“I’ll start on Monday.”
Many of you may repeat this phrase in your head and think it isn’t so bad because it just means the beginning of something new, right?
A fresh start.
A clean slate.
But I would disagree.
In most cases, I’d argue it actually signifies the end of something that already started.
In my case, it is the writing of this blog post and many other blog posts in the past.
I’ve already thought about writing this piece up until this point.
I've just been putting it off and putting it off, but as I continue to comfort myself, saying "oh, I'll get to it soon", I can tell this thought is slightly beginning to get out of control in my own head.
The thought has creeped and lurked around in the back of my mind since I finished my last article a few weeks ago.
It has currently been slithering around in my sub-conscious while I've avoided it by using my weapons of choice called “self-rationalization” and “productive procrastination”.
I've been using productive procrastination (cleaning, running errands, social media posts, and other shallow types of busy work) as my sword to wield through any thoughts of self-doubt from not actually doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Then, self-rationalization is close by in the form of a shield, protecting myself from the guilt that is slowly ensuing beneath the surface because I haven’t written anything yet.
Finally, the malevolent internal dragon of a thought, what was once just a tiny seed crawling through the back of my mind, finally has a chance to flourish itself in the most disguised reasoning of them all:
“It’s fine that I didn’t get it done, I got some other things done and it’s almost the weekend anyway.
I’ll start on Monday.”
The internal dragon has won, yet again, another battle between me and myself.
The worst part is this can go on for weeks, months, or even years.
Extended periods of time putting off things we know we should do immediately.
This is the exact reason why we should be afraid of uttering those four words.
We should be afraid because it portrays the idea in our mind that we have all the time in the world to accomplish things which are important to us.
Especially when it comes to our health and fitness goals, Jesus, those are the easiest to put off because the immediate gratification of doing one workout or eating healthy for one day is extremely dismal compared to the long-term benefits.
It’s totally okay to cheat on our diet when we know we can just start again on Monday.
Skipped a workout or five? Nah, don’t stress, it’s cool, just start again on Monday.
Started a new diet or exercise plan, only to get bored or fed up with it a few weeks later? No worries, you need to constantly switch things up anyway, right? Just start something new on Monday.
FUCK THAT, MAN.
That right there is why so many people look the exact same way (or worse) than last year and don’t understand that their constant starting and stopping of goals is what is causing them to not make progress, not because their plan (if they had one to begin with) is failing them.
Dieting hard for a few weeks, then not giving shit for a few weeks.
Training hard for a few weeks, then not giving a shit for a few weeks.
Do this and progress = almost zero.
On a graph, this is what it looks like:
It’s just so frustrating for me to see, as a coach, because I see how hard people are willing to work within those weeks that they’re motivated, only to come tumbling down when things don’t go as planned because of their lack of discipline and lack of preparation to adapt.
I want people to win.
I want you to win.
And because I want you to win so badly, I compiled this list of 4 ways to stop starting and finally slay that dragon within you.
#1 - Be tougher.
I got this one from Navy Seal Commander and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Jocko Willink.
I know there’s many of you who see this one and immediately dismiss it because you want a “tactic”.
You want me to tell you to “meal prep all week and make sure to get in your workout by 5AM so that you don’t have to worry about it during the rest of the day” instead of coming at your fucking face and telling you you aren’t trying hard enough.
Well, I’m sorry, this isn’t Men’s Health or People magazine. Yes, it's harsh, but I want to make sure you don't avoid the truth because I care about you making a change.
This community is for people who take ownership for when they screw up and always start inward FIRST, before looking at external sources of probable cause.
When that time comes where you’re tempted by pressure to go off track, immediately, in your head, “Be tougher.”
#2 Control Your Hunger and Cravings
I had a client recently who had an epiphany moment when I told him a way to overcome his binging issue (by the way, here comes your tactic).
He discussed with me it usually happens after work or late at night when it’s been a few hours since dinner.
After he told me this, I knew what it probably was.
He would eat lunch or dinner and then maybe 4 or 5 hours would pass and he would be surprised by his hunger levels.
It would be a long time since he had eaten and he didn’t have healthy foods readily available (or just didn’t feel like cooking), so he would procrastinate eating.
The time keeps passing and as his hunger starts to increase, his willpower to make healthy foods drastically decrease.
Finally, his stomach would be growling and he would be ravenously hungry. All of his willpower is completely out the window at this point and this is where the binge begins because he is willing to eat ANYTHING now.
So, to combat this issue, I told him he needs to start thinking ahead and controlling his hunger.
