habits almost instantaneously. You will learn more about that later.

Please stop believing the notion you are overweight or unfit because you lack the willpower, have a slow metabolism, your lazy, you do not have time, or any of the excuses we all make. Trust me, I was once an overweight kid. My father was never able to shed the extra pounds, try as hard as he did. He was always overweight, like his father before him, who died of a heart attack during my father’s freshman year in high school. In one of those life changing moments, I decided I was not going to be fat. No one would put that fat label on me. I committed to daily exercise, gave up all sweets, and no junk food. That was it, that was my plan. The only difference between me, my father, and his father before him, was that I decided to change. I was committed to that decision and doggedly stuck with it, day after day until I lost the weight, which led me into a life of fitness and self-awareness. Some might say, it led me to an appreciation of a healthier lifestyle without giving up on what most people were doing.

Exercising was the easiest part for me, I enjoyed exercising. My father introduced me to exercise. He let me use his Cement Weight set in our basement and let me read all his Joe Weider Muscle and Fitness magazines. I was at that age when you love spending time with your parents. He would take me with him when he would go running around the local reservoirs, or through the woods of Brookdale Park, in my hometown of Montclair, New Jersey. I enjoy the simple rhythmic nature of running, which always cleared my mind. I rode my bike everywhere and relished the feeling of exertion that came from climbing up Mount Hebron road, and the rush of going back down at high speeds. I can still remember our dark dank unfinished basement, my dungeon. It was the place where I first pushed and pulled weights, making my muscles get stronger.

Giving up desserts was the hardest part, made more difficult by my family’s love of it. We ate out often and everyone order desserts. It was hard, it was very hard to just not succumb to temptation. Holsten’s Brookdale Confectionery was the restaurant we patronized most often. It is still well known for their homemade ice-creams and chocolates. Also made famous as the diner in which the last scene of The Sopranos was filmed. It was tough not making an excuse. I had to ignore that voice that said, “Everyone else is having some, why should I not?” It was rough, but I was resolute. I was not going to be fat. I was going to strengthen my body like the heroes in my comic books. Silly, but I was only ten years old. I did not know what I was doing, but I was doing it. Moreover, I was doing it enthusiastically. Over time it became easier to say no to desserts, and eventually they stop asking me if I wanted any.

You are not doomed to be overweight. You simply need to commit. Without commitment, you will never start. The program will not work unless you work. This program is unique from any other program you may have tried in the past, because it provides practical tips and tricks that make the process of change as easy as possible. The high impact change techniques coupled the books nutrition program will transform your body. You will be surprised how quickly you will burn away fat, and achieve a leaner stronger body. GOOD LUCK!

____________________________________________________________________________

I hope you enjoyed reading this book introduction. Best wishes and best health!

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The book contains:

·       7 Change Strategies for Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle

·       A Flexible Diet Program that Doesn’t Put Any Foods Off-limit,  including Alcohol

·       20-Week Workout Log with Progress Assessments (Downloadable PDF)

·       3 Strategies for Resetting your Body Weight Set point to Keep the Weight Off

·       A Nutrition and Training Program Based on Science, not Bro Science.

 

Jump Starting Your Weight Loss Journey, Made Simple

If you have twenty or more pounds of body fat, you want to lose, beginning your weight loss journey is very easy to do. You don’t even have to change what you eat. You only have to control your portion sizes.

I am not suggesting that you will never have to re-examine your food choices after you have lost the first five or ten pounds but to begin the process of losing weight, all you have to do is cut down on the quantity of food you eat.

Whatever you are eating now, all you have to do is cut your serving sizes by approximately 20%. As a rule of thumb, a portion of protein is the size of your palm, a portion of carbohydrates is what you can fit in your cupped hand, and a portion of fat is the size of your thumb. Vegetables are technically carbohydrates, but they have such a low caloric density and are rich in nutrients and fiber so you can eat as much as you want, just don’t smother them in butter or sauces.

That’s it. That is all you have to do to begin losing weight. You should lose at least one pound a week, probably more. You can follow this simple plan until the scale stops moving. At that point, you’ll need to progress to the next stage.

