What’s your goal?
Sometimes this is the most overlooked aspect of understanding and designing a health and fitness program.
There is a lot more to understanding a goal and what it means to you that can help develop a personalized program to meet not only your goal but also your needs.
Why look more in depth at your goal?
Well, looking at your goal tells us more than what you want to look like. It tells us what you want to feel like. It tells us that there may be a discomfort in your life that you want to change. If you feel something uncomfortable, then there is an emotional component to your goal. That is one factor that needs to be analyzed more in depth. This is not only where you will derive most of your motivation from, but also, your understanding of yourself.
When you want to change something about yourself there are going to many contributing factors that can either support the progress of that change or interfere with it.
This is the first stage where our personalized programming begins, with an in-depth goal analysis.
If you have a hard time realizing the importance of your goal, and the idea that what you believe with regards to achieving it and especially if you aren’t willing to explore it, then you won’t do well working with me.
Beginning with studying your goal in-depth, then figuring out where you are with regards to where you want to be, and considering who you are and how you might react to expectations placed upon you will allow us to work together to create a picture of how to get to your end result.
If you’ve ever tried goal setting before, it can be quite a process, and the process that we can work together on that I’ve developed over the course of many years and with expert guidance from many professionals has allowed me to provide an exceptional experience to find an optimal starting point and breaking your goal down into small manageable tasks.
You don’t necessarily need to start out with a full fledged exercise program, nutrition program, tracking calories, showing up at the gym everyday and working out for two hours. For some, maybe you, may need to start smaller and make smaller changes over a longer period of time. Where others, maybe you, may do well with making bigger changes faster. This is where you, starting with an in-depth goals analysis can set you apart from seeing the results you’ve been wanting to see and creating a manageable plan to get there versus failing and continuing to search for something new that may never solve your problems because you never established a foundation to fall back on.
My goal setting program will help you create your foundation. As you may know already, there are several basic components to health. They tend to revolve around the fundamental beliefs, backed by science of course, that movement, nutrition, sleep, and less stress will lead to better health, better body composition, and ultimately a better, more fulfilling life enabling you to do the things you want to do and live the life you want to live.
To create this foundation you not only need to study yourself, but you also need to study those four components. There are going to be many ways you can address each one and possibly a different approach to create proper foundation for each one. Your ultimate goal, within your personal goal, is to be able to manage how these four components are influenced in your life.
After you complete your goal setting process a more in-depth look at where to start should emerge. One factor that is not considered, is “How” to look at them.
This is where a huge difference lies in the education and the process you will go through from working with me compared to most other coaches out there.
A Neural Lens
The framework for understanding how to achieve optimal results in those four areas: movement, nutrition, stress and sleep begin by looking at them from a brain based perspective, rather than only a bio-mechanical or physiological lens.
We are a ‘being’ that encompasses many systems to evaluate, interpret, and respond to external and internal stimuli. When you develop a basic understanding of your body through a neural lens you’ll see how all other lenses fit easily within a brain based training framework.
So, what does this mean for you?
Well, you don’t have to get crazy in depth on studying neurology. But, having a basic idea of understanding threat, how the body interprets it and how it reflects on your survival-ability will start to make sense on not only why you might be where you are today, but also how to start making changes to your life that can help you finally reach your goals.
Using a brain-based approach to reaching your goals will allow you to understand how to assess your current condition and make changes on the fly. Changes happen to you as fast as the nervous system can interpret the stimuli that it is receiving from its inputs. This allows you, through your programming, to understand how to make changes that will benefit you, not only in the short-term and give you immediate feedback, but also, in the long-term working towards a more efficient less threatened nervous system.
There are several stages that we work through together to get you into a more productive state to where you will reach your goals and be able to maintain them. Maintenance is where many programs fail at. Lots of “Diets” produce weight loss, lots of weight lifting programs produce muscles and better tone, but, there is a high percentage of people that lose weight, gain it back, and many people who were fit and toned once, but eventually lose it.
We want to work with you ensuring that not only you reach your goals, but that you maintain them as well.
This is where planning to not only having a starting point, but also, having exit strategies for certain tasks need to be created. You probably don’t want to track calories for ever, you probably don’t want to have to be in the gym for 5 days a week for ever either. So, being able to understand your body and its responses to different types of nutritional approaches and exercise programs can help you progress to a state where you can easily make changes to your lifestyle that will allow you to maintain results, set new goals, and achieve those too.
One of the first stages that we work through is to understand how to decrease potential threats to your nervous system. The way your nervous system interprets threats, and the way your friend’s does can be completely different. Just think about when someone discusses the idea of pain tolerance. Their nervous system may or may not interpret the same level of threat (resulting in pain sensation) from the same experience that you share, for instance – drinking a hot cup of coffee. Therefore the output may end up being completely different because you two are separate individuals and your nervous system has interpreted the stimuli (hotness) differently than your friends.
This is an important principal that guides your training the “Law of Individual Differences”. Every one has different experiences and depending on those will determine how your body reacts compared to someone else. This explains why so many people also fail at canned approaches to health and fitness training. You need to individualize, personalize your training methodologies to work with your nervous system
So, being able to create a program to initially suit your needs revolves around understanding potential threats that your nervous system may not like. And, as side not, just so you understand, not all threat is always interpreted as pain.
How do we approach this, well, this goes back to your initial goal setting process. It basically boils down to finding a comfortable starting point and assessing your progress from there. If you aren’t seeing progress it then goes to show that something needs to be changed. And, within the system of training that you will be exposed to it will be easier to make changes because of this approach. It’s the idea of sometimes just lightening the load.
Load, can revolve around anything that increases or decreases demand on your nervous system. For instance, it can incorporate extra effort to perform a task (exercise), increased demands for self-control or will-power (dieting), it can even be your own way of thinking that gets in your way and increases demands on yourself (chronic pain cycle).
When you increase demands on yourself, you are automatically increasing the need for more energy to meet those demands. That energy ultimately comes from nutrition. Being able to recognize what demands you can handle and how to modulate them will lead to better outcomes than just diving all in and trying to demand to much from yourself all at once. Which is another reason most traditional fitness programs fail.
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