Words With Oz

"Be a craftsman in speech that thou mayest be strong, for the strength of one is the tongue, and speech is mightier than all fighting." - The Maxims of Ptahhotep (XXXIV)

Your Environment. Your Support. Your Results.

I have trained in many gyms, in many countries, over many years and I have never achieved the results nor had the athletic determination I have had since joining 98. The environment supports results. The culture of people and the atmosphere is beyond any gym, anywhere. It’s not a ‘gym culture’, that description is not apt. It’s a culture of people. Many members may not even put training, fitness or aesthetics at the top of their priorities, but when they walk through those doors, the environment takes over and results are inevitable.

 “You are the product of your environment”;
“Hang out with 5 millionaires and you’ll be the 6th”;
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”.

Your environment matters. You’ve heard the sayings and read the analogies. There is a clear relationship between one's environments and one's level of success.

Ask yourself:

  •         Why is there a “Home Ground Advantage”?
  •         Why do writers work in coffee shops?
  •         Why do the best footballers come from the same few schools?
  •         Why are Libraries such an effective place to study?

Simple. The environment. Create the right environment, create the right support, create the results.

There are numerous studies on the correlation between types of environment and success. Geographical location, generation, culture and customs, religious views, colleges and even the month of the year you were born. Renowned researcher and novelist Malcolm Gladwell highlights the theories of environmental influence on success in his book, Outliers.

Gladwell discusses a list of the top 75 richest people in history, ever. It is found that of the list, fourteen of the names are Americans born between the years 1831 and 1840. Gladwell explains. During the 1860s and 1870s America transformed. Industrial manufacturing boomed, the railways were built and Wall Street had begun. Gladwell concludes that if you were born late enough, so as to not have a ‘depression mindset’ and you were old enough to take advantage of the economic transformation, America’s environment magnified your prospects for historically significant wealth.

Some see this example as a circumstance of luck or “Right place, right time”. My thought though - if we are aware that our environment can magnify our results this significantly, is it not our responsibility to immerse ourselves in such environments.

Whether it’s our workplace, family dinner table, seeing old friends or keeping fit, all environments need to support the task and the desired results. Homely Ol’ English pubs are a great place to catch up with friends. Beer loosens the tongue and the atmosphere provides comfort. Family dinners are best at the dining table without the distraction of a screen. Then there is our workplace, the environment in which we spend majority of our waking hours and where ‘success’ is our primary goal.

Perhaps it is a cubicle, a corner office, a classroom or a home office. Our space must magnify our chance of significant results. Neat and tidy desks encourage order. Messy desks might promote creativity. Highly visible to-do lists keep us on track. A desktop background picture of our goal might be a telling reminder of our why. Our work environment must support the results we want to achieve.

In all human endeavour; intellectual, creative, physical, only 2% have the ability and determination to fully realise their goals. This is known as the 98th percentile.

I spend majority of my waking hours at the gym. 98 provides the finest equipment and latest facilities. The above quote is printed on the wall. Other walls are covered in remnants of hard work, numbers of workouts gone by, client results and personal bests. 98’s interior and atmosphere supports its members to perform their best. An apex environment.

Many gyms provide the above.  98 has more. 98’s magic is not only in the physical surroundings. 98’s key is the culture, the community, the feeling – the people.

Regardless of your goal, age or experience – walking into the atmosphere of 98 enhances your performance. It’s a subliminal pack mentality and everyone commits to it – even the unaware. It begins with the manager, filters through the trainers and emanates from the members. There is a standard set and it will be maintained.

Our environment and the people we engage with everyday need to reflect and support our goals. Find people on the same journey. Find people who hold the same or higher standards. Remain in their company and results follow suit. Attitudes are contagious. Energy is contagious. Language, effort, habits and even passion is contagious.

