Before I begin this, I wanted to give A BIG THANK YOU, to those who have already purchased one of the t-shirts and hoodies that I have available over at TeeSpring. I appreciate it! Send me a picture of you in your shirt as you chase your goals and I’ll put you on blast (in a good way) here at the blog, on Facebook and IG.
For those who haven’t purchased one, I put a pic of the shirts at the bottom of the article with a link. These shirts are available until November 10 and your order will ship approximately two weeks after that.
Without further ado, let’s get to the meat of the topic at hand…
You and the iron. You and the road. You and the heavy bag. You and the machines. That’s it. That’s all.
Chewbacca isn’t your copilot this time, Han, you’re solo. You are just a scruffy looking nerf-herder all on your own.
Sound right? I’ve been there.
Until last year, the great majority of my pursuit of physical mastery had been a solitary journey. And there are massive benefits to having a partner. A partner can make all the difference in helping you push harder, especially when you are hitting those final couple reps or when you are on that last mile. Even a little friendly and healthy competition with your partner goes a long way towards furthering your progress, reaching your goals and making consistent gains. But we are here to talk about the solo journey, because sometimes you won’t have the luxury of a training partner.
In trying to keep with the theme of pursuing mastery, I am working on limiting my post length to 1000 words or less; keeping things short, to the point and as helpful as possible. In keeping with that goal, we shall briefly cover three points for successfully navigating a solo journey.
These points are: Have a “Why”. Have a Plan. Have Support.
Point the first: Have a Why.
I believe that the biggest thing to keep you on the path is your own personal why. It’s that big, luminous, always in front of you reason that keeps you getting back up and hitting the road, or lifting the iron. As I said in my post, “You Are the Constant”:
“[Your reasons] must compel you to keep moving forward, good enough to drag you from the couch if they have to. They need to be reasons with weight and punch behind them. They need to be reasons that make you seriously disappointed in yourself if you begin to stray from the path. For all intents and purposes, they need to be strong enough to carry you when a sledgehammer full of suck gets slammed into your chest. Trust me.”
Point the second: Have A Plan
The second thing is planning. It is in your best interest to go into every workout with a plan of attack. What I mean by that is this: write down your current workout, review your prior sessions and plan the next workout. This means keeping a notebook – or at the very least an app on your smart phone – to record, review and plan. Write it down. I used a notebook for the longest time and if you pay attention to the gym goers, you will see someone with a notebook tracking their work. Now I use the notes app on my phone, it’s a very convenient way for me record, review and plan my work accordingly. This process of recording, reviewing and planning will assist you in making consistent gains while marking progress towards your goals. On the flip side, if you just waltz into the gym and do whatever feels good, you’ll soon find yourself frustrated that you aren’t seeing any real results. Bicep curls can only get you so far.
Point the Third: Have Support.
The last thing I would suggest that you should have is some sort of support. But I thought this is about going solo? Yes it is, however nobody is an island. No one. Just because you are doing the work by yourself, doesn’t mean you can’t have some support.
Spouses and significant others can be a source of support, even children can be a source of support as they see you looking to get healthier. All of these people don’t have to be cheerleaders. Just having them know what you’re trying to accomplish and for them to understand that you are dedicated to improving yourself can be enough.
In this age of duck-faces and seemingly vain pic posts, social media can be a good source of support, too. You might be seen as one of “those people”, but who cares? The haters won’t say jack shit and those that support you will show it. Sometimes that is all you need. Once they see consistent changes and improvement, they will send you private messages asking you how you did it, what they can do to change or improve and you’ll get asked to create workout routines for them. Trust me, it happens, and it makes a difference in how you see your own progress.
If you need more support than that, get involved with an online community like the Nerd Fitness Community. The “rebels” there are some amazing, talented, intelligent and good-looking people who are focused on achieving their goals and helping others along the way. It is also done in a fun and creative way. That is where I got my start!
And that’s it. Has this simplified approached helped? What has worked for you?
Get your shirt here! Available until 11/10/2016.