It's that time of the year again. The Open is over and you are pondering your life's worth, well at least the fitness side of it, not more I hope. Every year we come to this point and people start reevaluating their programming, coaching, gym, training partners, etc. What's your next step?? Well it's time to shed some light on this topic.
Step 1 –
Don't look around, look at yourself and start your evaluation there first. Are you where you want to be? Make a list of Goals, short term and long term, including the past calendar years’ goals. Then reflect on why you haven't achieved those goals yet, yes write down your conclusions also. Most people will come to the conclusion that their surroundings aren't ideal. Well then you need to jump into step 2. Others might not be able to draw any real conclusions, instead they will generate excuses. You have probably seen these people on their social media accounts talking about age, injury, or distractions. The truth is we all have things going on in our lives and you just have to manage them and not make excuses. But let's stop there, before I get too fired up about excuses and quitters. We'll save that for another time.
Step 2 –
1) Conclusions from step 1 should expose what needs to change, so considering those changes you now need to look at your options. Start by asking oneself, Am I willing to make the necessary changes? Then consider did the Gym, Program, or Coaching not live up to your expectations? Let's make this clear all three are important and don't bother trying to make one more important than the other, because a great gym has a great program and a great coach. These things need to be together if you want to have the most success possible, regardless if that's competing at the Games or just getting the most value for the service you are paying for. So, don't settle for anything less than all three factors. Find a place with everything you desire, if it's important you won't settle.
2) What about your Mental Approach and toughness? This likely has to do with one’s past experiences and upbringing but improvements can always be made. We won't be able to undo 24 years of enabling bad behavior, but we can approach the situation knowing it needs to change. Your Coach would be pivotal in this situation. There is no substitute for having a Coach that can push you, not a cheerleader, not someone you always like, not your BFF. But someone that makes you work harder when you’re tired, that you don't want to let down or disappoint, that can motivate you in multiple ways. Most of all, someone that you respect and trust. I've found in my past experiences that those Coaches got the most out of me and I'm forever grateful for them.
3) One more thing to consider is your environment. I'm not talking about equipment and A/C. We are looking at your training partners and support group. It takes a "special" kind of person to be great at anything, especially the sport of fitness. While both training partners and support aren't necessary, they can make things easier if they are the right fit. IRON SHARPENS IRON people, this is true for all levels but especially team sports. Your training partners should make you want to work harder, and complain less. Your support group should give you a boost of energy every time you hear them yelling. When you walk in the doors of the gym that environment alone should motivate you to get better. You should be able to feel the energy as people are moving around. You can feel it throughout and that’s when you know it's real.
Make a plan with your decisions. When is the right time? Yesterday or maybe a year ago. The Time is now, give yourself the best opportunity. The more time with a new coach or program the better. The more time at a new gym the better. It takes some time to settle in, but if you are at the right place and you aren't a shitty person then you'll feel right at home. If it was your nutrition hindering performance, well would you wait until the 1st of the Year to clean things up? I certainly hope not if you have read this far. Jump to it, start the process now. Don't over think it. Start with the simple and the obvious. Then the complex and intricate things will work their way to the top.
The simple truth is if you don't like your surroundings, and have lost respect and trust for the process you have been going through then it's time for a change. No matter how hard it may be, sometimes you need the change and to take a chance. Think about what you stand to gain. The Reward is greater than the Risk