The Health And Fitness Audit: 15 Questions You Must Know in Order to Succeed in Fitness

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” — Malcolm X

The Health And Fitness Audit: 15 Questions You Must Know in Order to Succeed in Fitness

When you think of the word audit, you’re probably directing your attention to the world of accounting and finance. However, audits exist outside of accounting and finance.

Audits exist in sports and politics to name a few among many.

Sports teams routinely assess the state of their organization and individual players by analyzing various key metrics. They investigate these metrics and based on the numbers, they make adjustments to give themselves a better chance of winning.

In politics (a sometimes interesting but unfortunate subject that divides people), auditing is used on the campaign trail among many other areas to effectively improve the specific parties mission.

It’s safe to say that auditing is a powerful force that deserves a spot at each of our tables. When it comes to fitness, auditing is critical since it’ll provide more clarity and awareness to your current endeavors.

Here’s an example of some fitness auditing: we all have 168 hours in a week. At the extreme end, work and the commute are costing you 14 hours a day Monday-Friday. There’s weekly sleep which costs you 56 hours (8 hours a night).

From these two things, you’re paying 126 hours. Plenty of time for family, exercise, errands, and other extracurricular activities. By auditing your time, you’ll discover that you have 42 hours to play with. With this approach, squeezing in three to four hours at the gym doesn’t seem impossible now.

This is just one example of auditing. There’s a deeper level you can go with your auditing that will help you develop clarity about your true commitment to health and fitness. Below is a health and fitness audit, consisting of 15 questions that you must know in order to succeed long term.

Take some time to answer the questions and below the questions are a print off with the 15 questions as well.

1. Do you know why you want to change?

You must know yourself and how you personally operate. What makes you tick? What truly motivates you to want to change your health and fitness?

What’re the benefits to swinging the health paradigm in your life?

I want to lose weight isn’t good enough. Why do you want to lose this weight?

Discovering your “why” is your most powerful weapon to staying the course with your commitment to fitness. Be specific and have zero judgment for whatever your answer is.

2. Do you know exactly what you need to be, and do, in order to achieve your desired fitness goal?

What type of traits and identity must you adapt to achieve the fitness goal that you want? For me, I had to become the person who didn’t feel guilty for saying “no” to friends and family when offered food that didn’t fit with my goals.

I had to become the guy who took action (small steps often times) despite how I felt in that current moment or when the inner chatter of self-doubt made an appearance.

Look at your habits and think what kind of person and actions are needed to reach that goal that you want?

What will you give up, everything has a cost attached to it. To really create my desired body, I prioritized sleep over partying and aiming for perfect attendance at every social extravaganza.

Know your costs and be okay with it and you won’t have any unforeseen friction down the line.

3. Do you have a health and fitness mission statement?

For me, I have the mission of the AFL, which is to help busy individuals and companies maximize their performance and impact in this world through simple changes in their health routines.

Working out and feeding my body quality nutrients isn’t just about me and my outside appearance. It’s a deeper purpose now which is to help me stay cognitively sharp and to help bring out the best in my capabilities so I can serve others to the best of my abilities.

What about you? Write your health and fitness mission statement out on a card and keep it with you at all times. When indulgences arrive, it’s a simple perspective of assessing whether this action expands or constricts your mission.

4. Do you have a crystal clear one-year goal that you can clearly explain?

Let’s take a brief trip down “woo woo land” for a minute. You can’t expect the universe to open doors and create opportunities for you if don’t even know what you want.

When you aren’t specific with your goals, you leave room for uncertainty and for other miscellaneous “things” to occupy space in your vision. Don’t fall into the trap of achieving and doing only to find yourself down a road you don’t even want to be on.

biking down the road—health and fitness audit
Make sure you’re riding down a path that you want to be on.

5. Have you broken that one-year goal into quarterly goals?

One year is a long time for now. It’s better and more soothing to your mental state to break that macro goal down into micro goals so you can build up momentum. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds over the next year, then setting goals in 5-pound increments is a great approach.

6. Have you broken your goals into small and manageable daily actions that lead to your end-goal?

Setting goals can bring a rush of blood to your head that leaves you feeling great, but taking action is the only way to make those goals a reality. I recommend aiming to complete a few critical tasks each day that places you closer to your one-year goal as well as moving you to complete your quarterly goal.

For example, you want to lose 20 pounds in a year. Five pounds is the quarterly goal. Your daily goals could be some form of exercising for 45-60 minutes daily, in bed before 11 pm, eating four complete meals each day, and add something socially to balance you out.

