Training for an event, or striving towards a specific goal, is straightforward. Select goal, seek expert advice, simply your life and execute, while paying attention to how you get in your own way.
But what if the events are cancelled? What if the whole concept of “an event” has been put on hold?
Three key principles I keep in mind…
1/ Remember why you started in the first place. What was your core motivation before you got wrapped up in seeking external success/validation? Remind yourself of your core values.
2/ What’s your personal superpower? Where do you have the capacity to build, and demonstrate, mastery? This helps you sustain motivation in challenging times.
3/ Where do you want to be in 5 or, even, 10 years time? I laugh at myself with this one because my answer is nearly always… “the same as today, just a little bit better.” This is despite _knowing_ my life undergoes big changes all the time.
While kicking those ideas around, I also like to consider different benefits of an active lifestyle…
Physical Health // By mixing in some housework, I can rack up 12,500 steps a day and not leave my property. So I have this one covered.
Mental Health // For many of my athletic friends, this is the true driver of their program, even more so for my pals with family trees, or personal histories, of addiction. Here’s what works for me => split sessions AM/PM with a goal of never getting so tired you can’t make tomorrow’s split sessions.
Make the goal tomorrow, while having the energy to meet your non-training obligations today.
Long-term Functional Strength // If you’re under 40 then this might not be on your radar. Watching my grandmother age, then die, put it on mine. I maintain a large reserve of functional strength. Today, it’s useful in the mountains. In the future, I hope it will help me maintain independent living.
Vanity & Sexual Function // These goals can work together, or be opposed to each other. For example, a well-constructed anabolic phase, will build muscle, increase my energy and boost my naturally occurring recovery hormones. All good.
Where things can get derailed is disordered eating, chronic endurance and body-image goals that incentivize self-harm. In that case, you need to get your head straight (mental health) before you’ll be in a place to make progress in other areas.
My favorite quote here is from an elite running coach… “sometimes my role is to build the athlete’s confidence to the point where they can leave competitive sport.”
Every single time you make a change to support your health… write down your reasons.
Once you’re healthy, you’ll forget why you needed to make a change.
My first COVID-season is wrapping up in September and I’m planning for (at least!) another six month block.
I spent my 20s, 30s and 40s focused exclusively on my own achievement. It’s a challenging habit to shake!
COVID blew up all my plans for personal achievement. To demonstrate leadership within my house, I’ve been focused on what’s best for the team.
Within that constraint, there’s fun to be had. I simply had to get creative and use my project management skills for something other than winning races, making money or doing deals.
This is where Principle #3 comes in. It’s not simply “what do I want to be doing” in five years.
It is… “With whom do I want to be living in five years?“
Up-skill your team.
If you can’t plan your season then plan your life!
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