I guarantee that your thoughts and your habits matched those of the people you spent your time with today. Are they the habits and thoughts you want? Humans are social. One of the hardest decisions we will ever make is to rid people from our life. And I get it... it’s scary. No one wants to be alone or be ‘mean’. Trust me, it’s necessary. The more room you make by losing baggage, the more room will be taken up by positive influences.

There is a relationship between where your life is now and your environment. Reaching your goals is hard work. Make it easier. Enhance your physical surroundings and welcome people with a higher standard into your life. Environment Supports Results.

Break the Stigma for those Left Behind

It has been said that depression, anxiety and even suicide are hereditary. In my humble opinion they are more akin to thought patterns of behaviour passed from generation to generation. Whichever the reason, there is clear evidence and history that these diseases are inherent within particular families.

My story is one to inspire those of us left behind, who have had loved ones take their own life – to know – life is precious and pain creates greatness. Let us lift the stigma for those left behind.

In 2011, two days before Christmas, my father took his own life. I’m not sure there is a more surreal experience – receiving a telephone call from a Police Trauma Liaison Officer advising you that there has been a tragedy at home and that your father has used one of his own firearms on himself. The next few minutes played out like slow motion. My mind flashed back my final memory with Dad. I was home for Christmas and I had gotten up before the sun for my daily run, I woke him up as the corridor floorboards creeked (he wasn’t used to me being in the house). I went into mum and dad’s room, hugged him, he said, “I love you”, I said “It’s early, go back to sleep”. I left the room.

At the time I lived interstate and was half way through a law degree. I completed the degree whilst suffering from anxiety and had very little support network as I felt too uncomfortable to share my woe beyond a few of my oldest friends and family.

I have since found out that, though at the time I was too young to remember, my grandmother (dad’s mum) took her own life in a similar manner, at a similar age. I had known from my early teens that I suffered from a form of anxiety but had assumed it as normal and definitely never spoke of it to anyone. These events compounded my issues and some. Not that I expect it was their intention, nor do I expect that they gave it much thought, but the actions of my father and grandmother has caused suicide to become a part of my psyche. There is not one day that passes that I don’t think about Dad, suicide or depression.

It pleases me that society’s stigma is lifting. Opening up and telling one’s story is encouraged. I have a close friend who continues to suffer from severe anxiety - she has opened up and has received the assistance she needs. I urge any sufferers to do the same.

The stigma need be lifted.

The behaviour pattern need be broken.

Illuminate

THERE COMES A TIME IN EVERY GRAND PURSUIT,

WHEN THE BRIGHT LIGHT THAT GUIDES US,

FADES AND FALTERS UNTIL IT'S NO MORE.

WE'RE LEFT IN DARKNESS.

THE TRAIL REMAINS THE SAME,

WE STILL KNOW THE WAY,

BUT OUR MIND IS FULL OF DOUBT.

HAVE FAITH.

THE PATH TO GREATNESS IS BUILT WITH BELIEF.

ONE FOOT AFTER ANOTHER,

PERSIST.

AND AS DOES THE DAWN ILLUMINATE,

BEFORE PERCEPTION AWARE,

OUR VISION, OUR LIGHT

OUR SUCCESS REAPPEARS.

Your Environment. Your Support. Your Results.

I have trained in many gyms, in many countries, over many years and I have never achieved the results nor had the athletic determination I have had since joining 98. The environment supports results. The culture of people and the atmosphere is beyond any gym, anywhere. It’s not a ‘gym culture’, that description is not apt. It’s a culture of people. Many members may not even put training, fitness or aesthetics at the top of their priorities, but when they walk through those doors, the environment takes over and results are inevitable.

 “You are the product of your environment”;
“Hang out with 5 millionaires and you’ll be the 6th”;
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”.

Your environment matters. You’ve heard the sayings and read the analogies. There is a clear relationship between one's environments and one's level of success.

Ask yourself:

  •         Why is there a “Home Ground Advantage”?
  •         Why do writers work in coffee shops?
  •         Why do the best footballers come from the same few schools?
  •         Why are Libraries such an effective place to study?

