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 are 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 now a deeper purpose, 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

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.

Stop With The Excuses and Start Taking Extreme Ownership of Your Health

extreme ownership of your health

 

It’s easy to blame the other person for being a bad partner. It’s easy to blame the job for your stress.

It’s easy to blame others for you not being where you want to be in life. It’s easy to blame your environment for your current woes. It’s easy to blame your diet.

But excuses don’t move your life forward. The only place you’re heading is to the losers mentality.

When it comes to destroying excuses, one of the best groups of people to look to for modeling a behavior and mindset is Navy Seals. Navy Seals are some of the highest performers in the world. Their high level of excellence is due to the commitment of extreme ownership.

What’s extreme ownership

Extreme Ownership is principles developed by co-authors Jocko Willink and Leif Babin of the book ‘Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win’.

Jocko Willink was the commander of Task Unit Bruiser and the most decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War. Leif Babin was one of his platoon commanders.

While these principles are explained through the context of war and teams, they are effective and highly applicable to your business, life, and health.

Extreme Ownership of your health is where you can’t blame products, your boss, your ex, your economy, your gym, your peers, your family, your social media environments, your physical environments, nor anything else for not taking action towards the things that are “important” to you.

You’re accountable for your success in health and fitness, along with everything else in life. While you can’t control the exact outcomes and timetables, you can control the process and actions that give you the best chance for success.

A true leader owns the outcome to the best of their extent. Things go wrong, you forget to do something, go off your plan, miss a workout, or go off your diet— then you take full ownership of it with no excuses.

As they explained in the book, Extreme Ownership is “on any team, in any organization, all responsibility for success and failure rest with the leader. The leader must own everything in his or her world. There is no one else to blame. The leader must acknowledge mistakes and admit failure, take ownership of them, and develop a plan to win.”

You’re the leader of your own life, business, and well being.

Here are 7 key principles to taking extreme ownership with your health.

1. Your attitude sets the tone

“The leader sets the tone for the entire team” — Leif Babin

While you’re not leading a team out to the battlefield, you’re leading yourself to the battlefield of life and maneuvering the various obstacles that life throws your way. Your attitude sets the tone for how you operate throughout the day.

Is it a setback that you fell short with your diet and fitness goals? Or is it merely feedback to help you get better and grow more as a person?

Someone with an extreme ownership attitude doesn’t leave something up to chance to change if they have the capability to change it. It’s not about what you preach, tell others, or share on social media. But instead, it’s about what you tolerate in your life.

What type of standards are you setting for your life? Are you accepting decent enough and moving on? Are you accepting partners that are alright and don’t light you up? But at least you aren’t alone—right?

If you approach life with a “decent enough mentality”, then you’ll get decent results. In other words, you’re going to be average.

In Bud’s class and seal qualification training, they dubbed a phrase “tortured genius”. No matter how obvious his or her failing, or how valid the criticism, the tortured genius accepts zero responsibility for mistakes, makes excuses, and blames everyone else for their failings and shortcomings.

Don’t be this person. Accept ownership and responsibility.

2. Check your ego

“Ego clouds and disrupts everything: the planning process, the ability to take good advice, and the ability to accept constructive criticism.” “When personal agendas become more important than the team and the overarching mission’s success, performance suffers and failure ensues.” — Jocko Willink

Ego can serve as your anchor to not achieving your business and health goals.

For example: Steve wants to lose weight and has tried numerous workouts from fitness magazines and the internet. He’s never stayed consistent and his metabolism has slowed down because of the various fad diets, detoxes, and workouts he’s tried.

Instead of taking extreme ownership of his health, he blames his weight gain on his stress, job, and lack of time. He says he knows how to get into shape, but he hasn’t actually ever done it. He’s not taking extreme ownership with his fitness because he refuses to take responsibility and continues to deflect blame. He’ll continue to be stuck and spin his wheels in neutral until he sets his ego aside and seeks out help.

This same type of thing happens to the girl who claims there are no good men and she continues to only find douchebags. She’s not taking extreme ownership that a big portion of her dating faults is because of herself and that she needs to work on herself and figure out why she’s attracting these types of guys.

finger pointing — extreme ownership of your health
The only finger pointing allowed is directed at yourself.

When it comes to ego, Ryan Holiday reminds us that:

“If you want to be more than a flash in the pan, you must be prepared to focus on the long term. We will learn that though we think big, we must act and live small in order to accomplish what we seek. Because we will be action and education focused, and forgo validation and status, our ambition will not be grandiose but iterative—one foot in front of the other, learning and growing and putting in the time.”

This is applicable to your health because if you want to shift the paradigm of your health for the long term, you have to focus on taking action, finding proper education, and doing the little (but essential) things on a daily basis which means letting go of the ego and preconceived notions.

