Goal Setting

Goal Setting – behaviour wellness programming

A story, or two – defining our goals and behaviours. 4 easy things and 24 other things that need to be covered to ensure maximum wellness.

A couple of nice little stories here;

Lion and the thorn

Mouse and the lion

A kindness is never wasted. Indeed, wise words.

Got me thinking. About inflammation and Christmas. As it is Christmas if you know someone who has inflammation or pain you could try them on metabolic optimiser and fish oil combination. The fish oil is still free by the way. Just put both in the cart.

It could be a little bit like the mouse taking the thorn out of the lion’s paw….

GOAL SETTING

Goal setting is one of my favourite subjects 

Ultimately getting healthier is about changing behaviours. Our behaviour is made up of collections of habits.

Reaching our goals normally means changing our habits. We are governed by our habits which define our behaviour.

Many people have quotes to the like – some I like are;

First, we make our habits, then our habits make us……

We are what we repeatedly do.

Actions speak louder than words.

Of course, at first, we need to be conscious of the need or desire to change. This ‘cycle of change’ or cycle of mastery starts with unconscious incompetence. You don’t know and you are unaware. This is the punch is a punch story in my amino man DNA. You can hit but you don’t know how. And so, on and so forth. Of course, you follow the ‘way’ until you become unconsciously competent. You don’t even know – you are mastering the move. Cause you practiced it so damn much.

A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush – woops, wrong subject (still I like that one too).

All goals need plans or maps in order for them to succeed.

If you don’t know where you are running to, then there’s no point in running fast on the wrong road……

Goals could be defined as favourable outcomes. Some are goals are purely outcome driven. Such as “I want to get married”.

For goals to be effective they need to be part of our core value structure. More on this in a minute. A core value is normally process driven rather than outcome driven. An example might be “I want to have a happy marriage” This is clearly different to just getting married (which you can do in Vegas quickly) , and will involve a number of daily habits and rituals as well as other behaviour and looks etc. Making a cup of tea each morning and smiling is a good start if you want to remain happily married. It takes thousands of cups of tea and smiles to keep a happy marriage.

If we place value on a goal, we’re more likely to adhere to the habits which maintain the status of the goal or situation. Also, as a process driven activity we can enjoy the journey. All too often we can become obsessed with the outcome, not enjoy the journey. And when we arrive – there may be insufficient reward. Leading to the ‘fade’ the goal which slowly reverts back to being unattainable as our old habits resume. We revert to our original character type.

Habits are hard to change. Here’s a couple more quote or phrases which we all know to be true;

“People don’t change”

“old habits die hard”

“A leopard doesn’t change its spots”

“you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”

Well Although I can see the logic in these as we see many people reverting to type – there are some higher learning behaviours and thought processes which can help us become well – just one of those funny leopards….. who can change.

Some of this relies on both metabolic and cognitive flexibility. I’m convinced that receptor cell sensitivity, neuroplasticity and adopting a flexible approach to life, learning, training and relationships can aid really positive behaviour changes.

Anyway, after a while you’ll be in a place which is the sweet spot. Somewhere which is offering you a balance between health, family, friends, hobbies, career and so on.

All the big rocks and things you value. Being equally supported by your behaviours and time priorities. Will this stay the same? Nope – not without updating, planning and reaffirming your goals, habits, activities and priorities on a daily and weekly basis.

You’ll also need to be very ready for curve balls and raptor attacks. These are circumstances or people who seek to jeopardise your structures, plans and adherence.

A great way to start off any behaviour changes or goal setting is lining up your big rocks and identifying them. This way you will know how to prioritise.

Mine are;

Family

Health / finances – so I can support the family above.

Hobbies / friends – ideally combined.

Next thing to think about is where will you be in relation to all these in 20 years time? Might be a very different place. Also think about where you are right now. Like a 1-10 with 10 being close to perfect and 1 being a long way from where you want to be.

A goal for many people is to make sure you are well enough to enjoy your later years whether this be in retirement or doing some other different type of activity as we get older.

Sometimes moving towards a new goal will be an alien place – a new place. For this to succeed and stick you will probably need to adopt new identity associated with the new you. You can begin new habits by actually beginning to behave like the type of person who already has those habits. What would that lean person do or order in this circumstance?

Rather than saying no – or making excuses, ask yourself what would you do, or say if you were the type of person that said YES to that new habit?

Don’t wait to get old and see what you will have to deal with except that you need to start now in order to enjoy a healthier older age.

An essential part of this is remaining well, devoid of disease and with good capabilities in terms of physical capacity and endurance. These are all the elements I focus on in my job as a nutritionist and trainer. Mapping out the years is also a good idea, this can be scary. Here’s my map; (I actually started writing this at 37! – you guessed it I’m already thinking I’m ten year younger than I am)! Corrected ‘map’ below. Where did the last 10 years go?

Age

47        51        56        61        66        71        76        81        86        91        96        101

48        52        57        62        67        72        77        82        87        92        97        102

49        53        58        63        68        73        78        83        88        93        98        103

50        54        59        64        69        74        79        84        89        94        99        104

            55        60        65        70        75        80        85        90        95        100      105

So where are you on your biological / chronological map? Knowing if you need to work on anything is often a case of self-awareness. Testing capacity, bloods and strength and endurance progressions. Body composition and maintaining a normal body fat is also vital.

