Sports teams hate to say they are rebuilding. That word signals fans that they are going to have ugly years ahead of them, as the roster gets parted out and the club starts over. Instead, GMs will say they are resetting or reloading, sending a message that the development and work of the last few years isn’t all wasted. It’s just being reorganized and forming a strong core for the future.
As we know, this is just semantics – but your fitness journey is a mental game also, and the psychology of how we talk to ourselves (and others) is critical. I play these games with myself – counting reps down instead of up feels like you’re closer to done, for example. What can I say; it works for me!
Over the last few weeks, several of my friends have talked about being in a rut. They just can’t get in a groove. It happens this time of year: December/January, of course, are traditionally a time to reflect and set goals going forward. Resolutions get made (and often broken almost immediately…), challenges set forth. It’s also the middle of winter; less daylight combined with bad weather can make it hard to stay upbeat and focused.
Hit the Reset
In some ways, your journey is no different than those teams. Don’t turn your fitness plan into a complete rebuild – that implies there is nothing worth keeping. You are not starting over, after all! The person you are becoming is informed and built off the core you have in place. Every one of us has good and bad experiences that have made us who we are. Even if you’ve been sidelined for the last few years, you can use the things you’ve seen and learned during that time as part of a reset. Don’t throw that away!
When you find yourself struggling, are you rebuilding? Or just resetting? At 1DOS we talk constantly about progress, not perfection. Don’t expect miracles overnight – but don’t let struggles keep you from moving forward. After all, the best time to start exercising, like planting a tree, is ten years ago. The second best time is today!
How to Build a Plan
In order to build your plan, you need to know 2 things: where you are now, and where you want to end up. Then it’s creating the map to get from A to B – and following the map! Yes, there will be changes and adjustments along the way; life will happen and you will react to that. To start the process, you need that plan. I would suggest writing it down. That makes it real; sharing it with others takes it another step as well.
The hardest part about this will probably be writing down honestly where you are now. Most people don’t give themselves enough credit. Don’t tell yourself you can’t run at all, if what you mean is you can’t run more than 30 seconds at a stretch. There is a huge difference there! If you have a trusted friend or partner you can talk to, ask them to take a look at your self-assessment and give feedback.
Once you know what your strengths and areas to focus on are, and you know what you want to get to, then chart a path. Gym friends, personal trainers, the interwebs – these are all legit resources to use here. If you want to go Couch to 5K, and your friend did that last year – hey, maybe talk with her! If you want to do a Spartan, find a Spartan and ask them! (My email is firstname.lastname@example.org by the way). There are a million great training plans to start you on your path, as well.
While you are working, you will find things in your plan that do and don’t work well for you. Adjust, reset (again), and go forward. As long as you keep moving you will get better every day. Need to take a day, or a week, or a month for an injury, or life, or whatever? That happens. When you are ready, get right back out there – but remember, you are NOT starting over!
Hit RESET and go get it done!