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