To start a new business with little to no research into the current market, structured business plan or risk analysis would be considered idiocy by most. Yet when engaging in a new fitness regime this is what I see happening more times than not.
My advice to all is to think of yourself as a business. Just because you don’t have actual money on the line (unless you are planning on dropping upwards of $50 per hour on a P.T multiple times per week), it doesn’t mean you can afford to skip the fundamentals. If anything you should be more determined to establish a successful base as the currency you are exchanging for results is one which you will never get back. If I am going to spend a good amount of my time on something, I am covering certain angles to ensure I will succeed. I am going to highlight the key areas to focus on and explain how productive those areas will be.
1.) Get the most simple brief possible, and stick to it like glue.
I am all about simple. Simple is great. Simple is amazing. Simple is…… Simple. It is crucial to drill down on exactly what it is you want to achieve and I believe to do that, you must drill down on why you want to achieve it. This should be a clear concise no-nonsense sentence that leaves nothing to interpretation.
If I open a business selling clothes pegs I would say “My brief is to create the strongest most cost effective clothes pegs that are accessible to every body with a washing line”. It is simple and to the point. However in fitness things get a little cloudy and people regularly indulge wishy washy goals and briefs. For example one of the most “set yourself up to fail” goals would be “I just want to lose a few pounds”.
Excellentttttttttt. *long pause*.
It is such a nondescript goal that every action taken to achieve it will in turn be nondescript, with yes, you’ve guessed it, a nondescript outcome of something between zero and no positive achievement. On the other hand an accurate concise goal would be:
“To reduce my waistline by 3 inches, so I can feel confident about my appearance in any social situation”.
By creating this as the goal or brief you have locked in a definitive outcome and a positive driving force. During hard times or times when you may not feel up to exercising it is this type of brief which makes the difference between staying on track and putting things off until tomorrow. It gives you accountability in the sense that you have admitted you are bothered about the outcome and the actual measurement of the goal is tangible and achievable. When planning any form of achievement strategy you should not move forward until you have this squared away.
2.) Be brutally honest with the time you can dedicate to working out.
With this apparently being the best policy you would be a fool to ignore it. Lets kick things off with a business analogy. “Whilst still working full time in my regular job I am going to work 20 hours per day 7 days per week on my new business”. I mean it sounds awesome and your new business would be off the ground in no time, but lets face it, that will never ever happen. It is smash your face into a wall obvious. Yet when the same thing happens with a new fitness regime you convince yourself that it is actually possible and you legitimately on some level for a short period of time actually believe it.
To get accurate on time do a few simple calculations. How long is your average work day? Make sure you include travel time in this. Plus up how much free time you actually have at the minute. Maybe look at time spent watching tv or surfing the socials. Figure out how much time you are willing to part with from things such as family time, personal hobbies etc, in order to dedicate to your new pursuit.
I guarantee you have worked out those totals based on a perfect world scenario. So now do the same but factor in when the kids are sick, when you’re running overtime and when your busy social calendar takes priority. An accurate number will be somewhere in the middle. When you have this realistic number you can create a realistic plan.
If your number is as low as 2 hours in a week that is absolutely fine, so don’t plan on working out for 6 hours. An hour per day every day might sound great but it just isn’t going to happen. You know it isn’t going to happen but you still attempt to convince yourself otherwise (fyi that would be ego dictating that, but thats a whole other kettle of fish for another post). By the end of the first week you have failed to achieve what you set out to, by a huge margin I might add, and have once again built a negative association with fitness. The whole point here is the amount of time you dedicate to this DOES NOT MATTER, as long as 80% of the time you are able to achieve that time period. Once you have figured out the accurate specifics of your timing capabilities you are on the way to a very accurate, effective piece of programming.
3.) Find out what is a realistic timeframe to achieve your goal and be accountable to it both ways.
If your new business requires a piece of code writing I’m guessing that you will speak to the tech guys and find out if they have carried out similar work and if so how long did it take them. So why would you not do that here? DO YOUR RESEARCH, there is enough of it out there, I mean the internet is full of people’s stories of success, failure and everything in between. How long does it take to reduce 2 dress sizes or cut your waistline in half. FIND OUT!
Now take this with a pinch of salt and understand that what works for one person may not work for another, but if you can find 10 people who achieved the same thing from a similar start point you should get a fairly good idea whether or not you’re looking at weeks, months or years. “I haven’t exercised since I left school(in 1999), I have eaten Dorito’s every day and I’m going to get my high school body back in 2 weeks”, O.K. If you know that your goal is achievable in 6 months it will not be a surprise when you haven’t achieved it in 6 days. Once you have realized what is realistic you can stop hoping and start knowing. I still see people hoping that 1 hour of intense exercise will transform 20 years of abuse purely because they haven’t been bothered to do a little digging. If you nail this one you will have taken a massive step in building a highly productive programme and thereby getting the success you desire.
So that wraps up my 3 steps that allow you to start building a strategy. You will notice that we haven’t even spoken one word about types of exercise or foods to eat yet. So just think when you’ve planned in the past what is the first thing you’ve decided on. Probably the type of exercise you are going to do. Enough said.
There is enough outline here to allow you to start building a great programme, however if you want to take it further check out our products and services where we can walk you through these steps and more besides. We also post FREE workout and nutrition ideas for you to use as you wish!