5 Reasons To Keep A Training Log

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

Peter Drucker

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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.

Q22

#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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5 Reasons Why Body for Life is Still a Great Program

“When you gain control of your body, you will gain control of your life. No matter who you are, no matter what you do, you absolutely, positively do have the power to change. Focus on progress, not perfection.”

-Bill Phillips, Author of Body for Life

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Body for Life was written almost 20-years ago, but I still believe it is one of the best fitness and self-improvement books ever written. If you want to transform your body and your life, the book’s program will deliver.

Is the program perfect? No, but it is still better than 95% of the current programs in circulation. The most common criticism of the program is its simplicity, but I think too many people make getting in shape overly complicated. Do I agree with every aspect of the program? No. I would have to disagree with a few of the book’s assertions, based on the extensive research I conducted during the writing of my book, The Fat Loss Habit, but these are mostly minor flaws. We shouldn’t devote major time to minor things, so let’s focus on why the program is so effective.

Five Reasons why the Body for Life is still a fantastic program.

  1. The program teaches us “How to cross the abyss.”
  2. The program emphasizes strength training.
  3. The program sponsors a fitness competition that creates a sense of urgency.
  4. The program is simple and effective, with an emphasis on effort and progress.
  5. The program provides all the tools you’ll need to monitor your consistency and progress.

#1 The Program Teaches You How to Cross the Abyss

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do. There is a world of difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it.” Bill Phillips

The book begins by asking you if you have made a real decision to change. After training thousands of people, Bill struggled to understand why some people made amazing transformations and other’s didn’t. They were all given the same information and tools; so what was missing?

He concluded that what was missing was the person’s ability to “cross the abyss.” Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied. No program will work unless we do the work. Crossing the abyss is when we execute the program. That is why my book focuses on forming healthy habits. We form habits; then they form us.

To help us cross the abyss, he recommends we:

  • Make a decision to change.
  • Identify our reasons to change and write them down.
  • Focus on our future vision.
  • Identify OLD patterns of behavior that may hold us back.
  • Identify NEW patterns of behavior that will help us achieve our goals.
  • Set goals and review our progress daily.

He provides tools for recording your goals and progress on the Body for Life website. We fail to act when our reason for changing isn’t strong enough. If our reason isn’t big enough, our excuses will be.

Before even considering an exercise and nutrition program, I recommend that the person put on some swim trunks and have somebody take a photo of them. Then take a good look and ask yourself: Is this who I really am? If you don’t see yourself as that, you have the opportunity to change it. But you need to change your mindset.” Bill Phillips

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Learn more, Focus on your WHY – It is so much more important than your WHAT & HOW

#2 The program emphasizes strength training.

“If you start an aerobic exercise program shaped like a pear, the most likely result is you wind up looking like a smaller pear – which is fine if that’s what you want. But that’s not what I would call a transformation.” Bill Phillips

When Bill Phillips wrote his book, the mainstream fitness industry was still overemphasizing cardio training over strength training. He was one of the first to popularize High Intensity Interval Training (HITT) over slow, steady-state,”fat burning zone,” cardio training. He understood that cardio alone doesn’t reshape your body. He emphasizes strength training as the best way to transform your body and rev-up your metabolism.

He explains that looking good isn’t a number on a scale. It is a product of our body composition, our ratio of muscle to fat. The best way to improve our body composition is a combination of strength training and cardio training, with an emphasis on strength training.

#3 The program sponsors a fitness competition that creates a sense of urgency

“Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.” Jim Rohn.

To help people cross the Abyss, EAS sports and performance nutrition sponsors the Body for Life competition. In my book, it is one of the three body transformation contests I recommend people participate in to create the necessary sense of urgency around their goals. If you are like me, you had always gotten in your best condition when you had an event or competition you were preparing for. A goal needs to have a deadline. A deadline helps create a sense of urgency. Deadlines help establish priorities and prevent procrastination.

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#4 The program is simple and effective, with an emphasis on effort and progress.

