There is so much information out there about ways to improve athletic performance but I think there are just a few basic principles that contribute 80-90% of the results that I’m after. Therefore, before I start any serious training I want to focus on the following five core foundational principles:
- Get adequate sleep
- Become a fat burning machine
- Incorporate low-level activity into my daily routine
- Work less than 50 hours a week and control stress
- Protect family time
Get Adequate Sleep:
This is an area I really need to make more of a priority. Most days during the week I get less than 7 hours of sleep and I know it takes a toll on my body, my mood, and my brain. When I’m tired I crave junk food, my mind feels sluggish, my self-discipline goes out the window, and I get really irritable. I have been hearing and reading a lot more about the importance of sleep. My goal is to get a minimum of 7.5 hours of sleep per night. I’ll need to figure out the best tool to track this for me as well.
Become a Fat Burning Machine:
I have already been following a mostly paleo/primal diet for nearly six months which has been life changing. Ever since I switched over to a lower carb and higher fat diet, my energy levels have been much more stable and I lost 3% body fat with no change in my lean muscle mass. That being said, there are still a lot of improvements I know I can make…particularly when it comes to alcohol.
Incorporate Low-Level Activity Into My Daily Routine:
In my mind, low-level activity (LLA) is different from exercise. LLA involves incorporating more movement into my routine (walking, taking the stairs, active commuting, etc.). This will help me maintain a base level of fitness without actually requiring me to spend any precious incremental time working out. My goal is to get a minimum of six hours of LLA each week.
Work Less Than 50 Hours and Control Stress:
This isn’t necessarily about working less but being more effective and productive when I am working. Effectively managing my inbox and focusing on only the most impactful work are going to be the critical success factors. Not allowing myself to work in the evening unless absolutely necessary is going to be a tough but welcome change for me.
Protect Family Time:
Having a supportive wife is going to be critical (maybe the most critical!). I have a tendency to get overly absorbed in work and personal interests so I need to do a better job of considering family time as sacred. I need to be more in the moment so the time we do have together is as good as it can be. After all…a happy wife equal a happy life.
I’ll write future posts about each principle, what I’ve learned and read about each topic, how I’m doing towards my goals, and tips & tricks that I’ve tried.
I would love to get your thoughts and suggestions!