My Approach: A Weekly Template
Years ago, StrongFirst introduced me to the principle of the “dominanta,” having one over-arching focus. In my own life, that means aging well and happily, including my oft-elusive search to, ahem, chill the f*&( out. More specifically, my vision is to be a “well rested, pain-free, easygoing, relaxed, cheerful athlete, who can see where she’s going, and who stands as tall as she can be.”
My literal and methodical mind does well with charts and graphs, and to actually live in my dominanta world, over time I’ve come up with a weekly template: Five days out of seven, I circuit train before eating breakfast or before any intrusion of work or the outside world; train my vision (yes, it can actually be done); train a strength move; train mobility; and put my hands onto something concrete to switch hemispheres in my brain: rollerskates, art supplies, a harmonica…
And there, now you know pretty much most of my inner workings.
Tinkering with the Template
I like this approach because it lets me adjust to what’s going on in my life at any certain time. When I’m 90, I will still do my circuit, it just won’t look the same as this year. Same with, say, the day’s strength move to train – my deadlift may only be a bag of groceries by then.
The Fun Part
I figure, how can I ever be a relaxed and cheerful person if I don’t switch out of this methodical mindset occasionally?
Which is why, even on a busy day, a little hemisphere switch is in order. Again, to show how I tinker with it: yesterday was an unpleasantly saturated day, and by the end of it, I only felt up to a little tic-tac practice. Here’s Andrea from my roller dance academy demonstrating… It may be a looooong time before I can match that!
The Goals Part
My serious, on-paper goal that I’ve committed to is a double-bodyweight deadlift within 2020. To that end, I’ve done what I recommend everyone else does too: reach out and get the help you need to reach your goal. In this case, I’ve started working with an expert (Matt Taylor of StrongerYouPT). Again, some tinkering was required for this, and my circuit has scaled back for now to maintain enough energy for proper strength work.
And the Adherence Part
I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that I get a little dopamine hit every time I give myself a little star on my nerdy chart at the end of each day.
Two days of the week, the stars are pretty easy! Those would be the days off 😉
And I’ve finally come up with a way to actually stick to my template for the other five days of the week. Okay, sit tight, because the explanation actually gets a little complicated at first, but not really by the end, when it basically boils down to cold, hard cash.
Okay, I’ve talked before about “good” selfishness, and Future Self vs Present Self. The complicated part is that now I don’t let myself filch money from my business account for personal expenses except if I put an equivalent amount into long-term savings. This accounts for keeping Future Self happy.
My recent template tweak is that when I get an all-star week on my template, i.e. every single day of the week without exception has a star attached to it, then I get to filch $50. I figure it’s win-win because then it’s good for both Present and Future Selves.
…and now you really know all of my inner workings!
And Back to You
The cool thing about all the people in the world is that we are all so very, very different. My personal approach will make no sense whatsoever to many other people. We all need what resonates for us personally to stay on track.
Contact me if you need a little support in your own life.