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It was a seemingly innocuous challenge: Write down 20 things in your life today that you could potentially be wrong about.

After a brief stall, a floodgate roared open, and I quickly made it to 34. Two of them surprised me: “I am not able to actually do anything positive of note” (as in, not just overcoming a negative, but actively accomplishing something in its own right), and later, “I personally am not able to fake it till I make it.”

What the heck? I’m always preaching that we create our own future. Time to turn these two around!

Standing Tall: It’s a Two-Way Street

How we carry ourselves not only represents our emotional state, it has now been proven to actually affect it.

What’s more, placing people into a slumped and depressed physical posture can increase reactions of helplessness. This was proven in a study that showed a lack of persistence in a standard learned helplessness task. Study authors report that “surprisingly, there were no differences in verbal reports” — which means that a posture change will even affect us at the subconscious level. Powerful stuff!

Here’s How to “Fake it Till you Make It”

Okay, time to double down on good posture! It’s true that I’ve already come a long way from the hunched-over person I was in my youth, but the road from “okay” to “wow!” posture still has some travelling left to do.

Here are tips on how to stand yourself proud — and some suspense with a little experiment! (Unfortunately I forgot to include rib flare; for that please click here.)

…And Here’s How I Plan to Actually Make It

And for that surprise about not being able to attain a positive goal? Instead of just overcoming negatives?

For that one, I revisited a past stated goal that had foundered for a number of reasons. Mainly, I was not aligning my own dedication to achieving it with what was actually quite a goal.

Here’s the goal I am truly committed to achieving: a double-bodyweight deadlift in 2021. That would be 240 lb, or 115kg in competition.

Whoops, a Little Detour

Okay, darn it, I see I actually already revised the same goal a year ago to: “get the following strength benchmarks at the Nationals in 2021: bodyweight bench, 1.5x bodyweight squat, double bodyweight deadlift.” Hmm… Mumble, mumble, 2020…Covid? Ahem.

But you know what? It took me well over 100 tries to quit smoking cigarettes, and I was finally successful two and a half decades ago… (Like I said, I’m good at overcoming obstacles, even when they are ones I created myself.) So, back on that horse.

Back to the Plan

For me, how to get there includes:

  1. Prioritizing sleep
  2. Working out at home and getting it done first thing in the morning
  3. Minimizing my “must-do” programming to the essentials, and getting little gold star bonuses for other accessory work that I may choose to incorporate if time and energy permit. Essential programming is like my article that suggests setting the bar low, actually meeting that goal, then advancing.
  4. Continuing to work on mobility, definitely — but also working heavy enough at the main lifts to improve at them instead of getting stuck in “analysis paralysis” mode. The concept of reps in reserve (RiR) is helping me greatly with this.

Need Help with Your Own Plan?

Let me help you with getting where you want to be!