Reflect. Inspect. Progress.

Hi and welcome to another week,

Thanks to everyone who came and trained with us over the past month – as those close Facebook watchers would know, we managed to set a participation record for the month of February…more people completed a class (per day average) than any other month since we opened the gym in 2010.  2nd?  Feb 2017.  3rd?  Feb 2016.  4th?  October 2017.  5th?  Feb 2015.

What do all of those months have in common?  Well – they were challenge months of course…but more than that (‘cos technically every second month is a challenge month) they were the months for either the 28-days Later challenge (started in 2015) or the SUMMER SLAM (2017 was the first year) where we combine training and food in an ‘all out’ push to both lose a couple of kg’s AND lift our strength/conditioning…the challenge I face right now is finding ways to keep everyone as accountable and motivated in March as you all were in February.  Is that even possible?  Does it even matter what I say – does true ‘motivation’ really come from within?  I don’t even know – but I do know that whilst we get a lot of amazing outcomes with the challenge (more on that next week) and we apportion a lot of that to the dietary restrictions, when I look at the attendance numbers at least a portion of those results simply MUST be coming from the extra gym work…right?

Well, honestly…I don’t really know.  Not from ‘here’.  I think if I sat down with you and we talked our way through your outcomes AND your training, I could help you work it out whether what you have been doing – challenge or no challenge by the way – has been effective or in-effective.  Well I hope I could.  And you know what else?  I think if you sat back and had a really good think about things, you could actually work out what things have been effective for you over the past month/3-months/6-months/6-years!  And if you aren’t confident you would get the right answer, could I maybe suggest you think about the ‘Reflect – Inspect – Progress’ method of doing exactly that.

Before I keep going, I think I need to credit Brett Bartholomew and his awesome book ‘Conscious Coaching’.  The only issue with Bartholomew’s book is I have been using this little ‘Reflect – Inspect – Progress’ thing for a couple of years now and had totally forgotten where I got it from…trying to find the book in order to credit him today was a right pain in the bum!

With ‘Reflect – Inspect – Progress’ it is a pretty simple 3-step process that enables you to ‘take ownership’ of your own outcomes AND the plan to move forward.  It starts with ‘Reflection’  and that is all about ‘questioning’ – not questioning WHAT you did, but questioning what motivated you to get involved in the first place!

Now in his book Bartholomew talks about ‘REFLECT’ as reflecting on your life and the ‘key events’ that have made you who you are/have shaped you as a person.  Which is of course an awesome thing to do but that hasn’t been what I have been doing – I have been using it as a trigger to think ‘ON’ recent events/processes…particularly relating to the ‘WHYS’.  What was I doing and WHY.  How did I approach it and WHY.  This isn’t the time for assessing outcomes, but it is the time to be honest about your motivation.  If I drag it back to the challenge, it is important to acknowledge the REAL reason you participated – it might be to support the gym, it might be because you love that communal feeling participating brings, it might have been simply because you wanted to jump start some weight loss.  The only wrong answer is one that isn’t HONEST as that will make the next part almost IMPOSSIBLE.

After ‘REFLECT’ comes inspect.  At this time you look at the outcomes of the reflection process AND the outcomes of the activity side-by-side…hopefully at this time you can start to really see where things have either gone right (or wrong) during the period in question.  For example, if you were participating in the challenge primarily because one of your friends was – perhaps that is a good reason why the results you achieved weren’t QUITE what you thought they might have been.  Or MAYBE your entire goal was based on weight loss – and at the end you found you hadn’t lost much fat but muscle had dropped and weight loss was marginal – perhaps you were TOO strict on yourself with regards food intake.

Next (and last) comes PROGRESS.   I don’t want to say it is the most important step – after all, it isn’t possible to ‘PROGRESS’ if you haven’t gone through the ‘Reflect’ and ‘Inspect’ processes, BUT this is where you identify the next phase, where you figure out how to grow!  It is possible that you will need some help with this stage – none of us have unlimited skills and abilities in every part of life that enables us to develop an action plan..  You have been honest about the motivation, you have reviewed the process…but the results don’t match the effort!  When it is time for the PROGRESS step, that might be the time to get a bit of help from someone else – after all, all of the reflection and review in the world isn’t worth a thing if you don’t use that information to figure out the right NEXT step.

So that’s how to do it.  Reflect.  Inspect.  Progress.  And if you need help, ask for it…creating an action plan that WORKS is the only thing you want from this process!

Let me know if any of this sounds good (or not) with an email to Michael@round1fitness.com.au

See you in the gym,

Michael.