7. Do you have a morning routine suited specifically to your needs?

How you start the day plays a pivotal role in dictating the flow of your day from both an energy and performance standpoint.

8. Do you have a weekly plan for how you’re going to eat that fits with work?

Many of us are “time-crunched” during the week due to work demands and other various responsibilities. With that said, it’s highly important that you have a game plan for your nutrition during the week because when you’re caught off-guard,  impulsive decisions follow along with other areas of compliance dropping.

The weekends are a little easier for nutrition. Therefore, on each Sunday, plan for the work week. Where will you eat your meals? Are you meal prepping, using a meal delivery service, or developing a uniform style of eating throughout the week where you relatively eat the same thing each day.

9. Do you know your workout days and what you’re doing each session?

It’s important to treat and schedule your workouts just as you would a doctors appointment and important business meetings. This is psychologically signaling that this event is the highest of priority along with decreasing the chances of you making excuses for why you can’t work out due to time among many other excuses.

Schedule your workout days at the beginning of the week and also know what you’re going to do each session to maximize time and effectiveness.

10. What are you doing to ensure you get optimal sleep nightly?

Sleep is the most important element to maximizing your performance and impact in the world along with transforming your body.

The majority of people know that sleep is important, but through overwhelm, lack of time management and distractions, people fall short with consistent high-quality sleep.

Your goal is to develop a routine 60 minutes out from bed to help signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep. Some of the essential habits include placing a curfew on electronics.

11. Whats your biggest obstacle to succeeding?

Knowing your chock holds is critical because it lets you plan for them in advance.

In recent years, my biggest chock hold was properly allowing space for rest and recovery. I didn’t set boundaries and would let others slide into my recharging time.

What about you?

Identify two–three obstacles that could stop you from succeeding?

12. Once you know your obstacles, what’s your plan to attack and defeat those obstacles?

Knowing is one thing, but actively taking action is another thing. Clearly, define a few measures that you’re going to use to defeat and prevent those obstacles and chock holds from sabotaging your goals.

strategy — health and fitness audit
All victories start with a plan.

13. What are you doing to mentally & emotionally prepare to change?

We all most likely want to change and improve certain areas of our life. But, are you really committed to undergoing change? And, do you understand the price and pain required to change?

Changing and transforming starts with leveling up your mental and emotional fitness. Neglecting to only change the external world without the internal is setting yourself up for self-sabotaging at some point down the road.

Take some time to think and realize what you will need to change in your core existing identity to become the type of person who achieves the goals that you’re striving for.

Are you okay with the necessary sacrifices and are you willing to do it?

14. Do you have some form of accountability and support?

No one succeeds in this world on their own. I have to remind myself of this at times because I still have difficulty in adhering to this principle.

It’s tough to ask for help and support, but we all need it. Assess your circle and community, do you have a few people you can rely on for help toward those new goals of yours?

15. If yes to number 14, then who is it and how are they helping?

Be specific with how you want them to help contribute to your mission. Will you have workout partners, accountability partners to check in with you weekly, or someone to routinely provide the necessary tough love to keep you going?

If you rather have a print off of the questions to answer on your own time or refer back to, download this free infographic below.

The Health & Fitness Audit

Which Pain Do You Want in Fitness? The One of Struggle or Growth?

“There are always two choices. Two paths to take. One is easy. And its only reward is that it’s easy.” —Unknown

Which Pain Do You Want in Fitness? The One of Struggle or Growth?— cost to our health

Ralph Waldo Emerson explains in the law of compensation that “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”

Also in his journal dated back to the ancient times of 1826, he wrote that “the whole of what we know is a system compensation. Every defect in one manner is made up in another. Every suffering is rewarded; every sacrifice is made up; every debt is paid.”

There’s a domino effect taking place that alters the trajectory of your life, based upon the next immediate decision you make.

Whoa…that’s a little deep…but it’s the truth and a fact that needs to stay top of mind as we navigate the waters of life.

The more we put off decisions that we know is enriching for our lives, the more pain we’re causing ourselves and to some extent, the more pain we are causing to those in our lives and in the world who could use our gifts and help if we weren’t procrastinating.

This leads me into the world of health and fitness.

Often times, health is preached in simplistic terms such as losing body fat, seeing your abs, and other superficial metrics. Those are certainly motivating factors, but it’s important to realize that health is a much deeper and an expensive investment than is portrayed on a mainstream surface.

