In the previous chapter we talked about mindset and how we need to believe that we can succeed, be very clear on what we want, and begin with the end in mind. To get to your ultimate goal, you must take actions every day. Small ones and big ones, it doesn’t matter. What matters is doing the activity everyday to get you closer to your goal.
What I found worked well for me was to have small wins every day, even if it was something minute, like writing down my intention for the day. These small wins could be reading my affirmations every day…it really doesn’t matter. The point here is to build a habit of doing something consistently to reach your goal.
When you acknowledge these small wins, you will be confident that you can take action every single day. Soon you will take bigger and bigger actions until you fast track your way to the end. This is called a Habit SNOWBALL effect.
How do we create these small wins every day? What actions do we take?
1 – Reverse Engineering
To determine what simple tasks I should do every day, I reverse engineer my goals. This simply means mapping out all the necessary steps to get to your goals.
First you would write down your goal, then write down all the activities, then prioritize them by sequence and importance, then keep breaking down the activities until you get to the simplest task possible.
Once you have mapped out all the important steps, identify the simplest tasks and make time in your calendar to do one to three items daily. This way you will know what to do and not have to think about it.
It’s really about making it easy for you to take consistent daily actions. If you know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it, it’s a matter of using your willpower to act. That’s it. If the action is easy to do, it doesn’t take much willpower to do it.
Doing this every day will eventually make it a habit, just like waking up and brushing your teeth, and it will no longer be a difficult thing to do. Remember, things are difficult before they become easy. Expect this and keep doing it until it does get easy to do.
Now you have clarity on what you need to do every single day. The fact of knowing what to do will give you the confidence you need to achieve your goals. Clarity is power. When we don’t have this, we feel confused, frustrated, and de-motivated because we aren’t clear on our directions.
The first thing I do in the morning is get very clear on my goals and the simple tasks I need to do that day. Then I block out the time to do it. I organize my tasks by sequence and priority. By sequence involves determining which tasks must happen first before the others. By priority involves what makes the most impact on your goals.
Then I go about doing them, never moving on until one is complete. Tackle the most important task first and concentrate until done. If you don’t finish the tasks on that day, move them to the next day and continue until the task is complete. By doing this, I always get the most important tasks done first before moving on to the less important tasks.
Try this technique for time management and productivity; stay at it and see what happens. I promise you it’s nothing short of extraordinary. You will surprise yourself once you’ve reached your goal and ask yourself how you did that.
2 – Small Daily Habits
One key element to being self-motivated is to create small daily habits and do them every day. When you do this, you are achieving something every day— winning. Most of us like to win and achieve; I know I do. When this happens, we become more driven to keep going until we reach the end goal.
How does this apply to losing weight? For me it was as simple as drinking four litres of water every day and going to the gym every day, whether for lifting or cardio. I did this for so long that when I didn’t go to the gym for just one day, I could feel the effect, like something was missing.
Have you ever gone a day without your cell phone? Gone a day without drinking coffee? Or something else that you do every day? It’s the same thing. It’s WITHDRAWAL from your daily habits because you’ve built this activity into your routine and now it’s a part of you. If you go without it, even for a day, you will feel the adverse effect immediately.
My point here is that it’s the same thing with exercising and eating right to lose weight. Once you become accustomed to exercising regularly and tracking what you eat, it will become a habit and you won’t want to let it go.
Take me, for example. I still track my macros on MyFitnessPal on my phone almost every day because I did it so much during my prep for competition that it is now my habit and part of me. When I eat something it’s always in the back of my mind to find out how much I am eating or what kind of food I am putting in my body.
Now I’m not saying that you will get like this and become all obsessive about what you eat, but at least you will think about it. Over time you will tend to make decisions that support your goals.
Now you may say to yourself, “Exercising every day is not an easy thing. That’s hard. How can I fit exercising into my life every day?” What if I tell you that you need to exercise for only 10 minutes every day; do you think you can do that? OF COURSE you can.