Now of course I don’t know if I’ll live to 105 – but it’s a good 20+ years on top of my grandparents and well projecting a positive outcome is a great way to stay young and live longer….. this points to couple of things.

  1. Death is inevitable
  2. Live your life to the full cause it’s short
  3. You will not have time then, or ‘one day’ – start now – make time now

So, find out what you might need to change or support. Define your goals and targets now according to your ‘big rocks’ and your ‘health rocks’.

Do this with your partner. Hopefully your lists won’t be too divergent.

Health rocks can be defined through DNA testing but have much more to do with the environment you create for yourself. DNA can tell you if you need to fill gaps in detox genes to stop cancer, make your methylation flow to prevent heart disease and dementia / Alzheimer’s and generally fine tune around greater risk areas. The environment is everything.

Cutting to the quick is a great idea with goals and getting away from adverse numbers or circumstances. I like the scene in breaking bad where Walter White is struggling with having to kill the drug dealer it’s early in the series. He lists all kinds of reasons why not – religious and otherwise. Then writes the line “if you don’t kill him, he’ll kill you and your whole family” 20 reasons why he shouldn’t kill him, one compelling reason why he should.

This is similar with numbers, raised BMI, body fat, raised insulin and glucose. High waist to hip ratio, blood pressure – “if you don’t do something diabetes or metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease will do” and it’ll do it in a handful (5 or less) of those 5 year brackets I listed above.

I’ve spoken about simple blood testing before and you can read about metabolic syndrome and so on the blog on the Amino Man website. Some simple tests can define how well your body is handling sugar and insulin.

Away from goals involve running away from unfavourable circumstances or numbers, say raised liver enzymes or metabolic syndrome risk factors. Towards goals involve accomplishing certain targets, say I want to achieve 10% body fat. An away from goal would be I don’t want to look fat in clothes, but this isn’t defined enough. It’s important to both note the moving away from adverse circumstances are as important as it getting towards clear lines and specific hurdles and accomplishments.

The goal fade is quicker when we run away and more defined when we aim to achieve. We’re less likely to fade once we set processes alongside our habits and goals. Goals also need to be S.M.A.R.T – you can google that. It amazes me on an almost daily basis how few people set the SMART goals properly around simple changes. We set business goals all the time, it’s rarer to set personal goals. Of course we need both.

Rules and standards need to be maintained to ensure proper order is fulfilled and stuck to after we hit our targets.

There are some really obvious things which impact longevity or rather avoid shortening your life too much in the middle early late years these are; 

  1. Not smoking
  2. Not drinking too much alcohol
  3. Eating loads of vegetables
  4. Exercising in fact getting really, really fit

Actually getting these wrong or right moves you from a 1:4 chance of early death to the 1:20…..that’s quite a powerful stat.

In fact, just getting really, really fit was recently shown to be one of the greatest habits you can adopt to predict healthy living into an older age. What does this mean? It basically means being able to run.

Get the weight off first if you are too heavy then start running – it’ll come off quicker when you do. Then run faster or up hill. Then you’ll probably live longer as long as getting there doesn’t kill you in the first place. J

Weights are good but you still need cardio.

Treadmill performances are something to build upon.

So, start your goals now. Map out your life. Identify your big rocks and fulfil your dreams.

Teach an old dog some new tricks.

Paint some new spots on the old leopard.

Ditch those old habits that might make you die hard.

Make some new habits and make a new you.

Take a thorn out of your paw and move forwards.

Here’s 24 things we need to consider in the nutrition and health spheres and areas I’ll be covering this coming year in blogs and articles.

  1. Digestion and assimilation.
  2. Fat storage mechanism.
  3. Fat burning mechanism.
  4. Muscle building process MPS.
  5. Muscle breakdown process.
  6. Energy production process. Mitochondria.
  7. Oxygen use + metabolic flexibility.
  8. Oxidative Stress.
  9. Inflammation and immune system function.
  10. Metabolic syndrome + diabetes.
  11. Liver Fat.
  12. Detoxification.
  13. Brain, Neurotransmitters and CNS.
  14. Hearts health and circulation including cholesterol controversy.
  15. Circadian Rhythm.
  16. Movement, exercise muscle fibre type.
  17. Happiness, positivity and forward thinking.
  18. Adrenal and stress system support.
  19. Bone, muscles, joints etc.
  20. Sex and reproduction.
  21. Creativity, play, family and community.
  22. Hydration and mineral status
  23. Hormones of youth e.g. GH / IGF1
  24. Biohacking DNA, bloods, hormones.

They also feature in my new book which is being written every day…. Slowly, slowly catchy that monkey…..

So, write down your bog rocks.

Write down where you want to be in relation to them in 20 years.

Work it back – start today.

Write down your route map your plan into action plan.

Start with the easy wins, the low hanging fruit.

Start now – don’t wait for the New Year.

Keep me posted.

Matt

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