Simple. The environment. Create the right environment, create the right support, create the results.

There are numerous studies on the correlation between types of environment and success. Geographical location, generation, culture and customs, religious views, colleges and even the month of the year you were born. Renowned researcher and novelist Malcolm Gladwell highlights the theories of environmental influence on success in his book, Outliers.

Gladwell discusses a list of the top 75 richest people in history, ever. It is found that of the list, fourteen of the names are Americans born between the years 1831 and 1840. Gladwell explains. During the 1860s and 1870s America transformed. Industrial manufacturing boomed, the railways were built and Wall Street had begun. Gladwell concludes that if you were born late enough, so as to not have a ‘depression mindset’ and you were old enough to take advantage of the economic transformation, America’s environment magnified your prospects for historically significant wealth.

Some see this example as a circumstance of luck or “Right place, right time”. My thought though - if we are aware that our environment can magnify our results this significantly, is it not our responsibility to immerse ourselves in such environments.

Whether it’s our workplace, family dinner table, seeing old friends or keeping fit, all environments need to support the task and the desired results. Homely Ol’ English pubs are a great place to catch up with friends. Beer loosens the tongue and the atmosphere provides comfort. Family dinners are best at the dining table without the distraction of a screen. Then there is our workplace, the environment in which we spend majority of our waking hours and where ‘success’ is our primary goal.

Perhaps it is a cubicle, a corner office, a classroom or a home office. Our space must magnify our chance of significant results. Neat and tidy desks encourage order. Messy desks might promote creativity. Highly visible to-do lists keep us on track. A desktop background picture of our goal might be a telling reminder of our why. Our work environment must support the results we want to achieve.

In all human endeavour; intellectual, creative, physical, only 2% have the ability and determination to fully realise their goals. This is known as the 98th percentile.

I spend majority of my waking hours at the gym. 98 provides the finest equipment and latest facilities. The above quote is printed on the wall. Other walls are covered in remnants of hard work, numbers of workouts gone by, client results and personal bests. 98’s interior and atmosphere supports its members to perform their best. An apex environment.

Many gyms provide the above.  98 has more. 98’s magic is not only in the physical surroundings. 98’s key is the culture, the community, the feeling – the people.

Regardless of your goal, age or experience – walking into the atmosphere of 98 enhances your performance. It’s a subliminal pack mentality and everyone commits to it – even the unaware. It begins with the manager, filters through the trainers and emanates from the members. There is a standard set and it will be maintained.

Our environment and the people we engage with everyday need to reflect and support our goals. Find people on the same journey. Find people who hold the same or higher standards. Remain in their company and results follow suit. Attitudes are contagious. Energy is contagious. Language, effort, habits and even passion is contagious.

I guarantee that your thoughts and your habits matched those of the people you spent your time with today. Are they the habits and thoughts you want? Humans are social. One of the hardest decisions we will ever make is to rid people from our life. And I get it... it’s scary. No one wants to be alone or be ‘mean’. Trust me, it’s necessary. The more room you make by losing baggage, the more room will be taken up by positive influences.

There is a relationship between where your life is now and your environment. Reaching your goals is hard work. Make it easier. Enhance your physical surroundings and welcome people with a higher standard into your life. Environment Supports Results.

Success’ Most Important Lesson

My parents were both school teachers. They taught me a lot. Though, they never taught me success’ most important lesson. The lesson is not taught by educators but by experience.

The only way to succeed is to not stop – until it’s done.

Take a moment now to think back to when we were children. When our imagination ran wild and our self belief was so steadfast that achieving any dream was not beyond bounds. Maybe we wanted to be an astronaut and fly to the moon? Or a professional sportsperson? Perhaps we wanted to act, entertain and see our name in bright lights. Was it achieved? If not, why not?