There’s a cost to our health. There’s also an accompanying pain with our health. It can be the pain of struggle or the pain of growth. Which direction that pain heads in is determined by the quality of your decisions.

In today’s microwave generation society, we often choose the immediate payout option. Taking $100 now instead of holding off for the big payout down the road. Taking the so-so relationship to avoid being alone instead of holding off for the mind-blowing-enriching relationships. And lastly, taking the get-quick fit option instead of holding off for the sustainable and long-lasting solution down the road.

And of course, there’s a cost to pay for those decisions. Instead of having some money developed in the long run from being patient, there’s debt, worry, and struggle with finances. The so-so relationship causes pain and agony down the road while having you potentially miss out on someone who was perfect for you had you just waited. Instead of having a healthy metabolism and body weight, weight gained returned along with a dip in confidence due to opting for the dietary shortcut.

There’s always an associated pain. Choose the pain that provides a positive and more beneficial ROI to your life.

If you don’t workout and eat nutrient rich foods, you’ll still experience soreness through disease, inflammation, lack of movement (gravity won’t be kind to you), obesity, and other metabolic issues from not treating your body properly.

Keep this in mind, you’re never avoiding pain, you’re swapping it out for another type of pain that doesn’t serve you in the long run.

On the contrary, if you do workout and eat nutrient rich foods, you’ll still experience a soreness and level of discomfort through muscle fibers tearing down from workout sessions that will be strengthened through committing to sleep and making healthy food decisions instead of opting for convenient junk foods. By treating your body like a premium investment, you’re going to have a stronger and richer asset down the road.

By treating your body like a premium investment, you’re going to have a stronger and richer asset down the road.

Why do we often choose the wrong type of pain

No one deliberately chooses the option that leads to more struggle, disease, and pain down the road. I know there is the masochist in this world, but deliberately choosing this would bring that to an entirely different level.

Instead, people choose this type of pain because it’s far easier than choosing the alternate path of pain. It’s easier to choose this type of pain because you’re familiar with that type of pain that leads to struggle because that’s most likely the narrative and stories that you’ve told yourself over and over throughout the years (along with the environment conditioning you as well).

Attempting to choose the unfamiliar over the familiar is tough because our brain is conditioned to keep us safe and comfortable.

With nutrition, attempting to change your eating could be tough. Not because you don’t know the difference between choosing broccoli over wings and cakes, but because of the stories attached to those wings and cakes.

Those wings could be the weekend activities that you have with friends while socializing over the sports game. Those cakes could be bonding time between family and friends and you don’t want to be rude or break tradition.

The stories you have over various situations in life will keep you unhealthy and in “struggle mode” if you don’t actively make the effort and choice to endure the pain by rewriting those narratives.

Cakes, wings, inactivity and not saying “no” more often brings a negligence to your well-being which you have to pay later down the road—nothing is free in this world.

You can pay now for some minor pain of saying “no” and not succumbing to peer pressure. Or you can wait and pay later with compounding interest down the road.

cost to our health
Which path will you follow?

Here are 3 popular scenarios to reframe from the pain of struggle to the pain of growth

1. The pain of playing the victim — It’s easy to fall into this type by default. This could be a financial struggle, a relationship struggle, a fitness struggle, and you don’t even know you’re doing it because you’re choosing to play the victim and let setbacks define you presently.

Bad things, uncomfortable things, and obstacles happen to us all. The key lies within your resiliency and how you choose to respond.

Narratives such as “it’s not fair”, “they have this advantage”, “my genetics hold me back”, and “I don’t have time” are excuses and narratives that allow you to get off from taking responsibility. Worst of all, playing the victim transfers all the power to the external sources which dampen your potential.

Counter-attack to the pain of playing the victim — What if you quit letting the inner critic reign free in your mind without questioning those thoughts? What if you stop giving your power away to external sources and instead took responsibility from making things happen while letting go of scarcity thinking?

This counter-attack brings the pain of accepting responsibility and realizing that your health is one-hundred percent in your control. There’s pain with this because if you fall short and don’t follow through, it’s no one’s fault but yours.

Will you accept the pain of total ownership?

2. The pain of not reaching your potential — You know you’re capable of losing weight, building muscle, and running that marathon. But, you never seem to do it. Close but no cigar is the theme running rampant inside your head. You start, achieve a little, but never seem to follow through for the entirety of the project and goal.

Counter-attack to the pain of not reaching your potential — What if you choose to endure no matter what and be willing to suck for however long until you flipped the switch and became more skillful? What if you committed to having the pain of discomfort and not give up so soon?

