Problem - Solving: Put a step-by-step plan in place and commit.
I have always reiterated the importance of setting goals. If you want to achieve something, whether it is weight loss, weight gain, muscle gain or even a healthier diet, plan, write down your goals and put in place the various steps to get your goal. Let me give you an example.
Earlier this year, I made a decision that I want to train for and take part in the Absa Cape Epic in March next year. The Cape Epic is a multi-stage mountain bike race in the Western Cape. The eight-day event spans 800km to 900km and is not one that you can tackle overnight. It requires months of training and preparation. As part of my goal setting, I acquired a specialist mountain biking coach to assist me with a Cape Epic-specific training programme.
Next, I had to ensure that I had the necessary equipment, which includes a bike, cycling equipment and cycling nutrition. Then, the most important part of the execution was to set aside the time to train.
With my current goal, I am training six days a week. To ensure I get through all my training sessions in a week, I diarise them. Once they are in my diary, everything else gets booked around them.
I don’t prioritise training over everything else, I just treat it as a meeting in my diary. With that, I have been successful so far with executing the plans set out in my initial goal-setting session and my training programme.
Goal-setting helps to align your focus on whatever you want to achieve. It also helps you manage yourself and measure your improvement or success. Another personal example I can share is from just over a year ago: I had two challenges at hand and needed a solution.
The first was a digestive challenge because I experienced regular constipation and digestive tract problems. The second was a sudden increase in cellulite in my thighs. I assessed the steps I could take to help me deal with these challenges. I concluded that a change in diet was imperative. I then decided to explore a vegetarian diet for three months to see whether a change would occur. I started following various vegetarian groups online for meal ideas.
Hard lockdown helped a great deal because I had all the time to try out all kinds of meals and found my favourites.
The most important part is its execution. I can tell you now that 12 months later, I am still following a vegetarian diet, my digestive system thanks me on a daily basis and the cellulite around my
thighs has diminished considerably. So, simply put: when you have a challenge ahead of you, sit down and make plans on how to solve it.
There is a quote that says, “failing to plan is planning to fail”, so it’s best you put plans in place with goal-setting. Nothing beats a plan and a person who is determined to execute it.
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