I sent him the scale below and told him he needs to stay around a 4 to 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.
I told him to make sure he always has 3 things:
Plenty of water close by (hunger can be disguised as dehydration)
To have some healthy low-calorie snacks available in his car or around his work-space (single bags of plain salted pretzels, single serving low-fat popcorn, beef jerky, fruits with peels, protein shakes/bars, etc.)
To make sure he keeps all of his “trigger” foods outside the house (chocolate, cookies, ice cream, etc.)
#3 Have a Workout Plan/Hire a Coach
The absolute sure-fire way to not progress in the gym is to go in blindly.
When people tell me they are intimidated of going to the gym and looking stupid, I empathize with them because I know it can be scary and daunting.
When I ask them why, though, they usually tell me it is because they don’t know what to do and don’t want to do something the wrong way and make a fool of themselves.
What is not understandable is that they failed to utilize one of the coolest websites in the world:
Try these out in search:
“Beginner workout program”
“Intermediate workout program”
Or, better than any of those random workouts you’re going to find, let me create one for you completely based around you and your goals just like I have for tons of my other clients who have seen great results.
It’s not necessarily that my workout programs are magical or anything special (although people DO seem to love them because they tell me constantly), it’s the fact that I hold them accountable so they have to do them.
That’s the number one reason I would recommend hiring a coach: it’s really easy to let yourself down by not reaching your goals, but when you’re held accountable by someone else it makes it much harder to let your shit slide because you have to report back to them.
If you don't believe me, here's a tweet from my homie/client, Alex, just recently:
Don’t wanna pay me for saving you time and holding you accountable?
Completely fine, I still love you.
However, I’ll go ahead and announce it here first - my next blog post is going to be about building your own workout plan in 5 easy steps and I’m gonna include tons of exercise videos and pictures and all kinds of cool stuff to make it as simple as possible to build your own effective workout plan.
If you want to make sure you don’t miss it, sign up here.
As the stupid cliche saying goes, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”
With that being said, let’s cover that final way to conquer the beast within (no, I don’t mean you going “beast mode”, bro).
#4 Prepare for the Weekend
See if this rings any bells.
Monday through Thursday: usually flawless execution on your goals.
Friday through Sunday: a shit show of you straggling to hang on to your self-worth.
It’s cool though, I’m here to help out because this is the number one reason for having a "case of the Monday’s" (fun fact: that was the orginal title of this blog post).
To understand why you’re messing up on the weekend, you need to look at how those days differ from the days you’re on top of the world and crushing your goals.
- Are you less busy than normal, so it’s causing you to eat more?
Go read a book or clean your room or go do something that isn’t oriented around food. Just keep yourself busy.
- Are you going out with friends and drinking?
No, I’m not going to tell you to stop doing that (unless your friends are unsupportive of your goals), but I am going to tell you to do a little planning ahead. If you’re going out to eat that night, eat mostly low calorie through protein and fruits/veggies in the beginning of the day so you can save more calories for dinner and drinks.
Note: Don’t be an asshole at dinner and order an appetizer and entree of all fried foods and then finish it off with cake and more alcohol because “you deserve it”. 1 night of overeating can screw up an entire week of dieting, see below.
Whatever it is that is keeping you from structuring your day exactly like the ones where you’re successful, make a plan BEFORE the weekend comes to overcome any obstacles that may come hurling your way.
A Final Note on Slaying the Dragon Within
I have a feeling there may be a few of you out here who have read this and you may be thinking I’ve been a little harsh and unforgiving.
I understand people make mistakes and it may be viewed that I’m portraying the “all-or-nothing” mentality and no fun ever.
That’s not the case at all.
You do you, pumpkin.
I just want you to make sure your actions back up your words.
If you’re happy with how things are going in life and enjoy drinking and binging every weekend, I will be the first one to down a Fireball shot with you or “cheers” with a glass of bourbon (being from Kentucky, bourbon is sacred).
If you’re sick of not making progress, you need to step the hell up and own your actions or lack thereof.
I just need you to remember one thing:
That dragon we slain will have relatives.
They will be bigger, stronger, and smarter because just as we have grown, so have they.
They will visit us every time we set out to do something meaningful.
But that’s okay, because next time - we will be ready.
Wait! Grab your free gift before you go.
Thank you so much for reading. If you've been looking for something new: I’ve created a FREE 30-Day Manual called Ultimate Physique Development that provides a 4-Week Training Plan, Nutrition Resource, & Supplement Guide. Just click the button below, tell me where to send it, and it’ll arrive in a crisp PDF file in about 60 seconds.