I'm back in Germany to spend the holidays with my parents and during these days I had time to think about my fitness and weight loss goals. Actually, they are still the same: I want flat abs. And I tell you this for two years now I think and even if I'm quite close, the last 3-5kg (I can't really figure out how much exactly) just don't want to go. I read a lot about fitness, healthy eating etc. and I realized that just these people who implemented healthy habits are able to reach these goals and to main them! But even if I knew that I have to focus on developing healthier habits, I still had the feeling that I do something wrong and after reading James Clear's blog post about Goal Setting, I finally understood what my biggest mistake is:I focus on the goal instead of the process getting there.
So typically I have a goal which is SMART, which means it's specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. And often I tried to make sub goals which got deadlines. But then: I didn't manage to reach them. I've found a journal entry these days with this goal: a BMI of 20. And even if I was happy to see that i weighted 59kg two years ago and now I manage to sustain a weight of 53-55 over the last year, I also saw: A goal from 2013 and two years later I still haven't reached it. Of course I changed my mindset. I'm not busy anymore with numbers. I don't need a BMI of 20 or I don't need to weigh 50kg, I just want to have flat abs and I don't mind if I would weigh 60 kg or have a BMI of 30 as long as I like my body.
James' post was kind of an eyeopener. He said, you can't predict the future. How do you wanna know if you can weight 5kg less in 4, 8 or 20 weeks? Nobody knows. So why focusing on giving goals a deadline and why does it have to be measurable? I have a goal which doesn't need a number. I have a goal I'm going to feel when i have reached it and even more important, I want to maintain it. So what James suggests is, to focus on the progress but this also means to shift the focus away from measurable results to habits I can perform everyday.
So, what does that mean for my goal 'flat abs'? I have to focus more on the habits which will help me to reach and to sustain my goal. Such as:
- working out on a regular basis (3-5x per week)
- eating mindfully
- eating more vegetables and fruits
- eating at the table
- stop eating when I'm full
- stretching every night
- eating less sugar
- eating less junk food
- walking more
- drinking enough
- having successful morning and bedtime routines
This also means I will focus less on how much I weigh or how much cm I lose around my waist. I also going to change how I will work out with my Fresh Body Fit Mind Guide. I always tried to fit all the workouts in one week and if it didn't work I just missed some workouts. But now I'm not that busy anymore with these weeks, but I want to enjoy all the workouts. So I will change the name from week to period and the upcoming period (4) I will do all workouts until I'm done. I won't force me to do one or two every day. I will plan like every sunday for the upcoming week, but I will take myself as much time as I need to finish that particular period.
But what James also suggests is creating a feedback loop:
Feedback loops are important for building good systems because they allow you to keep track of many different pieces without feeling the pressure to predict what is going to happen with everything. Forget about predicting the future and build a system that can signal when you need to make adjustments.
And for that I got a really nice gift to christmas! The Dailygreatness Training Journal! This is a great book to track my progress and give myself feedback on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. It's a little bit pricy, but I'm sure it will get you into some good habits. I'm pretty sure I will write a review about it later.
So now I actually didn't talk about week 3 at all, but it's a little bit difficult as I did the workouts over a two weeks period and mixed them up with some workouts of week 4. I just can say that the test workout with 100 sit ups, 100 squats and 100 push ups was really hard, especially the push ups. I will try to work more on them, because I think I only made 20 proper ones and everything else could have been better... :D
Wish you a wonderful holiday season!