Steve could take extreme ownership by signing up for a session with a trainer at his gym to learn about effective workouts, meet with a nutrition coach to learn about healthy eating, ask friends who have successfully lost weight, or decide to join my 1-on-1 comprehensive lifestyle coaching program.

Place your ego on the bench. Think about the next step required for changing your health and start taking extreme ownership of your health.

3. Cover and move

“In the seal teams, we taught teams to act decisively, my default setting should be aggressive. Proactive rather than reactive. Instead of the situation dictating our decisions, we dictated the situation. Departments and groups within the team must work together, depend on each there and understand who depends on them. Cover and move equal team work.” – Leif Babin

Wait and see doesn’t cut it. There is no try, only doing. The picture and journey will never be smooth sailing, there will always be risks and tough choices. Do your best to assess the situation (and cover the big risks) and move forward. Have a bias for action.

In fitness, front load your work and prepare ahead of time for potential difficulties and temptations.

Don’t try to control everything, only fixate on the big dominoes. This allows you to have room to live life with less stress and have more mental space to make the big decisions that truly move life forward.

4. The simpler, the sexier

Complexity equates to more risks and often unnecessary ones. Complexity is your enemy. The more complex, the more unknowns and variables which lead to higher likelihoods of quitting.

When it’s more difficulty, it’s harder to understand and not as easy to execute, which leads to higher percentages of quitting.

With your health and wellness, your nutrition should be as simple as possible, but yet highly effective. Think Pareto’s principle here (80/20). What are the big dominoes in your healthy eating plan that will yield the most in return?

A couple could be eating adequate amounts of protein with each meal, have 2-3 servings of vegetables with each meal, and eat 3-4 times per day. With exercise, it could be having a workout plan that consists mainly of the big compound lifts due to them using multiple muscle groups and causing more of a metabolic load/stress on the body. And thus leading to more calories burned in a shorter amount of time.

Lastly, another big domino to focus on is getting the proper amounts of sleep that are also high-quality sleep.

5. Set strict priorities and ruthlessly execute

“Even the most competent of leaders can be overwhelmed if they try to tackle multiple problems or a number of tasks simultaneously. The team will likely fail to each of those tasks. Instead, leaders must determine the highest propriety task and execute. Prioritize and execute.

On the battlefield, there will inevitably come a time when problems arise that have a snowball effect. These present themselves as a complex entity of their own. It’s in this type of high-stakes situation that it’s important to relax, look around and then make a decision.” — Leif Babin

The principles remain the same for your life, business, and well-being.

Do your best to stay a step or two ahead of the potential problem. But, when faced with multiple challenges in your life, identify the highest priorities and tackle those problems one at a time.

implement & action — extreme ownership of your health
Action…action…And more action is the name of the game.

Here’s a quick way to take extreme ownership of your health and set up a chain of priorities and execute:

  1. Evaluate/recognize the problem/issue causing the most issues or one that could be the biggest barrier to your goal
  2. Lay out a simple, clear, and concise plan in terms of the highest priority
  3. Develop and determine your solutions (don’t forget to seek help if needed—remember the ego)
  4. Focus all efforts and resources on that issue
  5. Move on once it’s resolved

6. Be decisive and steady regardless of the scenario

Not taking a choice nor making a move is a choice in itself and that’s called inaction (the worse of them all).

It’s important to be comfortable amid the chaos and act decisively amid the uncertainty around you. While not in a battlefield, you’ll encounter many variable factors on a daily basis that could cause disruption to your flow.

Don’t be wishy washy and flip flop back and forth with what you decide to do. Choose and move on regardless.

Pick a nutrition and workout plan and then execute ruthlessly. Stay the course and trust the process. Don’t go chasing shiny new objects or program hop each week, that’s how you stay stuck in mediocrity.

7. Discipline equals freedom

“Instead of making us more rigid and unable to improvise, this discipline actually made us more flexible, more adaptable, and more efficient. It allowed us to be creative. When we wanted to change plans midstream on an operation we didn’t have to recreate an entire plan. We had the freedom to work within the framework of our discipline procedures.”

Jocko Willink

Most people think of discipline as being strict, regimented, and for control freaks. At first glance, this might seem accurate, but in fact, it’s the opposite.

Discipline is the gateway to freedom, success, and the body that you desire. Discipline catapults you from good to great. You won’t become more rigid with discipline, but instead, more flexible.

This happens because you’re creating systems and processes that allow you to execute without having to reinvent the wheel or think of the basic tasks to do each and every day—you’re becoming more efficient.

Your systems created through discipline cover this and now your mind is free to focus on other important matters.

Ask yourself how can I use more discipline to create more freedom in my life. Is it creating systems with your nutrition, working out, groceries, cooking, business, or other facets?