We dream and we begin to chase it. Then it gets hard and we need help, we need a push, we need someone to show us the way. We look to our friends, family and teachers for some motivation, for some advice...

Have you ever heard these statements:

  • try your best;
  • why don’t you try this...;
  • that’s impossible; or
  • follow the rules?

Normally made by the people in our lives that love us the most - parents, teachers, friends and family. Unintentional Belief Squashers. That’s what they were told, that’s what they know, that’s what generations of education has taught us.

Imagine, instead, if we were told:

  • You’re not done. Keep going.
  • Try harder than you think you can.
  • When you think you’re done, you’ve still got some left.

Imagine if we were told that to achieve our wildest dream we need the ability to work, to have the internal drive to Never Give Up. Imagine if we were taught and sincerely comprehended what ‘never giving up’ actually meant, what it felt like. Would we reach the same results or would we try harder, give more and not stop - until it was done.

The idea is simple. We can accomplish whatever we desire. Ask ourselves - 'What do we want?' and then do that, but if we make that choice, do it all out and don’t ever give up.

In any endeavour, the only constant that ensures success is to not stop – until it’s done.

A.R.

A friendly reminder.

‘Tis the MOUNTAINS of EFFORT and STRUGGLE that part the clouds to an exceptional life.
— Oz

Six hours forty-seven minutes.

Ask my family, that’s how much sleep Oz gets. My alarms go off at 4.27 and 4.33; Kettle is on by 4.40; Warm lemon water and morning supplements by 4.45; Opti-burn and l-carnitine by 4.50; Ear phones in, Les Brown on and run to the gym by 5.10am.

The same. Every morning. Some say routine is boring, I say routine creates greatness.

Successful people operate with routine. All will have a strict morning routine. Many will have a routine that lasts until after lunch. The most successful will have a routine that lasts well beyond the work day.

People who want to achieve more than the average need to be efficient and productive. They need to be up early and fit more into their day. Routine provides this. A morning routine allows the day to start in a positive frame of mind, the most important tasks are covered first thing and the energy to tackle to rest of the day is fearsome. A routine dismisses any ‘I’m not in the mood’ option. The standard of the day is set and that standard – unstoppable.

It need not only be a morning routine that sets a standard. Routines make even the most difficult tasks simpler. Consider an accomplished sportsperson, in a pressure situation, they handle that pressure by sticking to their routine. The routine puts them into their performance state. Transfer this concept to even the most mundane of daily tasks. To perform better, create a routine, create a positive state, create energy.

Creating a positive state by way of a routine is efficient and productive. It allows the subconscious portion of our brain (the largest portion) to take over. For example:

Think about the first hour of your day.

Did it happen automatically? Can you even remember it? Was it easy?

Can you remember a time when getting ready in the morning wasn’t that easy?

Think about your trip to work.

Did you drive to work or catch the train? Did you do that in “auto-pilot”? Do you remember it?

Do you remember the first time you made that trip and how much you had to think?

These are examples of routine. Examples of our subconscious mind taking over and performing tasks without our conscious mind even having to consider a detail.

A routine enhances the use of our subconscious in more scenarios. Even as I write this article, I’ve had a coffee, napped, and then found a comfortable spot with a view where I know my creative mind will operate the best. I do the entire thing by feel of routine. I start typing and word vomit onto paper as much as possible. Then I let the writing percolate for anywhere from a day to a few months. Then I sit with a wine, edit, cut, add, cut some more and finalise. Article written.

Routines are efficient, they disallow distractions and they disallow doubt. Whether you are performing under pressure or want to make sure you hit every single day with the same forceful attitude and hurricane energy – routines are the answer. Take advantage of your subconscious. Take advantage of routines.

Mental Approach to The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Attempted

Knowing that at the end of this week you are to be faced with what will likely be the most demanding physical activity of your life is an interesting way to spend 7 days. You feel minor rushes of adrenalin (some people might call them nerves). You are unable to think of much else. You know you should distract yourself, but really, that doesn’t work.