The next step would be evaluating what you eat. Replacing some of the junk food in your diet with healthier food choices. Striving to eat a portion of lean protein, a complex carbohydrate, and some vegetables at each meal.

Replacing soda with a Topo Chico, tea, Gatorade Propel, Gatorade G2, or some other low-calorie beverage. When you make the substitution, focus on the enjoyment the new lower calorie beverage is providing instead of the sacrifice you are making; no longer indulging in the carbonated sugar water. This subtle shift in focus will make the substitution easier and more sustainable. When this stops producing results on the scale, you can move to the final stage.

The last stage would be logging your food to ensure you are creating a caloric deficit. The MyFitnessPal app (Google Play or iTunes) makes tracking our food intake and creating a caloric deficit as easy as possible. As you set-up your profile, you enter your target bodyweight, and your timeline for achieving it. The app tells you how many calories you can eat each day. I suggest you don’t try to lose more than 1% of your total bodyweight each week.

Restricting calories is our number one priority when our goal is weight loss. We cannot outrun a bad diet. Exercise helps, but if we are relying on it to lose weight, we are going to be very frustrated with our results, or more accurately, our lack of results.

 

Dream big, start small, act NOW! Change your habits, change your life! 

Learn more Top 5 Priorities of Effective Fat Loss and Looking Great

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Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to act. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. 

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

#theFatLossHabit #FatLoss #WeightLoss  #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation

The Habit: Week-10 (Develop Consistency through Accountability)

“Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen Covey

If you have been following this weekly blog, thank you! This week’s challenge is to determine if you have been successful at adopting some of the habits I have suggested or any other habits you have decided to adopt. The best way to become consistent is to track our consistency.

“What gets measured gets managed.” – Peter Drucker

What gets measured gets managed, simply means that examining an activity forces us to pay more attention to it. The simple act of measuring and recording forces us to make more thoughtful choices and decisions. Budget experts have found that daily logging expenses can help people cut their spending by making them more mindful of how they spend their money.

The same is true for logging our food. A 2009 weight loss study found that participants who were asked to log their food naturally began to identify patterns, which made them want to do a better job of planning their meals ahead of time; this, in turn, led to healthier food choices. The group that kept food logs lost twice as much weight as the other study participants that did not log their foods. [i]

MyFitnessPal released an astonishing statistic that 88% of people who logged their food for seven days lost weight.[ii] The more you track, the greater your likelihood of reaching your goals. Your progress must be measurable to achieve it, and the act of measuring will automatically modify your behavior.

“If you want it, measure it. If you can’t measure it, forget it.” Peter Drucker.

Activity trackers work on the same concept of what gets measured gets managed. Monitoring your daily activity will automatically cause you to modify your behavior and become more active daily. You will start taking the stairs more often and parking your car further away from building entrances. Each time you hit your daily goal, it generates another small win. Small wins will help you stay motivated.

I think a simple notepad is one of the most powerful self-improvement tools in existence when used to log activity. Logging the activity creates awareness. Awareness is the first step in changing behavior. It is the first step toward transformation. When you log an activity, you become more mindful of your decisions, big and small.

Often it is the small, seemingly insignificant decisions that are sabotaging our success. Eating that cookie in the break room, losing valuable time by allowing yourself to become distracted while working on something important, skipping a workout, or staying up late watching TV instead of getting a good night’s sleep. Anyone of these decisions by themselves isn’t devastating, but their accumulative effects are. Whatever it is you want to improve, your time management, your leadership, your relationships, your business, your eating patterns, your exercise consistency, or your spending can be tracked. Be relentless. Track everything related to the behavior you want to improve. Awareness is the first step toward transformation. Bad habits are the result of neglect. Mindfulness prevents us from mindlessly doing things that are sabotaging us.

 I am a firm believer in Peter Drucker’s management principle “What gets measured gets managed.” Anyone that has ever kept a financial spending log or food log knows that they changed their spending or eating behavior when they kept a record of the activity. When we monitor an activity, we naturally become more mindful of our choices. We automatically modify our behavior and make better decisions. It is so simple to understand, I am always amazed how many people don’t use it to improve their personal or professional performance.

