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By Bruce Burke

*Last month, we focused on exercise and getting “back to basics” by reintroducing what safe, effective exercise looks like. Over the next four weeks, we are again going back to basics by focusing on “why” we desire to exercise and eat right, as well as how to develop an action plan and overcome roadblocks. Here’s a quick preview of what you’ll be hearing about throughout the month:

Week 1 (2/3): “Healthy and Happy”- This is your “why”.

Week 2 (2/10): “Blueprint for Success” – This is how you develop your plan

Week 3 (2/17): “We always have Choices” – How you address habit change and overcome roadblocks.

Week 4 (2/24): “Gratitude vs. Deprivation/Acceptance” – How you address habit change and overcome roadblocks.

Now that we all agree that being “healthy and happy” is essentially everyone’s endgame, how do we do it? How do we accomplish the somewhat less significant (but more challenging) fitness/nutrition goals that will lead to success? Much like we do with our long-term financial planning, we must create a roadmap to get there. Once we have the strategy in place, it becomes a simple matter of execution……but it isn’t always that simple! At One on One, we have created what we call the “Blueprint for Success” to map out the process.

The Blueprint for Success is a powerful tool that defines what we want to accomplish (our goals) and the action required to accomplish these goals.

Before creating your blueprint, carefully consider what you are truly willing to do to be successful. Remember, success breeds more success; it is the number one objective. With this in mind, consider your:

  • Goals (What you want to accomplish) Goal setting can be tricky. Create goals that stretch you, but, most importantly, are realistic. Oftentimes, we create goals/commitments that are perhaps too lofty and lend themselves to failure. This is a variable that you have complete control over. You must set yourself up for success from the very beginning by setting realistic and attainable goals. Be sure to assess your readiness to change as you create these goals.
  • Commitments (Strategies to get there) – Once goals are established, the next step is to create commitments (typically on a daily or weekly basis) that are manageable enough to ensure daily success, yet significant enough to move you closer to your goals. Remember, less is more. You are committing to 100% success.
  • Behaviors (What you are actually doing) Establishing well-intentioned goals and commitments are essentially meaningless if your behaviors don’t line up. This all-important step is about the daily “in the moment” choices that are either moving you closer to success, or further away. There are several strategies to help you stay on track, but it’s usually accountability that makes the difference.

Once you have considered what you want to accomplish and what you are willing to do to succeed, it should be committed to paper, becoming your “Blueprint for Success”.

Example Blueprint for Success

Goals: Improve overall fitness. Increase flexibility, strength, and stamina.
Commitments: 4x per week of formal exercise (1 personal training session per week and 3 other formal training sessions including a combination of small group training, indoor cycling, or independent training).

Accountability Strategy: Check in with my trainer at my weekly session about my progress and adherence to my exercise commitments.

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Your Blueprint is a “living” document

In order to be successful, your goals, commitments, and behaviors must always be in alignment. Otherwise, the Blueprint becomes disjointed (you want X, but are doing Y) and we start to get off track and frustrated. Although your overarching goals (healthy and happy) might not change, your process-related goals certainly will. In addition, your lifestyle, schedule and responsibilities are constantly changing. A commitment that was once easily met might no longer be possible. In addition, process related goals/commitments naturally run their course. What was meaningful and effective before will at some point cease to be so. Accordingly, you must regularly update your Blueprint.

Ultimately, success is an accumulation of making “in the moment” decisions that are in line with what we really want…our “top of the pyramid” goals. Unfortunately, we often let other, less meaningful issues sabotage our efforts. In our next two Focus Point’s , we will review strategies/perspectives to help ensure your Blueprint for Success breeds exactly that—success!