As the year comes to an end it is beneficial to learn from the things that have happened and/or did not happen within your health & fitness. A year is a long time and it gives a fairly good picture when evaluating your efforts. This process does not need to be done with negative judgement, criticism or hate. Rather, it can be an inquisitive survey to help identify where you need to implement some better solutions.
Some helpful questions you can ask yourself include:
How many exercise sessions have you done over the last 12 months?
This is easy to calculate, once a week equals 50 a year, 2 a week is around 100 and so forth. The vast majority of the population will be less than 15 sessions in a year. The answer shows where you are in regards to exercise, if you are not over 100 then you will need to focus on enjoying exercising, if over 100 then then next step will be using more advanced/specific training techniques towards your goals and/or body.
How many new ‘Healthy meals ideas/recipes’ have you implemented into your nutrition routine?
When thinking about food, most people just focus upon how much ‘bad stuff’ they have consumed or what they should cut out but haven’t yet got round to doing. The other side to this coin is looking at how many new things have you added into your routine. You can probably get equally good results cutting out a bad food by just focusing on find a better replacement, e.g. if you want to drink less, try 10 -15 different options over the next month to see if any can compete. This could range from non-alcoholic beverages such as beers, wine or cocktails to something completely different like a lasse, smoothie or standard soft drink. Water vs wine is not a fair battle butyou may be surprised how other drinks beat wine in many situations without any willpower being needed.
Has your social circle got fitter this year?
For a long-time I have been telling you to stop beating yourself up for not being motivated and give some attention to who/what and how you interact with the people around you. Maybe 50% of your motivation comes from your environment. This question looks into whether you have created more contacts who are into health & fitness and/or have you changed the dynamic with your current friends to be more on the healthy side over unhealthy.
Your social influences does not have to be who you actually meet each week, rather, it is who you compared yourself to, admire or think about. The internet now provides you with access to amazing role models. Just following one new person who resonates with you can change your actions.
How did your knowledge expand around health & fitness this year?
There is an unspoken assumption within health & fitness that you already know everything and thus you just need to charge ahead and use that willpower to get the results. The inevitable failure always throws blame at the feet of willpower, if only you were motivated and had better self-control, yet no one looks at their knowledge.
The problem is some of the knowledge you need is an unknown unknown, something that you do not know you need to learn as you are unaware of that area. When you find it out, everything can drop into place in what appears a magical transformation. Things happen this quickly because you do probably know most of the things you need to know already, but you do not know how to order it together to produce real world results.
Therefore, it is good to ask yourself, what have you learnt around health & fitness this year? I have provided you with a couple of very helpful tools, my book and my free body transformation skills test.
For me, I did less exercise sesisons this year than others. I must have done around 200 sessions only as I transitioned from the daily bodybuilding type training to a fitness focus for the Hyrox. I was limited by injuries which I should have respected a little more. Right now I am beyond focused and motivated for my next one in May. Muscle wise, I am the biggest I have ever been and fitness is slowly coming back albeit the running needs time due to injuries.
My food goal for this year was to grealty increase my cooking abilities, it was a total failure :). I bought numerous cooking course but never dedicated the time to them. Now I have moved on from the bodybuilding goals it has actually aided my focus on food, which got gradually worse over each year of competing. For me, health was always the biggest motivator around food and I always had a coach in some form around improving it via nutrition. Bodybuilding removed these avenues so I will look to reimplement them next year.
My social influence has changed through competing in Hyrox, I started following many of the athletes and delving back into my study of aerobic training techniques used at higher levels to see what can apply to me. I have now started a new training group and doing more sessions with people to raise my performance further.
What Does This Mean For You?
It is nice to take time out at the end of a year, or a phase of your life, to just look back at what has happened. There is no need to be negative or judgemental, tomorrow is a new dawn, another opportunity to steer your results and life in the way you want to take it forwards. Spend some time with these questions, my next email will shine the light forwards on what we should be focusing on for 2024.
Photos – Some 2023 highlight photos… or just me with some of my favourite dogs :
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