Getting Stuff Done
So this week I’ve decided to talk about how to get things done. It’s pretty simple and easy really and it’s called the Follow Through Formula. I learned this formula from a great Business Mentor of mine, Marie Forleo.
Marie uses this formula to get things done in business and I thought it was so good I now teach it to many of my clients to help them follow through and achieve their health and performance related goals.
Whether your goal is fat loss, rehabilitation, improved health, gaining muscle, breaking PR’s you can apply these five steps to ensure success
1. The first of our Action Steps is: If It Isn’t Written Down, It Probably Won’t Happen!
What we mean by this is if you haven’t put it in your calendar and made a genuine plan to do it, it doesn’t really exist, it’s not real, it’s just a thought, an idea.
Many of us say we’re going to do things but most of us don’t. For instance you may have been thinking for a while now that you need to join a gym to start working off those few extra pounds but you have a pretty busy schedule and feel that not having enough time has been a pretty big factor holding you back so far.
It’s now Wednesday and you tell yourself “On Monday I’m going to join the gym and start exercising” or “I’ll start my new diet plan on Monday”. Monday seems to be the day everybody wants to start something new for some reason but more on that later.
The problem is, Monday comes and more often than not, there’s a reason why you didn’t make it to the gym…
“I had a busy day and was tired”, “I had to work late”, “I had to meet my friend for drinks in the pub”…. Blah, blah, blah… this is a never ending list, believe me. I’ve heard some pretty crazy excuses in my time as a Health and Performance Coach. One of my favourites is “I couldn’t go to the gym because my dog was feeling sad”!
Now I’ve got nothing against dogs but I really don’t think he/she would’ve had much to say had this client gone to the gym.
So the first part of this five step process is to put it in your diary.
2. Our second step is: Chaos Inside = Chaos Outside
In today’s fast paced world we all tend to have a million and one things on our minds and suffer from some level of overwhelm. Overwhelm creates chaos in our inner and outer environment and having a huge list of things to do in your head that is overwhelming, is the best way get nothing done, fast!
Lets say you’ve now finally joined the gym, that’s awesome but in your head you likely know that it’s only half the battle.
If you know anything about achieving health and/or performance related goals you’ll know that it takes time and effort…. Especially if you try to do it all at once.
For instance, you likely need to develop the correct mindset, work on eating the right foods, at the right times, in the right amounts, getting to the gym, doing the right exercises (for your goal), for the right length of time and the ideal number of days a week, you need to get the correct amount of sleep, between the ideal times, in the ideal environment, you need to drink your bodies ideal water intake, with the correct quality water, etc, etc, etc…
This list could go on forever to be honest with all of the individual things that need changing, and trying to do them all at once would almost guarantee your failure due to overwhelm.
Instead of doing it all at once we recommend you take all of the things that are cluttering your mind, including the non-health related ones, and write them all down.
Once you’ve cleared your head and gotten them all down on paper, put them into categories:
- 3 months
- 6 months
- 1 year
(Your health or performance goal may be more long term than this. If for instance you’re an Olympic Athlete you may want to spread your time frames to up to 5 years if needed).
By adding each goal (or task) on your to do list to a timeframe it will help spread your workload and allow you to focus on the things that need to get done first in order to get you to your final goal.
3. Step number three: Learn To Say NO!
Now I realise that this can be one of the hardest steps to stick to because we don’t want to offend people or we like to fit in or not look boring but knowing when to say “No” could be one of the fastest ways to achieve your goals.
Lets say your goal is to finally rid yourself of Diabetes Type II and lose 2 stones in weight.
You’re at work and a colleague has a birthday so everybody brings them cakes, biscuits and sweets for everybody to share.
Your nutrition coach has you on a nutrition plan to balance blood sugar and you know that cakes, biscuits and sweets are not going to help this; in fact they’ll do the opposite.
You hold out for a while and then the temptation becomes too much and you give in.
OK, so you’ve made one mistake surely that’s not going to hinder your progress too much!? Well, maybe not, but instead you sit at your desk feeling guilty about what you’ve done for the next 3 hours. That’s not good either.
Then, everybody decides they’re going to the pub after work to carry on the celebrations. The problem you have is that you’d already planned to go to the gym after work but now you’re thinking everyone will think you’re boring if you don’t go. So you give in again. More guilt, more blood sugar issues, less weight lost, fantastic!
Realistically, one day over a period of say, 3 months isn’t going to affect your progress too much but let’s be honest we face these kind of temptations everyday and learning to say “No” to them, not necessarily forever, but until you’ve achieved your health or performance related goals could be the difference between success and failure.
4. Fourth on our list is: Tell People, Then Show People
We humans are very good at telling ourselves we’re going to do something and then letting ourselves down.
We tell ourselves “Right, from Monday I’m only going to eat healthy food” and by Wednesday we’re already eating crappy cereals for breakfast again or McDonalds for lunch. We tell ourselves it was a one off, and then by the end of the week we’re doing it again.
A great way to overcome this is to create Social Accountability.
Tell people. Your friends, family, colleagues, etc. Tell them your plan is to lose 2 stones of body fat or to gain 10 kilos of muscle. Let them know you’ll be at the gym 3 days or 5 days a week. Tell them when you’re planning to achieve it by. Tell them whatever it is you’re planning to do.
Once you’ve told them, do it. And then show them the results!
By telling others what we’re planning to achieve and the things we’re going to do to achieve it we create Social Accountability and we’re now not only letting ourselves down should we decide to eat crap food again or stop going to the gym. We’ve also now basically lied to those around us and let them down also.
5. The final Action Step to take is: What’s So Special About Monday And What’s Wrong With Today?
As a Health and Performance Coach, too frequently I hear the words “On Monday I’m going to start…..”, “From Monday I’ll do…..”.
And my next question tends to be “What’s wrong with today?”
“Erm, well, Monday is the beginning of the week so I thought I’d start then.”
To which I reply “Yes, Monday is the beginning of the week but today can be the beginning of your new lifestyle.”
Why wait? Like Marie says, “Start before you’re ready”. The sooner you begin, the sooner you finish or get to move on to the next part.
By “Waiting until Monday”, you give yourself time to talk yourself out of starting or leaving it until the next Monday instead.
Start now. Whether it’s joining the gym, clearing your cupboards of the processed crap, going shopping for some healthy whole foods, drinking your ideal intake of water or getting to bed on time, there’s absolutely no need to wait until Monday.
As you can see, pretty simple steps really but they can be very powerful in your quest to achieve optimal health and/or performance
So to wrap things up the points are:
- If It Isn’t Written Down, It Probably Won’t Happen – Put it in your diary!
- Chaos Inside = Chaos Outside – Clear your mind, write it down!
- Learn To Say NO! – Stop saying “Yes” to everything. Only the things that are genuinely important!
- Tell People, Then Show People – Create Social Accountability by telling those around you what you plan to achieve!
- What’s So Special About Monday And What’s Wrong With Today? – Start before you’re ready. Right now in other words!
Well folks, I hope this helps you move forwards and follow through with your goals.
If however you still feel as though you could do with some help, why not check out our awesome 21 Day Rapid Fat Loss Challenge!
It’s the perfect opportunity to implement the points you learned above, all whilst losing upto 10lbs in body fat and hugely increasing your energy and fitness levels! Check out the 21 Day Rapid Fat Loss Challenge here to find out more.
Your friend in Health & Performance,