People daydream or sit on the toilet for 10 minutes every day, Now, that’s a silly comparison, yes, but I wanted to make a point that small wins don’t need to be something hard to do. Matter of fact, it should be an easy thing, at least for the first few weeks and until you have created the habit.
The idea of small wins everyday is to create a habit. Once you’ve created a habit and you do it every day, like brushing your teeth (I really hope you brush your teeth every day), the habit becomes who you are and then it is easy to do.
If it’s easy to do, you will be less reluctant to do it. You follow me? By doing the easy task every day, you will get to your goal. That’s the formula; figure out the easy thing to do every day and do it until you reach your goal. That’s it!
3 – Calories In vs. Calories Out
The key fundamental to weight loss is the principle of calories in versus calories out. The simple idea is that the amount of food you consume versus the amount of energy you burn will determine whether you lose weight, stay the same weight, or gain weight.
For our weight-loss goal, we need to eat fewer calories than we burn. So how do you eat fewer calories than you burn?
First you have to determine your maintenance caloric requirement, also known as your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This is how many calories or how much food you need to eat to stay at the same weight.
Visit this link to find out: www.tdeecalculator.net
Note that it is not crucial to be exact; you just need a ball park number so you can have somewhere to start. then make adjustments as you go along.
Now that you have your maintenance number, you need to eat less than that amount to lose weight. How many fewer calories should we eat? To determine this, multiply your maintenance number by 15%. For example, if my maintenance number is 2000 calories, multiplying by 15% would give me 300 calories.
Take 2000 and subtract 300 and you will get your deficit caloric intake number of 1700 calories. Eating 1700 calories will create a deficit where you’re eating fewer calories than your maintenance; therefore, you will lose weight over time.
There are several ways to eat fewer calories than you burn. The one I use is the macro nutrient tracking method. I use MyFitnessPal and track how much I eat every day by recording the macros, carbs, protein, and fats. An app is also available on iPhone and Android devices.
I know some of you may not want to do this and find counting calories too much work. That’s OK; we can use another method. My other favourite method is portioning. Imagine a regular-size dinner plate. All your food should fit on that plate; that’s all you’re eating for that meal.
Half of your plate should be vegetables, one quarter should be protein, and the last quarter should be carbohydrates. This will equal 100% of the food on your plate. For more information on portion control, click the link: http://huff.to/29IWEdB
For example, I like to eat Costco’s sweet kale salad for veggies, so half of my plate is covered by salad. For protein I like to eat roasted chicken breast, so I portion it to cover one quarter of my plate. The last quarter is covered by a sweet potato.
This example shows you a low-fat, moderate-protein and carb diet. For the average person, this is a balance meal to burn fat and lose weight. If you’re a bodybuilder or an aspiring competitor, I would advise that you track macros because you need a more precise number.
4 – Myths and Fads
There are many myths and fads related to losing weight and burning fat. There are countless diets and exercise programs to entice you to buy. These programs are created to target people who are looking for a quick fix, something easy to do without too much work.
I admit that I have done it. It’s in our nature to find the quickest and easiest way possible. This is in our evolutionary brain and that’s fine. But once you are aware of this and can change this thought process, you must do so for your own betterment, to reach your full potential. Do not let this way of thinking limit you.
– Don’t eat carbohydrates
– You can reduce fat in a specific spot.
– You need to take supplements to lose weight.
– Eat high protein and high fat.
– Eat-whatever-you-want diet program.
There are so many more out there. The point here is to acknowledge that this is reality. There are lots of companies marketing these types of product to people. You have to steer clear of them and never buy into EASY .
Nothing replaces hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Everything about losing weight is learnable and doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. There are many resources that speak the truth; you just have to be more diligent in researching and finding them. Books and audiobooks are a great start.
