It hurts me to say this -I know you are working your ass off- but you are failing miserably at on thing.
A few months ago, you could nearly lift the phone you are reading this on and now you are doing push ups, pull ups, dips, squats and perhaps even muscle ups.
Making all kinds of gains, mentally and physically.
Still, you feel like you are a weakling compared to all those athletes on youtube, instagram and facebook.
You almost feel like you’re wasting your time and that’s why you think about quitting, giving it all up.
Your motivation is leaking away, like water in a bucket filled with holes and the thought of that happening disappoints me, it really does.
After all, you’re leaps closer to where you where when you started working out. You know more about working out and healthy nutrition than all of your peers.
And you work just as hard as those ‘people you look up to’, sometimes even harder because you know you have some huge patches of ground to cover.
Believe it or not, but they look up to you too.
At least I do, not because I’m trying to kiss your ass. No, the real reason why I look up to you is because you are willing to go out there.
No excuses, all heart, all effort.
You just need to find a way to fill up those holes that are eating away at your motivation and discover how much you have really grown.
The Book Of Achievements
You need to carry it wherever you are.
Whenever you workout.
In the rain, in the snow or in the sun.
It’s going to be your best friend.
Motivating you whenever you feel down.
Telling you what to do if you are lost for workouts.
It’s your little ‘book of achievements’.
What You Need To Write In Your Book Of Achievements
The most important thing you need to write down in your book first are your goals for the coming year.
‘What do you want to achieve?’
Which cool moves should you be able to do within a 12 month period if you are realistic.
Give an exact number of repetitions or seconds.
For example: ‘By the end of this year (12-12-16) I want to be able to do 12 consecutive muscle ups’.
Write down at least 10 goals.
After that you write down your current weight and your goal weight and you are all set to go.
And write down 1 crazy thing you want to achieve this year, it should make you smile.
Based upon these 10 goals you start looking at the right routines.
‘What routines do you need to do to get these 12 muscle ups?’
How much reps, how often a week.
Write down your routines for the coming period to make sure you always have them with you.
Don’t use your phone.
Actually writing down stuff will help you remember it much better (source).
How To Motivate Yourself 101: Magic To Motivation
This is just as important as having goals.
And it’s essential for your motivation.
So read this carefully.
Before every training write down the exact date.
Write down what workout you are going to do and write down any additional notes, perhaps feelings.
Things you have done differently or stuff you have recently discovered.
After every training -no matter how short- write down the answer to this question: “What have I achieved during this workout?”.
It can be anything.
It can be you eating a bunch of bananas while hanging on 1 arm.
It can be doing an extra push up when you felt like you couldn’t.
It can be doing your first muscle up after 2 months of intense training.
WRITE IT DOWN.
Whenever you feel down or need some motivation, pick a few achievement pages in your book, read them.
And remind yourself of how far you have come.
Why This Works And The Simple Psychology Behind The Book
So you might think: “Well, I’m not going to get a book, I’ll use my phone”.
Or maybe you think: “Pfff, do I really need to write all that stuff down”.
Some of you might even think: “Rich haha, you really want me to keep some kind of diary”.
In case you are still reading this, here is why you need to set goals, celebrate your achievements and WRITE it down:
Increase Your Learning Quality
Studies show that when you actually write down stuff, it leads to higher quality learning, as writing is a better strategy to store and internalize ideas in the long haul (source).
So no phones, tablets, laptops or anything else.
Just plain old ink and some paper.
Change Your Brains Perception
More, research shows that an easy way to stay motivated and speed up your journey is by breaking down your big goals into mini-achievements.
By doing so you change your brains perception of the distance to your goal and you actually physically feel that you are moving towards it.
Additionally, you can actually make your brain think more positively by reminding yourself of how often you’ve succeeded in the past (source).
Wire Your Brain For Success
So this is the part where it gets weird.
Basically what you need to know is this: ‘There is a group of cells in your brain that work like Google, if you ask a question your brain looks through all your files and in your environment for and answer’.
Let’s say you ask yourself right now: “Where can I find some water?”, as you ask yourself this question your brain starts looking for places where you can find water.
The tap, a grocery store, your water bottle etc.
Whatever you focus on, your brain sees and all the other stuff just gets ignored (video with proof).
The same goes for writing down your goals.
As you write down those goals you start focusing your brain on achieving those goals.
You are more or less, ‘wiring your brain for your own success’.
As soon as you write down: ‘I want to get my first muscle up’, your brain starts looking for information, experimenting with stuff and you are setting yourself up for that first achievement.
That’s why you are reading this, because you at a certain point asked the question or set the goal: “I want to become better at calisthenics or how can I achieve a calisthenic like body?”.
You have wired your brain, you just don’t know it yet.
Am I freaking you out already?
In case you want to find out more about this, it’s referred to as the ‘Reticular Activating System’.
If your brain doesn’t know the answer…Google it and you brain will find the answer to your question ;).
Are You Ready To Hardwire Yourself For Results
If you could buy a $0.99 book that would allow you to increase your chances of achieving the results you want by 100% would you leave it laying on the shelves or would you use it?
Whatever your calisthenics dream is, its success depends on your motivation.
You know all too well that the work you put into your body doesn’t always pay off the way you want it to.
That’s why you forget to pay attention to all the ways it does.
Think about the time you achieved that first pull up, your first push up or that first muscle up.
Think about all the effort you put into it.
Then ask yourself if you are going to let all that effort go to waste.
Now you can always remind yourself of what you have done, of all the blood, sweat and tears you put into this.
Whenever your disappointments or feelings of failure start hijacking your brain, look at your achievements.
Punch some holes into your bucket of negativity.
And fix the holes in your bucket of positivity, because every failure brings you one step closer to your success.
Get a book of your own.
Open it. Look at the empty first page of your book of achievements.
And before you do anything else, write this down: “I promise myself, I will never give up”.
Beast mode ON!