Meal prepping, learning how to eat healthy while at restaurants, hitting your macros, not letting your emotions dictate your nutritional decisions are all acquired skills that only develop through commitment and repetition. Weight lifting, losing body fat, running marathons are acquired skills that only develop through commitment and repetition through continual practice.

It will be uncomfortable and not pleasant often times, but the ROI of sticking with developing those much-needed skills for a healthy life sound much better than the ROI of diseases, illnesses, and other issues that decrease your quality of life.

3. The pain of self-judging — You know you can do more and even deserve better. But it’s not panning out that way in your life. Therefore, you get down on yourself and start to beat yourself up more about your lack of success.

Counter attack to the pain of self-judging — Trade the pain of self-judging for more compassion and stepping outside of your comfort zone while stepping into your power. Have the compassion to realize you’re not perfect and small daily improvements are all that’s needed. But also have the courage and awareness to realize that without stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying new things, you’ll always judge yourself for not reaching your goals.

Today, not tomorrow is a great day to start making your daily decisions count more and bring a better ROI to your life.

The Life-Changing Magic of Morning Workouts (Plus 4 Habits to Become a Morning Person)

The Life-Changing Magic of Morning Workouts (Plus 5 Habits to Become a Morning Person)

For nearly the entirety of my existence on this earth, I and mornings (and especially morning workouts) didn’t get along. My mood was sporadic.

But, attempting to grow a company, grow a movement, grow as a man, and grow in many other areas of life required that I quit having daily sleep-ins (10 am-noon wake-up times).

Before I go any further, I’m well aware that there are many people in the world who are successful, fit, and wake up late. But that wasn’t working for me. I needed to get out of my comfort zone and quit operating out of an old narrative.

Lastly, my productivity, mood, and growth in business weren’t where I wanted it to be. As Einstein reminds us, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

Your productivity, nutritional decisions, sleep behaviors, internal motivations, and quality of relationships are greatly affected by how you start the mornings (or the 1st quarter as I called it in my book Body Architect).

A successful morning puts you in the right frame of mind, which is executed through PCO (purpose, control, and optimism).

When you have more optimism in your life, you exude a radiant energy that is contagious and magnetic to those around you. An optimistic person will have more purpose to their day and life. And lastly, with more optimism and purpose comes greater control of your daily habits and behaviors.

One of the best ways to accomplish those three key attributes is through morning workouts. Morning workouts provide fuel for a stellar day (along with getting a myriad of health and mental benefits).

When you choose to get a morning sweat session, you’ll reap these seven benefits.

1. A natural mood booster

I can easily find myself down the neurotic highway while eventually making a wrong turn toward comparison highway along with running into larges congestions of procrastination.

Add all of this up and this becomes an unproductive day along with my well being taking one-too many jabs.

One of the things my therapist recommended to me was to take extreme ownership of my mornings and tightly guard it. You would think as someone ten+ years involved with health that I would always do this, but I’ve never given morning workouts a try for an extended period of time.

After a month, I noticed that as I went about my days, my mood and outlook on life were better. The quality of my work was better and I felt accomplished because I started the day off by crossing-off a big rock off my to-do list.

These effects aren’t a placebo I manifested inside my head. This positive effect on my mood happens due to exercising leading to the secretion of various neurotransmitters that promote mental clarity and greater emotional health and intelligence.

When you improve on those factors, you’re better equipped to handle the day.

Lastly, your mood is also improving due to you releasing endorphins from your physical activity. More endorphins given off translates to a more positive version of you.

2. Better focus as you head to work and get started with the day

Exercise has numerous benefits, but at the top of the list is the positive effects it has on your cognition. Through exercising, you’re improving your short and long term brain health.

More specifically, exercising helps to jump start your brain which helps with your working memory.

3. It’s hormonally beneficial

Testosterone is at its peak in the morning due to it replenishing during sleep along with the rest of your body resting since no physical activity, metabolizing food, sexy time activities, nor arduous mental work is going on.

Stay calm women.

As I mentioned numerous times, us men have double the amounts of testosterone circulating inside our bodies compared to women. Therefore, women aren’t going to pack on muscle at the rate and at the quantity as men.

Testosterone helps both men and women with their sex drive, muscle mass and bone density (osteoporosis affects many women), mood, quality of life, memory, thinking abilities, energy, and many more benefits.

bed — morning workouts
Change your life, body, mood, and health through sleeping

When it’s functioning optimally, the more efficient your body and health will be. Take advantage of this hormone peaking in the morning and commit to morning workouts.

