Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Do You Need a Pep Talk?

No matter what we are pursuing; whether it is the goal of reducing our "Fran time", healthier eating or running a gym, there are times that our progress towards these goals can feel stagnant or even work backwards.  Our daily routine, left uninterrupted, can lull us to sleep.  We can easily lose our focus and instead of making things happen we simply allow them to happen.

Whether you are a gym owner, a trainer or a gym member, we should all have goals that we want to accomplish.  Those goals push us to become better at what we do.  And when we lose sight of those goals, it normally takes someone on the outside to see it.

We talk to gym owners, coaches and home gym athletes every day.  Many of them ask us for our opinion on what type of bumpers they should buy, if a free standing rig is better than a wall mounted rig or what size kettlebell is right.  And those questions are important.  But there are other aspects of running a gym or pursuing fitness goals that need attention, too and keeping them in mind is vital.

Realize you need to shake things up.  Even if things are going well, remember that what has made you successful to this point might be losing it's effectiveness.   So, no matter if your business is booming or if you just PR'd your Front Squat, set specific times to re-focus and re-evaluate your goals.

Caught up in the daily routine doesn't allow us to think outside the box.  Do something different.  Keep a fresh perspective.  Drive a different way to work.  Instead of shaving after your shower, do it before.  Change your workout time one day this week.  By interrupting your daily routine it forces you to think differently.  By challenging the routine you may very well find a better way.  "If you always do the same things, you will always get the same results."

Have a goal.  Make a plan.  Write it down where you will see it.  Writing our goals down on paper makes them more real and gives us more drive to actually pursue them.  I say take that advice a step beyond and not only write down your goals but re-write them every morning before you get off to work or just before you go to bed.  Keep them short and attainable.  Keep that clipboard right next to where you will see it every single day.  Make a plan for how you can accomplish your goals then do it.

Have a 'go-to' friend, relative, business consultant that you can take harsh advice from.  Super important.  And almost as important as this is that you need to grow a thick skin and not always take their advice.  It's not so much asking them how to fix what you think is broken, but ask them what they observe.  Just having that outside perspective will help you see your actions unbiased.  And once you've heard those unbiased observations, update your goals and make changes.

Keep data.  If you don't know specifically what happened last month or last year you can't learn from it.  Keep a journal and write down strategies you are trying and what type of results you are getting.  What is your Deadlift max?  When did you pull that?  How about your 3 Rep max? 5 Rep?  What has your attendance at the gym been like over the past 21 days?  How many new memberships has your gym gotten in the past month?  Did you ask them how they heard about you?  All this is data.  Record it somewhere so you can repeat successes and change strategies on failures.

Use your desk calendar or iPhone to remind yourself to get at certain tasks.  I am most successful when I have good habits.  And there is a difference between establishing a habit of Blogging every morning at 9:30AM versus Blogging every day for one hour before noon.  Too strict a schedule and you can miss opportunities.  Too loose, and you will find yourself putting tasks off.  Let nothing interrupt getting something done once you've started.  Shut the phone off.  Escape to the local cafe for an hour.

Take time off.  We all need down time.  Don't feel guilty about it.  It's part of that fresh perspective thing.  It gets us out of our routine and helps us take in new ideas.  Go visit a local gym while on vacation and get in on an after WOD coffee if that's going on.  Don't be afraid to try something you've never done before.