To take anything seriously you have to live and breathe it. You’ve heard it said so many times and it only makes sense, if you want to be the best at Brazilian Jiu-jitsu you need to spend hour upon hour training and studying other top competitors game. If you want to lose weight or gain size you have to learn about food and training, you need to learn from and listen to your body. If you want to learn Arabic in order to learn Islam from the Salaf you need to spend hours learning new words and the rules of the Arabic language as well as listening to the explanations of books from our scholars. Whatever you have passion for it will take time away from your daily schedule if you truly take the pursuit seriously.
In this post, I’d like to talk to you about the power of writing your journey down and how you can realise your potential faster by writing. My name is Hanif of CriterionFit.com, we help men achieve fitness goals and increase motivation and confidence in other aspects of life through fitness training. I currently study personal training and practise Brazilian Jiu-jitsu as a white belt. Islam is a focal point in my life and as a husband and father training in the gym and learning about nutrition have helped me better my health and that of my family. The Islamic approach to health, medicine and diet are aspects of daily living many people in the West are unaware of and I hope to share some of that knowledge with you as I continue to study the religion of Islam.
As I said, we will discuss how writing can benefit your fitness goals and it may sound like a time waste for many men but it works if you trust the process. Journaling and logging your training will help you to clearly define your short, medium and long-term goals. When you know the goal you can plan to achieve it within a suitable and realistic amount of time. It’s said if you fail to plan you plan to fail which probably has been written in gold somewhere. Setting targets can be very motivational and as you return and review your goals you will notice how close you are to the goal. It will also show you how far you have to go which can also be motivating once you learn to enjoy the training process since small steps lead to great places.
As a BJJ beginner, I hope to be training for a long time and starting journaling at such an early stage is me planting seeds I hope to benefit from in years to come. The sessions are hard and humbling, being submitted isn’t inevitable, meeting and making friends with the young and older the experience is worth writing down. The same goes for gym training! Hitting personal records, increasing endurance by running to that town you’ve not reached before and the like of that are all motivational and memorable.
When you look into and reflect upon what you have written down, over time, you will notice your strengths and weaknesses. It may be that you find cardio training hard at the incline and pace you’ve been going at or your bench press progress is weaker than your leg training progress. Noticing these things will help you to pick apart your training and rectify the issues so you keep on progressing. You may lack people around you that can keep you accountable and so writing your thoughts and achievements down will keep you on your toes to keep pushing, growing and learning.
When you fall upon hard sessions or lack that motivation your writings can become a source of focus so be mindful and truthful in what you write down, taking time to figure out what the last session made you feel. Looking back on your journaling will help you confront any weakness and bring about strength as you track your growth and change. Planning new goals and crossing off old ones is a great feeling and reflecting upon yourself is something we should all do to grow and understand ourselves, relationships and to help us in our purpose in existence.
You don’t need a fancy book to write in. Grab a piece of paper and let the notes take shape over time or use your mobile phone notes or voice recorder. Using a social media site like Twitter may also be the way for you and will surely keep you motivated as the world can also follow along as you progress. Try writing for a month and see if it benefits you, maybe you’ll warm to it and make it a regular habit just like most habits are formed, through repetition.
If you’re into Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and want to give journaling a go I’ve designed a book just for you [HERE]. 33 years into your training you’ll likely wish you started writing down your journey on the mat. The memories we have can become vague as we age but writing down has been the way of mankind for thousands of years so pick up a pen and chart your wins a day at a time.