How do you measure success?
I think “success” is an interesting topic for a few reasons.
1. It’s completely subjective. What is viewed by some as success, progress or step in the right direction - may be perceived as a failure by someone else.
2. Because of the first reason, there is no right or wrong answer here - based on the situation and the baseline you’re starting from, you and another person with the same goal may use a completely different metric to measure success and the metric may change along the journey.
Too often a fitness program gets started, or the steps to start living a healthy lifestyle are put into action but never finished.
Maybe, you put in several hours “thinking” or “researching” ideas online for a solution… but but you never start for fear of doing the “wrong” thing
Or, like above if you do start, staying focused isn’t easy. Completing everything to ensure the plan is perfect isn’t easy, either.
This makes being successful nearly impossible, in part because, until you’ve defined what success looks like for you - you have no idea how to measure your actual progress.
Let me give you an example.
I have a 24 Week Habit Based Fat Loss Program that some of my clients are participating in. Every 2 weeks they get a new habit to work on, while maintaining the habit(s) from the previous week(s).
Through an app on their phone they receive a question each day that, when boiled down, asks, “Did you complete your habit?”
The answer is “Yes” or “No” - this is our measure for success.
Not pounds lost, not inches lost, not if they ate meals with perfect amounts of protein, carbs and fat.
None of that. Just, “did you do the habit?”
I’ll use myself as an example:
As a parent, a husband, business owner, and a returning Nationals and International athlete - as one of my distance clients said today, “My life is one constant adjustment”.
You can relate to this, right?
We’re all busy, so, trying to focus on everything is extremely overwhelming.
Starting the habits to live a fit and healthy lifestyle is just one more thing thrown on our plate and then add in our self imposed pressure of perfection.
“Was I perfect today?” becomes our metric for success when we have this perfection mindset.
The answer is almost always, “No”, so we put ourselves through the emotional wringer and either start over, creating an endless loop of “failing” and “restarting” or we just quit altogether.
My approach is different.
I don’t think you need to be perfect, you just need to progress.
You just need to be better than “before”.
The majority of my clients do not log their nutrition on a daily basis.
Guess what the first 2 week habit is - Yep, log your food, here’s the kicker and where most people get hung up.
The goal isn’t to eat perfect and log that, it’s simply log whatever it is you ate regardless of what it is.
Just the act of taking the time to log your, good or bad, IS PROGRESS. This act, as little as it may seem is moving you one step closer to your goal.
“But, I ate really crappy all day…”
I don’t care and I won’t judge. We’ll work on the choices later, your job is to log.
As we get older, things change and may not be as easy as they were when we were in our 20s so our strategy needs to change as well.
The all or nothing attitude and mindset have no place in a fitness program for people over 35 - our bodies are different, we’re busier, maybe we have a family, we have more responsibility and “things” biding for our attention and time.
This doesn't mean you can’t be successful at living a fit and healthy lifestyle over 35 - it just means you need a plan to systematically instill the habits that will ensure your success by choosing the right metric.
What does success look like to you and what’s your metric?
Comment below and let me know.