Death to ‘Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda’


Scratch weight.  End target is 31st Jan 2018.

Every day we are reminded how wonderful this world is.  And it may be cognitive but when I revealed the changes in thinking and focus last week, the universe has been sending me messages ever since that I may be on the right lines.

Consistently,  tweets, e-mails and Facebook messages have popped up to suggest that to achieve ‘success’ (synonymous with happiness, contentment, motivation, resolution, change or whatever you’re after), then a change of focus is required.  Focus is on process rather than goal orientation is the key.

I remember my first introduction to SMART goals years ago by my training manager at St Thomas’s Hospital Training Unit.  She came from the world of PriceWaterhouseCooper and seemed so shiny and corporate and professional.  (She also introduced me to ‘Never ASSUME, it makes an ASS out of U and ME’ – I was young, naïve and easily impressed apparently).  Alison was not destined to stay in the public sector for long.  The red tape drove her crazy and she buggered off back to PWC a couple of months later.  But, I’ve preached SMART and ASSUME ever since and pretty much applied them to everything I’ve done.

Now however, according to my various social media outlets, the current thinking is that there are better ways to achieve success.  The days of SMART are limited and focus on the actually process rather than the outcome is more de rigueur.  You can read more here (Do Lectures article) and here (James Clear article).

I accidentally stumbled across this a few weeks ago actually, and this mornings session with PT Peter provided a very neat example of how it applies…

For the last few weeks I’ve been working on the process of weight lifting.  I know that a significant limiting factor is the flexibility in my ankles.  I need flexible ankles to be able to complete the squat in both my clean and snatch.  So, rather than focusing on increasing the amount of weight on the bar, for the last four weeks I’ve been scheduling in a minute or so of calf stretching and squatting three or four times a day.  I’ve been diligent in executing it, deliberately picking times that I knew would happen regularly (eg when brushing my teeth).

I was successful in implementing the process.  I did it every day until I didn’t need to think about doing it to actually do it.    It had become habit.

Today I managed quite a few snatches which were technically much better than a few weeks ago. (What the hell is a snatch).  It was improved sufficiently enough that once or twice Pete nodded his head and did not offer technical suggestions.  As a measure of success that is a BIG one!

It also felt natural, easier somehow.   A side effect of creating the habit meant I didn’t have to think about the squat so could focus on just throwing the bar up.  I registered a huge improvement in four weeks (when concentrating on trying to increase weight to a specific goal, I made little progress in three years).

Although the above is an example of how it works.  My priority is now working on the process to effect weight loss.  As Pete explained this morning.  If  you are clinically obese and focus on eating clean, lifting weight and moving more, the inevitable consequence is weight loss.  When you say it like that, it sounds easy.  And as we learned last week, easy is the key to increased motivation.


About PT Nicky

I'm a girl in the world just trying to make 1% improvements everyday. I recently qualified as a Personal Trainer. I certainly don't fit the aesthetic of a PT and I wanted to demonstrate that ordinary people can achieve their hearts desire. Clean eating advocate with paleo leanings.
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1 Response to Death to ‘Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda’

  1. Lee the Pea says:

    Good stuff. One day at a time 🙂 xx

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