Achieve Goals with Metric Tracking

Achieve Goals with Metric Tracking

How do you know if you are on track with achieving your fitness goals?

Tracking metrics such as weight, body measurements and Personal Best achievements is a great way of measuring progress of achieving goals. In fact, without this essential component of a S.M.A.R.T goal, it is impossible to Measure progress or success in achieving your goal.

Tracking metrics has also been a great way for me to stay motivated. I made bold promises in my Dad Bod post, claiming to be on the verge of a total health transformation. It didn’t take long for me to forget those promises and my beer induced stomach protrusion continues to sustain it’s own gravity.

I decided I needed something more than relying on motivation alone to help shrink the gut and generally be fitter, healthier and happier. I wanted a visual representation of my progress. I’m a bonafide spreadsheet nerd, so naturally this called for one.

Download your Template

The spreadsheet I created allows me to see my improvement even though physical changes to my body aren’t yet visible. This works so well for me that I wanted to share the template with readers who are looking for a tool to keep motivated and track goal progress the template can be downloaded via the link below:

This template allows you to track physical measurements, running distance/pace and resistance training including PB’s. A sample of the spreadsheet can be found below:

Preview of the Physical Metric Tracking Spreadsheet

Tips for Tracking Physical Metrics

Below are some easy to follow instructions for tracking metrics which are also contained within the spreadsheet for reference:

  1. Remember, the number on the scales doesn’t tell the whole story. It is important to record a number of physical metrics to track your overall progress. Our bodies are complicated and weight alone isn’t an accurate measure of overall health/fitness.
  2. In addition to tracking metric measurements, take a front and side photo of yourself. This is a great visual measure of the changes your body goes through as you achieve your fitness goals. Insert this in your spread sheet for some extra motivation.
  3. Try to take physical measurements in the same position each time to ensure accuracy. You can even use features on your body to help, for example I use a mole on my right bicep as a marker for measurements.
  4. The spreadsheet is intended to be used as a tool for measuring progress of achieving your own fitness goals. Feel free to change it any way you see fit to suit yourself.
  5. Add a fortnightly reminder on your phone to take measurements and weight yourself. Weight especially fluctuates so much that if you weigh your self too frequently, it may be disheartening and is likely to be de-motivating.

Yes, nice to mole you–meet you! Nice to meet your mole! Don’t say mole.

Austin Powers, Goldmember

As always, if you have any pointers of your own to share or improvements to offer up for the spreadsheet template please feel free to share in the comments. Remember, Quintessential Dad is a community for sharing experiences and knowledge so we can become better blokes!

How to Overcome Gym Anxiety

How to Overcome Gym Anxiety

Of my many excuses to avoid fronting the gym for a workout, anxiety is my main deterrent. When I walk into the gym, everyone stops mid-workout to cast their judging eyes over my unfortunate Dad Bod and ill-fitting workout attire. At least that’s what my mind convinces me is happening.

Sound familiar?

It is a problem that a lot of blokes face. This could be due to a multitude of reasons including low self-esteem, the fear of being judged, or fear of failure. Not to mention the ever-present expectation on blokes to exhibit masculinity and confidence which seems to be amplified in a gym environment.

I have pondered ways to overcome anxious feelings in my preparations for starting a consistent gym routine and have come to the realisation that although the stigma remains, it should not prevent gym sessions. After all, everyone working out in the gym had to start from scratch at some point. In fact, I would wager most of the people in the gym are either feeling self-conscious or have felt anxious at some stage in their gym experience.

With this in mind, I have put together a list of techniques that I’ll be using to help manage my gym anxiety for the sake of improving my physical health and mindset.

Photo by Jelmer Assink on Unsplash

Develop a Program

Wandering around aimlessly in the gym is counterproductive when attempting to quench anxiety. Instead, I’m going in with a clear and simple program so I know exactly what I’m doing and don’t feel like a fish out of water. As advised by my gym-attending brother-in-law (who is built like a brick shit house), it is best for beginners to start with compound exercises which will work multiple muscle groups simultaneously and provide the most ‘bang for your buck’ in terms of results.

Timing is Everything

Google provides a nice little bar graph when you search for venues which allows you to see when it busy and quiet times. I am opting to go to the gym at a time that isn’t as busy (early in the morning) at least for a few weeks until I can build up some confidence.

Make it a Habit

Making gym workouts a regular part of my daily routine will not only be hugely beneficial for my health, but it will also help me become more comfortable in the gym environment. According to Charles Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit”, the habit loop involves a cue, routine and a reward. For me, the cue will be waking up, the routine will be going to the gym and completing a workout and the reward will simply be to document my progress (spreadsheet nerd alert).

Another key takeaway from the book for me was the importance of self-belief when developing a new habit. That is where the next section comes in.

Get Support

I will personally be drawing support from my wife. I don’t just mean encouragement and positive affirmation (although that would be nice) but working with her to share essential responsibilities and making sure I have time for the gym whilst ensuring she has time to work towards achieving her ambitions.

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Another important aspect of extinguishing anxiety is adhering to general gym etiquette. This includes sharing equipment, using a towel and cleaning sweat off machines and placing weights back on racks. It’s simple stuff but may help to avoid uncomfortable interactions.

Finally, keep in mind you are doing this for yourself. You pay your membership and have all of the same rights as anyone else using the gym.

Good luck!

References

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/arnold-schwarzenegger-quotes-bodybuilding-motivation-success

The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business. New York : Random House, 2012. Print. Duhigg, Charles.