The THOUGHTS I THOUGHT TODAY blogs/videos will be a regular category of blogs that we will be adding to on a regular basis.
Basically these blogs will consist of different ideas, thoughts and hopefully some gems of information that will make you healthier, leaner, stronger, more athletic, less stressed, happier and help you to have an overall better quality of life.
This might sound like it’s becoming my motto but unless you take the information and actually apply it you simply won’t benefit from it. Unapplied knowledge/information is useless.
Obviously you don’t need to apply or agree with everything we write but a few things here and there will hopefully stand out and be of use for you.
1) People don’t practice DELIBERATE ACTION enough
To be elite in any field, whether it’s music, sport or sculpture, requires that at some stage in the persons development they undergo a period of deliberate training.
This period of time comes about usually when a person decides that they are going to excel in their field and reach expert or elite status. During this period of deliberate practice the person is going to have to seriously increase the amount of time spent practicing their art if they want to achieve their desired outcome. Depending on the area of study, this can be anywhere from 3-12 hours of practice a day. During this period of learning to reach elite status which lasts for several years, the main concern is that you get it done.
- It doesn’t matter if you enjoy it
- It doesn’t matter if it hard going
- It doesn’t matter you aren’t seeing an immediate financial return for your efforts
- It doesn’t matter if you all your friends are going out but you have to stay in and practice
It only matters that you do it. Thats why it’s called DELIBERATE PRACTICE– you need to make a conscious effort to do it and not rely on the enjoyment or social factors involved, your mood on that particluar day, the beautiful weather outside, etc. If other factots were to dictate whether or not you put in the work you would never do whats required to reach that lofty goal.
I have adapted this idea for everyday living into what I call DELIBERATE ACTION. Sometimes (thankfully not all the time) you need to do the things that you really don’t want to do in order to reach the goals that you have set out for your self.
This is true in health, fitness, life, your career and any other area you can think of. If you always do things based on the way you feel at that particular moment you more than likely won’t be where you want to be this time next year.
DELIBERATE ACTION might mean:
- eating your broccoli when you want ice cream
- going to the gym on the day you planned even though it’s such a beautiful day outside and you’d prefer a few beers in the garden
- Practicing the new song you were meant to learn for your next music lesson
- Save x amount of money from this weeks wages even though you really want to go out for that unexpected night out with the gang from work
The world is gone crazy for immediate gratification which often leaves us short in the long term. DELIBERATE ACTION on the other hand does the opposite. It builds up the habit of delayed gratification so that we can have the best of both worlds.
Had a long holiday and dreading getting into the gym for the first time in over a month? Practice a bit of DELIBERATE ACTION and just get in and do it. Who cares if you don’t enjoy the idea of getting in there just this once. You’ll feel amazing after it’s done and you’ve kickstarted your fitness routine again. Missing it might mean you’ll GET STARTED NEXT MONDAY (the most abused phrase in fitness) which could mean a whole week of unhealthier choices and result-halting actions.
A few unpleasant choices every now and then won’t hurt you.
2) The IDEA versus the REALITY of doing things
This is so common.
Did you see Conor McGregor’ fight recently? How many of the spectators do you think were saying to themselves afterwards I”M DEFINITELY TAKING UP MMA ON MONDAY?
I’d bet a ton of them. And it’s great that they are thinking that. Getting active, shedding some crappy weight and a host of other benefits. All brilliant.
One big issue though. The idea of doing it (especially after 7 pints of Bulmers) is a lot more appealing than what they will actually have to do. And the higher the level they think they are going to get (Sure why not go all the way and win the UFC) the more sacrfices they will have to make.
Hard training regimes won’t be possible with a junk diet or if your partying 3 nights a week. Forgot about it if you’re a smoker. The body will simply pack in if these things are addressed. But they’ve thought of that. I’M OFF THE DRINK AND SMOKES FROM MONDAY ASWELL PLUS NO JUNK FOOD. TRAINING MONDAY TO FRIDAY. COME ON THE FIGHTING IRISH. YYYEESSSSSSSS.
In any endeavour there are always a host of things that make the reality of doing it consistently more challenging than the idea of doing.
- Changing lifestyle habits
- Financial costs- petrol, lessons, training equipment, etc.
- Getting out of your comfort zone
- Realising it’s going to take more than 12 weeks (maybe 1-5 years of consistent practice to reach a a basic standard)
- Time away from family
- Going through periods of DELIBERATE ACTION/PRACTICE when the enjoyment factor isn’t as evident
Man goes to a concert to watch a world renowned master pianist.
After the show the man meets the pianist backstage and says THAT WAS AN UNBELIEVABLE CONCERT. I WOULD DO ANYTHING TO BE ABLE TO PLAY LIKE YOU.
The master replies NO YOU WOULDN’t.
The spectator saw the end result of years of DELIBERATE PRACTICE, monotonous practice, sacrifice, etc. all delivered in a beautiful setting with great lighting and all the stops pulled out.
The same is true in health and fitness.
The people who show all the benefits of a consistent health & fitness routine have done what most people won’t do.
- Invest in great coaches
- Gradually develop habits over time
- Approached it with the right mindset- realistic goals, no rush, long-term and sustainable results, etc
- Take DELIBERATE ACTION when necessary- e.g. skip the party if they have an early morning training session planned even if they don’t want to
- Get educated about sustainable nutrition and lifestyle habits and implement what they learn
- Invest in good training equipment
- Organise babysitters to allow them get to the gym
- Make time no matter how busy they are
- Find what they can control and work on those areas first
What do you see? You see a healthy, fit person with all these great benefits but you didn’t see the path they took or the effort they had to put in.
Thats the reality of it. Your idea of being fit and healthy might be different. If it is you’ll either change it and progress or continue to get the same results you’ve always gotten.
Great little article Steve! Keep up the super work!
Cheers Ainle. Educate and empower.