And just when you think you have it out of your mind and under control, someone approaches and asks... the world’s most annoying question - Are you ready? Grrr. Really mate? What’s the correct answer? Does it matter? You’re going to do it anyway... Of course you’re ready. You have to be.

The physical preparation had been done. I had done the work and I was as fit as I had ever been. The key from here was my mental game and I relied on three techniques to get me in and through the event.

1.      State an extreme goal and holdfast.

2.      Plan the mental event as well as the physical event.

3.      The Switch from Negativity and Defeat to Positivity and Triumph.

I found that by repetitively engaging these techniques, sometimes separately, sometimes all together, I got there. I was able to prepare, begin, sustain and complete a 24 hour obstacle race involving more than 106km, over 300 obstacles, less than 2 degree temperatures and 0 sleep.

A few days before, I was discussing expectations with a friend. He was competing in the pair’s event and wanted to talk plans of attack. When I gave my answer, he hesitated, he tried to keep me grounded, tried to keep my mind realistic. It’s just not for me. If I wanted to be like everyone else I’d aim at what everyone else aims at. Forget Average. If I’m here – I aim for phenomenal.

I knew that the previous year the top ten had all completed 100km and that the winner had reached just over 120km. My stated plan of attack:

“I’d like to run 100km. Beyond that, if I’m anywhere near the winner, I’ll run until I need an IV.”

It’s an interesting thing to hear come out of one’s own mouth. There was no thought of “just finishing” or “pacing”. Yes, I had a plan. I wasn’t going to go “all out” for the whole day but essentially I knew I had two goals, top ten and win. I also knew that to get there it was going to take more than an ‘above average’ plan.

In seeking a level of this kind we best set our goals well beyond what we already know we can achieve. I believe this for two reasons. First, setting the goal just beyond reach keeps us pushing for more, keeps us pushing beyond our level of comfort and keeps us in the zone of our utmost ability. Second, setting a goal that appears unrealistic provides us with a hefty personal limit, almost a false limit. A false limit can be of great benefit. Set it, holdfast and focus. If that goal is as outrageous as needing an IV, something incredible will happen.

Unknown challenges were coming and they needed to be prepared for, I needed a mental plan. Lao Tzu teaches that 'the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step' so I decided to segment the race in my mind. I knew the event came in laps - I decided that one lap at a time was a good start. Should I hurt more than expected (and I did), I knew that each lap had thirty-three obstacles – making it to the next obstacle would then become the goal.

Goals this large are too uncomfortable to tackle as a whole, even mentally. Break it down into segments more easily processed and try to perform those single efforts to our best ability. Do that over and over again and we will accomplish anything.

Segmenting made the race a lot easier to process, but when I was nipple deep in swamp water and temperatures were declining toward zero, damned the next obstacle, one more step was hard enough. When enthusiasm was low and it all seemed too hard I was able to implement a few techniques that reinvigorated and refocused: changing state; emotional self talk; and uplifting self praise.

Changing our state refers to both our emotional and physical state of being. An example of changing our physical state is running position. When we become tired our running style may become hunched over and tiresome. The most efficient running style is when your torso and back are upright; shoulders are relaxed and head is in a relaxed position gazing straight forward. Coincidentally, this position is also a position of confidence. The simple change from hunched to upright will change your state from tired to powerful. With similar simplicity, a technique to change your mental state from negative to positive is to smile slightly. You’ll be surprised how such a small change to the muscles on your face can affect the feeling in your entire body.

Emotional self talk is more of inevitability than a choice. Deep in the final laps of an endurance event the internal conversation becomes pretty deep. My emotionally charged empowering conversation was an imagined conversation with Dad. I envisioned him running just behind me. I told him it was getting too hard, it hurt too much. He told me “No it’s not. You’ve been through worse. Run harder.” Even if only briefly, it worked.