5 – Common Sense vs. Common Practice
We really don’t need a special diet or exercise program to transform our bodies. We actually know what we should do; sometimes we just need a little help getting started. The good news is that there are tons of resources out there, just like this eBook, to help you on your path.
We all know that we should eat fewer fried foods like french fries, and sugary foods like ice cream, cake, and candies, but we do it anyway. That’s perfectly fine; the key thing is to find a balance. I recommend an 80/20 rule for eating.
Eighty percent of the time eat good, wholesome food and the other 20% of the time, you can eat whatever you desire. This works for me and I think it will work for you if you give it a chance and stick with it for 30 days.
The process of changing our bodies can be easy if we do it for a long time and it becomes our lifestyle. Other than that, it’s going to be a challenging road. Still, it’s a challenge you can overcome with a little of bit of creativity, discipline, and sacrifice.
You have it in you; trust me, we all do. We just need to stop making excuses and take action daily! We know what to do, and if we don’t, we can learn. Just decide, set a due date, and take action.
Dumb question for you. If you put $5 in the bank and at the end of the year your return on investment was $100, would you be happy? Of course; I would. Give $5 and get $100 back. That’s a fantastic return on investment, don’t you think?
Now what’s more important? Money or your body?
I am going to assume you said your body. If you didn’t, this is not the book for you. Your body is your temple. Without good health and physical condition, you cannot enjoy anything money can buy. So doesn’t it make sense to treat your body like it’s your best investment ever?
Instead of money, put in the right food and exercises every day to grow your body. In return, your body will reward you tenfold for your investment by becoming stronger, healthier, and more versatile, allowing you to enjoy everything life has to offer and to help others. You have common sense; now just use common practices like exercising and eating right to get where you want to be.
6 – Getting the Right Help
There is tons of information online to help you lose weight—tons of exercise programs and dieting tips. Use your common sense and don’t buy into the quick and easy schemes. Do your research and ask around, but be careful to not get information overload.
If you are like me and want a safe bet, to start on the right foot, hire a coach or a personal trainer and learn from them. Later on you can do it by yourself because you will have the knowledge and experience.
I would hire a coach for three reasons:
1. The coach does the number crunching so you don’t have to.
2. The coach holds you accountable for your progress and results.
3. The coach has deeper knowledge about this and can help you learn more quickly.
These are the reasons why I hired my prep coach for my Men’s Physique Show. I could have done it myself because I am a certified fitness trainer and have experience cutting down to a very low body fat. But we have only 24 hours in a day. With work, training, family, and your significant other, how much time do you think you have left to do your own calculations and planning?
Not much, I tell you. Besides, I would rather spend that time doing something else. I was already training really hard and tracking my calories. That in itself was a full-time job. It gets pretty intense with your mind and body when you drop down to such a low body fat.
However, for most of you who don’t wish to compete, the most important role of the coach is to hold you accountable for your results week in and week out. It’s easy to procrastinate and let ourselves off the hook, but when we have someone to report to, it’s a different story. Don’t you agree?
Guys, this is so powerful. Having someone you are accountable to and whom you report to can make a huge difference. I know because I’ve cut down without a coach before. I was disciplined, but some days when I felt down I would take it easy and let myself off the hook. This would not happen if I had a coach.
If you’re serious and want the best possible results for the time you invest, hire a coach or find a friend or family member who is into health and fitness and ask them for help. Use them as a coach to report to every week. Trust me, they would love to help you. I wish more of my friends and family asked me for help.
Let me ask you another dumb question. What is the most precious thing in the world? If you said your diamonds, your car, or your house, you would be wrong.
Why? Because the most precious thing you have in life is TIME! Time to spend with your family. TIME to go and buy the diamond and TIME to enjoy your car and house. Isn’t this true?
The bottom line is that if you can make time for yourself to do the things you love, by all means do that, whether you hire a coach to help you lose weight or a cleaner to help you clean your house. They both save you loads of time so you can do the thing that is really important to you. If it’s feasible for you, I would highly suggest that you do it.