“Focus on progress, not perfection.” Bill Phillips

Some have criticized the program because of its simplicity, but I feel that it is one of its greatest strengths. While planning missions in the military I was taught to keep our plans as simple as possible. We were taught the acronym KISS, “Keep it simple, stupid.” Simple plans are easier to execute. Complexity is the enemy of execution.

It isn’t the complexity of your program that produces results. Complexity is no substitute for effort. Many people endlessly search for better workout programs with the belief that it will help them achieve better results.

Their time and effort would better be spent pouring more effort into setting new personal recordsfollowing a simple program, like the Body for Life program, or my program, which you can download Free.

The training logs help you track your food intake and workout performance.The program emphasizes setting new personal records, which he calls “High Point” training. Strength training isn’t an endurance sport. Your goal is to get stronger. Getting stronger is the foundation of progressive overload.

The cardio training emphasizes intensity over duration. The HITT cardio training sessions are relatively short, 20-minutes, with a few one minute’s sprints. This type of training has been proven highly effective at promoting fat loss as well as building cardiorespiratory capacity.

“FOOD is the most widely abused anti-anxiety drug in America, and EXERCISE is the most potent yet underutilized antidepressant.”  Bill Phillips

The program’s diet is also very simple. Instead of counting calories, you count portions. This is a great approach for people that hate to count calories. When he wrote his book, we didn’t have smartphones, with Apps like MyFitnessPal, which make food logging a lot easier so I can not fault him for this approach.

The program uses simple rules of thumb to determine portion sizes; a portion of protein is roughly the size of your palm, and a portion of carbohydrates is what will fit in your cupped hand. Portion control is very effective for people that are overweight or for people on a maintenance diet, but I recommend people who want to take all the guesswork out of achieving a strong lean body log their food. Learn more, If You Aren’t Logging Your Food You’re Flying Blind.

#5      The program provides all the tools you’ll need to monitor your consistency and progress.

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do. There is a world of difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it.” Bill Phillips

The program provides all the tools you’ll need to set goals and track your progress. These tools are missing from most programs. The Body for Life provides these tools FREE through their website like we do on ours.

“What gets measured gets managed.If you want it, measure it. If you can’t measure it, forget it.” Peter Drucker

 Q15

Reading a great self-improvement book will NOT change your life. Consistently applying its principles WILL change your life. These tools help to bridge the gap, “cross the abyss,” between knowledge and action. Tracking our consistency will make us more consistent. Monitoring an activity increases our awareness of it, and modifies our behavior. Awareness is the beginning of transformation.

Images below contain hyperlinks.

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“Most people are in favor of the change, as long as they can continue to do things the same as they always have.” Bill Phillips

Change your habits, change your life! 

Learn more Why Creating a Sense of Urgency is so Important

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I encourage you to visit his website, https://www.transformation.com/.

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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 #bodyforlife #EAS #BillPhillips

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!

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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.

 

The Habit: Week-11 (Develop a Few Guiding Mantras)

Don’t follow, lead.
Don’t copy, create.
Don’t start, finish.
Don’t sit still, move.
Don’t fit in, stand out.
Don’t sit quietly, speak up.
Seth Godin

This week’s challenge is to jot down a few powerful mantras and read them each morning. When I say, “mantra,” I am referring to a statement or slogan repeated frequently to help us make better decisions.

If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you. Zig Ziglar

Mantras can help us to navigate our lives; like navigational beacons that help keep us on course. They help to guide our everyday actions like written goals do, so we don’t get lost in the world wind of daily distractions.

Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving. Warren Buffet

Adopting a mantra and repeating it to ourselves throughout the day can help us make better choices. An effective mantra will guide our actions when we are confronted with an unexpected situation that is tempting us to stray from the path. They remind us of our broader intent.

Effective organizations ensure that everyone knows the intent of the CEO so they can make decisions that support the overarching goal of the organization. Southwest Airlines’ intent was once to be the lowest cost airline. Therefore, any decision that would have added to their operational cost was not in line with the CEO’s intent.