The simplest and my most frequently used tool is the ability to self praise and uplift. In the midst of the pain and struggle, create small victories and celebrate them. Put your hands in the air in triumph and be proud of yourself. Endorphins will rush and energy levels will rise. Praise yourself, take the time to think about what it is you are in the middle of achieving, congratulate yourself on being a boss for even giving it a go. Change your mental and physical state and you'll transform the impossible to hard, but probable.

No matter the challenge all of us want our best possible result and having the ability to change our state, break the task down into achievable pieces and ensure we focus on a goal beyond our known abilities, are three essential skills that allow us to perform at our optimum. Controlling our mental execution is the difference between succeeding and failing. It is the game. The difference between winning and also ran.

Commit. Prepare. Succeed.

 

Enthusiasm. Apprehension. Elation

A journey beyond one’s comfort zone and the power of positive thoughts.

“This hurts. I don’t think I’m going to make it. What am I doing? I’m not built for this. I should stick to the gym. I’m done.”

The above was the conversation occurring inside my head about 6km into a 13km portion of downhill fire access track somewhere off of Kedumba Pass. I had just been passed by five or six fellow runners – good on them, they knew how to power on downhill. Me; I was sore in the hip joint, knee joint, quad, lower right leg and both forearms.

Saturday, 16 May 2015 I, along with a couple of friends, family and a few hundred others, completed The North Face 50km ultra trail run. 50km of trails, stairs, steps, road, fire tracks and creek crossings. There were unbearable hill climbs, drastic descents and, for extra fun, 900m of a staircase best described as torture to take you to the finish line. Regardless of the experience of the competitor, the track commanded respect.

It was early last year that I enrolled in the run. My sister and brother-in-law had signed up and I do enjoy a good family outing. I figured then that my aerobic fitness was probably up to it but knew that I had to get a few more kilometres under the belt. With the help of the odd sunrise trot, some great trails around Sydney and a few Sunday afternoon runs I managed to maintain my reasonably rigorous gym programme and knocked over a few long distance breathers.

Coming in just under 180cm at 86kg I don’t have what would be described as a runner’s physique. However, I had committed, and for me, that’s all it takes – it was happening.

I maintained a decent pace for the first 12km, catching and overtaking people on many an uphill stretch, sitting on the pace of others for the very limited flats and embracing the cheers of the supporters as we passed the odd public viewpoint. The next 38km was hours of self indulgent thoughts involving the consistent internal battle of self doubt and positive reinforcement. After the final checkpoint at 41km through to the last 900m I found myself in a very dark place, a place deep within yourself that you would not wish anyone to visit. I was hating on people, reminiscing on past mistakes and reliving previous moments of sheer grit and pain. Finally, the last 900m of hell. Stair after stair. I crawled, I pulled, I walked, I jumped, I sprinted... I was almost done.

“You’ve been through worse than this. Get your mind right. You’ve got this. You’re a unit.”

Shoulders Back, Chest Out, Deep Breaths and a cheeky smirk across my lips. Positivity flooded my body. Another battle won.

I’m always amazed at how our internal battle controls the outcome of our endeavours. Some people give in to the pain, some people have techniques to get beyond and others just live there, they’re in and amongst it so often that you wouldn’t believe they have a breaking point.

It’s not until we force ourselves to expand our comfort zones that we are awoken to our true internal conflicts. I’ve been through many a type of pain and I truly believe pain can create greatness. The self inflicted pain of persistence beyond our previous barriers is by far the most rewarding. To transform yourself from the brink of defeat – broken, battered and bruised; and simply because of your commitment to training, indomitable will and intestinal fortitude be able to conquer the massive feat you set yourself – the vindication – there is no feeling like it.