If you really want to change a behavior track it for at least a week, a month would be even better, two months optimal. If you want to improve your performance, you must track your performance. If you cannot track it, you will not achieve it. Everything and anything you want to improve can be measured. You might think some things can’t be measured, like building employee loyalty, but I would argue it can.

If a leader wants to build loyalty in their organization, they could decide that twice a week they are going to visit two employees whose managers say they have been doing a great job and paying them a compliment for their excellent work. She could then inquire as to how they are doing and ask if there are any resources they need, including training, to help them be even more effective. Tracking her consistency would be the lead indicators, and quarterly feedback from culture surveys would be the lag indicator. Loyalty is a two-way street. Showing employees that the leadership values their contribution, and is committed to their professional development is how you earn loyalty.

Awareness is the first step in transformation. If we are serious about improving any area of our life, we need some method of tracking the behavior. You could use habit-forming apps like Strides, Streaks, Fabulous, and Toodledo, help you track and develop new habits. The Strides app allows you to create instant habits by programming action triggers. You can program multiple reminders for each task, and the app tracks your consistency.

Maintaining a checklist is a simple, very effective method of tracking consistency. Sabina Nawaz wrote a great article on the subject for the Harvard Business Review, Break Bad Habits with a Simple Checklist.[iii] The author suggests you make a list of daily habits you need to abandon and the new ones you need to adopt to move your career forward. The list you create must be actionable. If you are overly critical, you will create a daily habit of showing appreciation; paying someone a compliment each day for their good work. Recognizing what people do well, instead of fault finding.

Many people have an irrational dislike for checklists, but their effectiveness is undeniable. The New York Times Best Seller, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, demonstrates the effectiveness of checklists. The author was inspired to write the book based on the amazing effectiveness a 5-point checklist had on reducing death rates in Intensive Care Units (ICU’s).[iv]

The checklist addressed one of the most preventable causes of death in ICUs, central-line-associated bloodstream infections. The checklist reduced infection rates by 66% and is estimated to have saved 1,500 lives in its first three months of implementation during the Michigan Keystone: ICU Project.[v]

What was on this amazingly effective checklist? The checklist included: washing of hands; cleaning the patient’s skin with chlorhexidine antiseptic; putting sterile drapes over the entire patient; wearing a sterile mask, hat, gown, and gloves; and putting a sterile dressing over the catheter site once the line is in.

Many doctors resisted the checklist. They felt it was just another form to complete, and that it would prevent them from spending more time attending to the patient. Some felt the list insulted their intelligence since the items were so rudimentary. Nurses had to be empowered to enforce the checklist because doctors were often the ones omitting a step. Even after the results were announced some still thought it was not necessary, but when asked whether they would want the checklist used if they were having an operation, 93 percent said yes!

I have developed two checklists you can use to help track your consistency. I hope you will accept this week’s challenge and measure your consistency. We become what we consistently do. To be better, we have to consistently do better.

The Habit Score Card (pdf)

The Habit Score Card

The Habit Score Card (Example)

Habit Score Card (pdf)

Habit Score Card (Excel)

 

“We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do.” – Aristotle

 

“We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.” Richard G. Scott

Until next week, good luck!

We become what we CONSISTENTLY DO. Change your habits, change your life! 

If you enjoyed this article, please LIKE and SHARE.

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Best wishes and Best Health!

Book NOW Available on Amazon!

Printed Book Cover

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to take action. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. 

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

#theFatLossHabit #FatLoss #WeightLoss #NewYearsResolution #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #FitnessAddict #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation #FitFam #FitCouple

[i] Lora E. Burke, PhD, MPH, FAHA, FAAN, Jing Wang, PhD, MPH, RN, Graduate Student Researcher, and Mary Ann Sevick, ScD, RN, Research Scientist, “Self-Monitoring in Weight Loss: A Systematic Review of the Literature,” J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Jan; 111(1): 92–102. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2010.10.008.

[ii] Mike Lee, “MyFitnessPal Works if You Use It,” MyFitnessPal, November 17, 2014.

[iii] Sabina Nawaz, “Break Bad Habits with a Simple Checklist,” Harvard Business Review, February 10, 2017.

[iv] Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, Picador; Reprint edition (January 4, 2011)

[v] Sandeep Jauhar, “One Thing After Another,” The New York Times, January 22, 2010.