4. Your metabolism gets a little boost

Besides optimizing your sleep and eating enough food to maintain a robust metabolism, exercising at peak times is the next best thing to help deliver a slight edge to your health.

Exercising at any time of the day naturally boosts your metabolic rate and leads to calorie burning long after the session due to EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption).

However, morning workouts provide some extra credit for your health.

Researchers at Brigham Young University found that people who workout in the morning end up being more active in general throughout the day along with burning an extra 190 calories 14 hours after exercising compared to those who didn’t (little pieces become big chunks over time).

5. It helps with compliance

Let’s be honest, one of the most difficult parts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is consistently exercising. This could be the act of stopping working or actually getting to the gym itself. However, morning workouts help increase the chances that you stay consistent with your exercising.

Morning workouts reduce your chances of making excuses for work, projects, and “not feeling like it”. The less you have to think about working out and using willpower to get to the gym later in the day, the higher your chances of succeeding with fitness.

Make your morning workouts first priority in the morning and get it done before getting lost in the day.

6. You’ll cultivate self-discipline & level up in other areas of life

I don’t have direct research to supports this idea. But I can speak from personal experience along with working with clients over the years. When people truly commit to embracing a healthier lifestyle, everything else in their life seems to exponentially grow and become greater for them.

One reason I believe this happens is that they learn extreme ownership and self-discipline. With more self-discipline comes more focus and clarity in your life.

This leads to higher quality work, being a better leader, and improving in relationships among many other avenues in life.

One of the best ways to build some mental calluses is to stop sleeping in and immediately start owning the day with a morning sweat session.

7. Your sleep improves

Want better sleep, workout earlier in the day.

A study had participants exercise at 7 am, 1 pm, or 7 pm three days per week. And to no surprise, it was the 7 am workout group who reported the deepest, longest, and highest quality sleep. The improved quality stems from being able to fall into deeper sleep cycles.

Late evening workouts have the opposite effect. After all, exercise is a form of stress and your body naturally reacts to stress by releasing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol—which keeps you alert.

Evening workouts boost your bodies temperature and stimulate the body, which makes falling asleep more difficult.

I understand due to scheduling and other logistical factors, evening workouts are the only option for some of you. If that’s the case, exercise and try to at least finish your lifting session a few hours before your estimated bed time.

Convinced about morning workouts, but how can you start to become a morning person?

It’s not easy for most and definitely wasn’t for me. There is a laundry list of things you can try to help yourself become a morning person, but these four factors below provided the biggest bang-for-the-buck for me when I made the transition to becoming a morning person.

1. Start sleeping smarter, better, and earlier

With that said, it’s imperative that you get to sleep earlier along with getting the proper quantity and quality of rest.

Getting quality sleep starts with establishing a sleep ritual 60-90 minutes before bed. One essential thing to do is to make an electronic cut off time 60 minutes before bed.

If you’re neurotic at times and have a lot on the brain, this can keep you up at night. I like to play relaxing music, journal and establish my key to-dos for the next day to eliminate feeling overwhelmed and disoriented the next day.

2. Place your alarm clock far away from you (and no snoozing)

You can have the best intentions, but if the alarm clock is within hands distance, you’ll most likely hit the snooze button because it’s earlier than you’re accustomed to.

Force yourself to get out of bed to hit the alarm clock. Less of a chance of actually going back to bed once you get out of bed.

alarm clock — morning workouts
Just say no to “snoozing”

3. Have your clothes laid out in front of you

In the early morning and especially when adopting new habits and behaviors, you want to make it as easy as possible to build the new habit. Also of importance is to rely as little on willpower as you can.

Reduce your decisions and save your brain power for tougher decisions that arise in the day. When you have your clothes laid out in front of you, it’s a no brainer to put them on. No thinking or deliberating required, just action taking with a healthier mind and body on the horizon.

4. Have your vision and mission in sight

Every single morning, I read my detailed vision of what I want out of life. The type of experiences, growth, contributions, people in my life, location, where I’m living, what I’m doing, and what I’m becoming. And of course,  how I want my body to perform, look, and feel.

Get specific here and don’t judge when writing this out. I don’t care if your present state is light years away from where you want to be in your vision.

Read this every single morning, let it soak in, and let this become your compass for daily decision making. Knowing how you want your health, body, and life to be in the future makes it a lot easier to get your butt in the gym.