Once having crossed the finish line, there was an overwhelming sense of community adulation. Fellow runners gave the occasional sideways glance and knowing nod. For me, a tidal wave of emotion rose from deep within. I collapsed on a stone bench nearby, drank the protein shake I had been carrying for the past six hours, fifty-nine minutes and three seconds, and had a welcomed grown-man tear. Pride had come and I soaked in all its glory.

Preparation and Planning

There are some people who live in a dream world, there are some who face reality, and then there are those that turn one into the other
— Douglas H. Everett

I just finished the five weeks of the 2015 Crossfit Open Season. Five weeks in which I was taught a lesson. A quick and easy lesson – I was not ready. My fitness was above average but not good enough, my strength was above average but not good enough, I had experienced pain barriers but not painful enough.

It eats away at me. Lesson learnt. A healthy obsession for next year’s competition has been ignited. How do I get from here to a competitive level? Preparation and Planning.

Planning is the single most important aspect of efficient project management. Let’s not fool ourselves. The act of aspiring for any goal, when broken down into its basics, is simply a project. Whether you are Richard Froning winning his fifth consecutive Crossfit games; John Longmire commencing the Sydney Swan’s assault on the 2015 AFL Season; or Steph Curry maintaining his three-point percentage for the Warriors. They have set themselves a project, a goal, and trust me – they have a plan.

If we cannot clearly state why we go to the box; why we are doing the current movement; or what our ultimate goal is then we are randomly floating. We are just going through the motions of exercise and fitness, frankly, we are not getting enough out of ourselves. If elite athletes are following their plans, if they have goals and structured framework to achieve them, then surely we need a plan too.

Planning provides us with:

  1. A destination, a map and directions;
  2. Action steps when our motivation is low;
  3. Measurements for our progress; and
  4. Faith that the end goal will take care of itself, all we need do is focus on the immediate task.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail
— Benjamin Franklin

Putting aside the fact that I was not experienced enough. During the planning and preparation of my assault on the 2015 Crossfit Open I failed in two aspects. First, I didn’t adequately train for my weaknesses (Olympic Lifts). Second, I did not prioritise and plan the open amongst life’s little interruptions. I have since been educated and have to come to learn that creating a plan to achieve your ultimate goal(s) is best kept simple.

From the outset we should define our ultimate goal. Then we can identify four or five Key Performance Indicators that when achieved will have us realise our ultimate goal. We can then break it down even further and find three base line exercises or routines that we can take action on immediately.

Now that we know our immediate action to take we can schedule our training regime accordingly. I like to segment my training blocks into periods of between four and six weeks. This allows me to maintain my peak performance level both physically and mentally. The 4-6 week block will also allow us to measure any improvements to our KPIs.

Once the crux of training schedule has been set, it is wise to be aware of any life interruptions ((ie; holidays, other sporting events, celebrations, etc...) and we should adapt our training to suit.

Don’t forget to plan for fun. The journey we are about to commence should be one we’ll enjoy. Achieving our ultimate goal, whilst important, should not override us. Majority of our time is taken up by the journey – that needs to be enjoyable too.

If at any stage we are uncertain, seek help. If there is a weak link in our plan, use our abundant resources. Ask a coach, read an article, send an email or ask the big unit at the gym who looks like he knows his shit (I am yet to meet a regular gym goer that doesn’t want to pass on his knowledge.) It is best to seek help at the beginning of the journey rather than get a few weeks down the track and realise we are several weeks behind schedule.

The final aspects on planning and preparation to achieve our Ultimate Goal(s) are adaptation and flexibility. Sometimes, shit happens. We may not reach a week’s goal. We might have an unexpected night out. We might (touch wood) receive an injury. Any such setback cannot be a deal breaker. Resilience in our plan will be our best friend. Realign the focus on the Ultimate Goal, adapt the plan and get at it.

Learn from my mistake. Plan properly, prepare thoroughly and enjoy the journey to achieving your Ultimate Goal.

 

mp@wordswithoz.com // (+61) 411 244 642