TRAP WORDS & LOW EXPECTATIONS

We all know what we should do. Not a huge fan of that word. It’s a weak word used by people that have developed the habit of being undisciplined. Should, try, only, and just are trap words. When someone says, “I’ll try” they are politely saying no, I am not going to do it. When we say to ourselves, “it’s just one cookie,” we are giving in to weakness and temptation. When we say, “It is only one workout,” we are obeying weakness. Eliminate these words from your vocabulary, especially your self-talk. They weaken your resolve by making the transgression seem inconsequential. They make weakness more palatable.

Every time we use these trap words we are feeding weakness. Everything matters. Everything we do shapes our character, and either feeds our discipline or our weakness. Everything we do can be categorized as disciplined or undisciplined action. We are either doing what is in line with our goals, or we are not. Eliminating these words will raise our expectations and standards. When we say, “I will eat better and log my food,” we are making a promise to ourselves. When we say, “I will work out each morning,” we are making a commitment to ourselves to do it.

When we say “I should eat less and log my food,” we aren’t committed. We are acknowledging that our values aren’t in-line with our goals. We are not making a promise to change our behavior. When we fail to do what we should do, we are a little disappointed. We get upset with ourselves when we break a promise we make to ourselves. Trap words avoid disappointment by avoiding commitment. We want to make a promise to ourselves. We want failure to be painful. Trap words lessen the pain by lowering your expectations. To improve the quality of our life, we must raise our standards.Trap words lower our standards.

Make a promise to yourself. Write it down on a piece of paper, and read it each day. When we give in to weakness, we should put it on ourselves. We must make failure painful so we will do what it takes to avoid disappointing ourselves. Our desire to do anything is driven by our desire to avoid pain and seek pleasure. If you want to change your behavior, you must make the old behavior painful. People will go to great lengths to avoid pain.

Early in his career, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s calf development lagged behind the rest of his physique, so he decided to cut off the pant legs on his training sweats. He did this so that everyone could see them. By exposing his calves, and thus himself, to painful ridicule at the gym, it helped him work harder to bring-up this lagging body part. He knew that if he couldn’t improve his calves, he would never become a champion, so he made having puny calves as painful as possible.

When I was an overweight adolescent, striving to get lean, and I was tempted to eat dessert, I developed the habit of pinching my waist. It was an unpleasant reminder of being overweight. It wasn’t pleasant, but it helped me to connect eating dessert with the pain of remaining trapped in a body I didn’t want. We must make maintaining the status quo more painful than the sacrifices that must be made to raise our standards.

The reason we fail to raise our standards in any area of our life is that we find the status quo tolerable, or at least more tolerable than doing what is required to raise our standards. Trap words like should are used to avoid the pain of disappointment. They help us to lower our expectations and standards. Trap words make weakness more tolerable.

“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you. People will do more to avoid pain than they will do to gain pleasure. – Tony Robbins

If we are habitually using trap words, it means that we aren’t ready to make the necessary changes to our decisions and behaviors that are required. When we use these words, we are expressing that our resolve is lacking. We are saying, our values are not in line with our goals. We are FINE with the way things are.

If we want to stop using trap words; if we want to raise our standards, we must begin by making the status quo intolerable. We must find a way to make a strong connection between our decisions and the resulting pain they cause us. We must make low expectation and standards unbearable. It isn’t complicated. It is simple, but most of us are so averse to pain that we won’t do it. Pain is a powerful tool for self-mastery. Pain can use us, or we can use it. Use pain to raise your standards.

“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”— Tony Robbins

If you really want to raise your standards, grab a piece of paper, make ONE promise to yourself. Choose the most impactful change you can make to raise your standards. After you have completed that, brainstorm ways of making the old behavior painful. One way is to add a layer of accountability.

Tell someone about the promise you have made to yourself. This will make breaking our commitment a little more disappointing. This added layer of accountability could be the little extra push you need. Often times we are more willing to disappoint ourselves than someone else. Telling someone about our commitment will make breaking our promise that much more painful. I recommend we use our desire to avoid pain to our advantage. Use pain to raise our standards.

Best wishes and Best Health!

Change your habits, change your life!

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The book contains:

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The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

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