A different theme to my normal articles, but today I want to voice out loud the 5 biggest changes I’ve made to my environment (both home and work) to help me get to where I want to be that little bit quicker.
I’m a firm believer that lots of change in a short period of time is a recipe for disaster.
It’s the first week of November, the gym at the moment is steady and enjoyable – rarely is it empty, but rarely is it rammed. By the time the second week of January comes it will be packed – it’ll be full of people of all shapes and sizes who have made that vow to ‘ lose those extra 14lbs’ this year. With their New Years resolution they’ll slash their calories, start going to the gym every evening, hit the road for a run every morning, and then try to include a class when ever they have a spare moment.
Sound familiar? How many of those faces in the gym that appear in January do you see in March? Not many. The moral of the story; too much change, too quickly, in the wrong environment, is a recipe for disaster.
For me, the key word there is environment. Any fool under the sun can come up with a list of things to do / not to do to get the most out of life, but it’s the successful people that take those skills and apply it to their unique situation.
Hopefully, although obvious, you’ll be able to take away just that one little gem of information from the following changes I’ve made to help you get where you want to be that little bit quicker.
1. I’m walking to work
I’ve now swapped my commute for a much slower walk – But how is that changing my environment? To make this more feasible I now leave my work shoes at the office. I know – a very small change.
I make the walk in my gym shoes. This means my bag is lighter and I can now get all my gym kit in my work bag, it also means I can go from work directly to the gym, or from the gym to work. This small change just makes everything easier.
It’s a thirty minute (2 mile) walk each day. That’s roughly 80 miles extra a month which will just add to the lbs coming off.
2. I’m keeping my breakfast at the office
This compliments my walk, and the theme to decrease the contents and weight of my now ‘work and gym’ bag. The general idea being – the less I have to carry, the less of an inconvenience ill see gyming straight after work.
I took a good look at my diet. By the time I’ve woken up, had a cup of green tea, and done the fasted 30 minute walk to work – my body is screaming for nutrients. I’ve opted to use a cereal / protein mix for brekkie. Because of the exercise, the sugar works to my advantage helping create the insulin spike and drive the nutrients into the muscles.
Best of all, cereal keeps! I can buy a box and keep it in my desk drawer without the worry of it going off. Likewise, I just invested in a large Tupperware container, filled it with protein powder from home, and leave that in my drawer too. Now I don’t need to worry about carrying in that one meal in the mornings.
3. Have conviction in what you’re trying to achieve.
Don’t just say you want to achieve something; have some conviction and some personal respect and hold yourself accountable for it.
I personally like to set myself a challenge (using the below principals) and then tell someone else – that way I’m not making false promises. When setting myself a challenge / deadline I tend to use the prompt S.M.A.R.T.
Specific – I want to achieve X number of pull ups / bench Y lbs
Measurable – Something tangible – not ‘I want to run faster’
Attainable – Can you get there from where you are? Do you need to break the journey down?
Realistic – Complimenting attainable – Is your goal realistic?
Timeline – Some time constraint so it isn’t an open ended challenge.
I.e. I want to lose 16lbs (S) (M) by the 25th December (T). I’m currently 230lbs at 19% BF so this is achievable (A) (R)
4. I’ve made time to monitor my progress
This is often overlooked – I’ll put my hand in the air and say that I’ve spent hours researching and writing the ‘perfect’ routine, and the ‘perfect’ diet, and then started a training regime with 100% commitment. What I’ve never done is monitor whether it was getting me where I wanted too.
I’ve now allocated 30 minutes a week to sit down and reflect on what did and didn’t work well. I monitor my progress on a weekly basis; not just hopping on the scales, but looking at what meals I missed and why? Looking at why I cut a training session short? Looking at what didn’t / did work it will let me change / tweak my game plan for the following week. The system I use to do this is the OODA loop.
Observe – look back on what did / didn’t work
Orientate – apply that to me – was it my fault? Was it external?
Decide – make a decision to prevent that happening, or to exploit a positive change
Act – implement the above decision, and then begin to ‘Observe’ again.
5. Remind yourself continually where you want to be!
Something I’ve never done before – and something that seems to be working well. On the front of my fridge door, and cupboard door I have a copy of my diet plan. On the wall in the bath room I have the weekly plot of my weight and a short list of the goals (and rewards) I’ve set myself the challenge of achieving.
It might not work for everyone, but having the diet plan on the fridge door with the calories and macros on has been enough to encourage me to remain loyal to my plan. After all if my portion of rice has xxx number of calories in, then just using 2 heaped scoops instead of 2 level scoops will significantly add to my daily intake. This will then take me even further away from my goal as I’ll have to undo that cheat, before carrying on with the original plan
Anyway, there the 5 small changes I’ve made recently to create an environment more suited to succeeding in my latest challenge. I hope there is something in there that inspires you, or something that you can take away and apply to your challenge.
Chow for now!