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The military developed the concept of a commander’s intent to empower subordinate leaders and guide their initiative. The commander’s intent describes the desired end state of a successful mission. For example, a company commander’s intent might be to secure Hill 81 by destroying or forcing the withdrawal of all enemy forces.

Few plans survive contact with the enemy, but armed with the commander’s intent; all the soldiers can take actions in the absence of orders. Each soldier is empowered to improvise, adapt, and take actions that will result in securing Hill 81 by destroying or forcing the withdrawal of all enemy forces.

Great sources of mantras are leadership lectures, self-improvement seminars, motivational speeches, and books. Here are some examples.

Self-improvement Mantras:

  • Don’t be lazy about learning. Jim Rohn
  • Read 500 pages every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up like compound interest. Warren Buffett
  • We become what we repeatedly do. Aristotle
  • For things to get better, we must get better.
  • If you don’t have the success you desire, it is because you aren’t the person you need to be, YET.
  • Consistency is more important than intensity.
  • Today I will do, so tomorrow I will become.
  • Hard work always pays.
  • Success must be earned daily.
  • Do not think about it, be about it.
  • Success requires doing it; whether you feel like it or not.
  • You attract what you are, not what you want. If you want great, then be great.
  • If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you. Zig Ziglar
  • You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Wayne Gretzky
  • If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done. Thomas Jefferson
  • Nothing will work unless you do. Maya Angelou

Leadership Mantras:

  • Leadership is a privilege, not a right, and I must earn it in the arena of action. Mark Divine
  • The best leadership tool you have is your own example. John Wooden
  • A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. John C. Maxwell
  • I will seek to improve myself, my team, and the world every day. Mark Divine
  • Be the leader you would follow.
  • Exude the traits and behaviors you want in your followers.

Fitness Mantras:

  • Just do it. Nike
  • Embrace the suck.
  • Set small goals and build upon them.
  • No growth without resistance.
  • Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate.
  • No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.
  • Create healthy habits, not restrictions.
  • You cannot outrun a bad diet.
  • Strive for progress, not perfection.
  • Do better today, be better tomorrow.
  • You don’t have to go fast. You just have to go.

Success Mantras:

  • Dream big. Start small. Act NOW! Robin Sharma
  • It is not over until I win. Les Brown
  • The old ways will not open new doors.
  • The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. Thomas A. Edison
  • The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now. Chinese proverb
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit. Aristotle
  • Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do. Oprah Winfrey
  • Don’t wish for it, work for it.

Financial Mantras:

  • Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving. Warren Buffet
  • If you want to be rich, you need to create multiple income streams. Bo Sanchez
  • If you buy things you don’t need, soon you will have to sell things you need. Warren Buffet
  • Building wealth is a marathon. Not a sprint. Discipline is the key ingredient. Dave Ramsey
  • The Stock Market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient. Warren Buffett
  • If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die. Warren Buffet

I begin each morning reviewing my journal for 10 to 15-minutes. I read my gratitude list, my goals, and a series of inspirational mantras. When our minds are left to their own devices, they focus on lack, which leads to negative feelings.

Better gratitude, better attitude.

My gratitude list helps remind me of all my blessings. A spirit of gratitude chases away negative feelings like anger, frustration, and depression. Gratitude is the light that chases away the darkness of these negative feelings. Gratitude helps us to connect with our higher self.

My list of goals and mantras help to guide my daily decisions and actions. They allow me to reconnect with my values and priorities. The goals provide direction, and the mantras provide guidance. Both help us to establish priorities based on the life we want to create for ourselves, instead of being a slave to the demands of others. Most people are either pursuing their dreams or helping someone else pursue theirs.

blank desk blotter.jpgBesides writing my mantras in my journal, I use a blank desk blotter at work. It is great for capturing notes and brainstorming. I often write a few of my most important mantras in the upper corners of the blotter as a constant reminder of my values.

Until next week, good luck!

First we do, then we become. Change your habits, change your life! 

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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 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 #FitGirl #FitMom #FitFam #FitCouple #mantra

 

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.

Follow us on Facebook

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.