the spark

Starting trouble is less of an issue than most of you think. One day, you just want to sign up for The Quad or start running or take up swimming. And you are bursting with motivation and drive and energy. You are so impatient that if someone delays you at this juncture, you lose your patience and try and find an outlet. Any outlet. I've seen this happen so many times. I think this is a great spark that one should definitely capitalise on.

Why does this happen? Well, it is unique to all of us. It could be something small. It could be you trying out an old t-shirt and seeing that your head cannot make it into it, let alone the rest of your torso. Or maybe some jerkface friend of yours made an unkind remark. It doesn't matter. The point is there was a spark.

That's great. Build on it.

the friend with the opinion

The issue happens when you start second guessing. When you are a few weeks in and you are getting a bit bored of it. Or when someone else opines on your method and says "Pfft, Zumba doesn't work" or "Gah! That strength training is nonsense" or whatever. Now, you start getting doubts. Should you be doing something else? Should you be doing something else in addition to what you are doing? To make things worse, this person with the opinion starts to tell you stories about how another friend of theirs that you conveniently don't know saw stupendous results doing something else.

Photo by Steve Johnson / Unsplash

What started off as you being in a good place is now getting a bit rocky and unsure.

instead ....

You need to stick to your guns. It does not matter if yours is not the best training plan out there. It does not matter if your method is not the best method out there.

In fact, let me tell you right now - it almost never is. And here's the kicker - it does not matter.

As Coach Dan John constantly reminds us, everything works. Everything works for 6 weeks.

With absolute beginners, I've seen that it works for longer than 6 weeks as well. So, just keep at it. Get some results under your belt. Get some good, honest repetitions in.

It doesn't matter what the modality is. The reps can simply be about

  • waking up at 6 am to get ready to go to the gym or Zumba or a walk.
  • or finishing work at 7 pm and then putting on your sneakers to get your exercise.
  • or going to bed on time, or thereabouts.

The reps can be about everything surrounding the activity or whatever it is you are doing. It need not be about the actual thing.

The actual thing is easy to replace, once you have the scaffolding - the good habits around it.

Cultivate your good habits.

Stick to one course of action for a good chunk of time and then you can re-visit whether you should do something else.

At least 6 weeks, going on up to 12 weeks seems to be the right amount of time.

So, next time your friend with an opinion on what is better tells you, just say "Thank you" and ignore them and keep doing your thing.