How often do we do it? And why does it even matter? When starting out on our health and fitness journey we tend to be very results orientated, focusing only on looking forward to see the outcome of our output and hard work. Very rarely do we see someone put just as much focus into reflecting on their journey, process or result, week in and week out. After all, if you don’t reflect on a result, good or bad, it’s almost impossible to repeat or change your course of action. This may seem like a strange comparison but hear me out!
All of the thoughts, feelings and actions we currently have are for a reason and therefore all of the outcomes we get because of these are from the same reason. So, when we are looking to lose weight, tone up, build some muscle or just live a healthier lifestyle we, really should be reflecting on the thoughts, feelings and actions we have in place in conjunction with the result we get each week. Too many people go into training thinking these two aren’t correlated. If your emotions govern your actions and your actions govern your result, then it is crucial you address your emotions FIRST otherwise any action you take will be temporary and as a result any results you get will also be short-lived.
So where do we start? The best weapon we have to fight against this is consistent reflection and refinement instead of getting caught up in the actions you did or didn’t take and labelling it as” lazy” or a “failed attempt”. We need to address the emotions behind our actions, without this, long-term change is impossible. Often after a setback, I hear people speak about the situation or external factors that caused the poor result focusing on WHAT happened.
Instead, I’m suggesting reflecting on the HOW it made you feel and WHY that situation came to occur in the first place. Ask yourself this question – What was the last setback you encountered where you felt like an external factor or situation impacted the result? Now think about what is more important to make sure it doesn’t happen again? Or, if it does, are your prepared? WHAT happened? HOW did it made you feel? Or WHY it came to occur in the first place? The same as avoiding setbacks, achieving a weekly result is useless if you’re unable to replicate the successes, so when a week does go well and you see the desired result - REFLECT! Work to understand what things led to that result and what needs to be in place to do that more consistently.
So, with a health and fitness goal, it is more your ability to recreate a great result week after week than just getting one amazing result once. This tends to mean that you need to change your behavioural patterns rather than just doing something because you know you need to. So let me leave you with this, Abraham Lincoln once said “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” When you set out on a health and fitness goal it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on achieving the result straight away but really the first portion on your journey should be spent on creating a repeatable consistent routine that you can stick to on your worst day not your best day! Because one thing is guaranteed at some point, things will get hard and situations will arise that you didn’t expect but having a strong structure to fall back on that is refined each week through reflection will get you through. So, my challenge to you this week is reflect on the good and the bad and then use that information to put yourself in the best position to replicate the good and resolve or remove the bad.