How To Set Up For Success With Your Own Rules

meal plan micro-decisions overthinking physical fitness procrastination sleep schedule Jun 06, 2021
THS 40 | Set Up For Success

When you set up for success, it is not as simple as starting today and grinding all the way to your goal. It needs proper structure and strategy, and the best way to do that is by imposing simple rules upon yourself. That way, you can stay true to your objective and not let yourself be sidelined by your everyday concerns. Ryan Weeden explains how to create a clear path towards success by eliminating overthinking, which ultimately results in procrastination. He also dives deep into his own goal: attaining a fit physique. He talks about the rules he follows strictly, giving huge focus on what he eats, how he sleeps, and when he goes to the gym.


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How To Set Up For Success With Your Own Rules

It is week two on my quest to building HERO is what I’m calling this whole scenario of me trying to get in the best shape of my life, leading up to HERO. I know it’s going to take a lot longer than two and a half months but I still want to be able to stand up on that stage in August 2021 and feel good about myself. If I can look good naked, that’s a bonus. What I’m doing is I’m going to check in with you now on where I was and where I am now. I’m feeling pretty good. I’m focused on my nutrition and what I’m putting in my body.

I’m not so hardcore like some bodybuilder where I set aside twelve almonds and carry around a gallon of water with me. I’m always eating the perfect meal at the perfect time. I’m not like that. I’m not taking it to that extreme because I know that it’s going to cause me to have this total burnout. I don’t want to burn out. I want to create this lifestyle change but not something that I’m going to want to quit because it’s too hard and too taxing for where I am in life.

What I am doing is I’m trying to set myself up for success. I need to make my decisions very easy. By that, I mean when it’s time for me to work out even if I don’t want to work out. My shoes need to be closed. My bag needs to be packed. The gym needs to be close so that I don’t have to get in the car, drive 45 minutes, pack a bag and have all of these micro-decisions leading up to me stepping foot into the gym whether it is at a physical gym or in my garage.

I want to make sure that I can easily move into cooking that quick healthy meal. By that, I need to have healthy foods nearby. I want to make sure that, whatever I’m doing, I can do it very easily without thinking too much. We know that overthinking a lot of times leads to inaction. It’s called paralysis by analysis. We think so much about something that we don’t do anything about it. We get burned out by the thought of having to do something because we’re thinking about waiting for that perfect opportunity and moment to take action. The longer we wait, the more analysis we make, the less likely we are to take that action. I’m making the actions easy to take and taking a lot of the additional factors out of the equation. That way, if I want to work out, even if I don’t want to, I’ve got a pre-workout drink, a little bit of that extra liquid motivation we’ll call it to get me into the gym. My gym clothes are close to me. I can change quickly if I’m not already wearing my gym clothes.

The longer you wait, the less likely you are to actually take action.

My sleep schedule is a little bit wonky and it has been for several months. I say several months because that’s when we had our second child. Little Max is such a treat but he hasn’t been sleeping through the night for forever. There were a couple of nights that we got lucky. Maybe at month 3 or 4, he slept through most of the night. We’re like, “This is great.” It is happening so much faster than it did with our first one. It went back to the old schedule, which is every 2 to 3 hours. He’s up and needs to be fed.

Our sleep is continually thrust into this awakening, falling back asleep and feeding. It’s hard for us to get a full night’s sleep. What my wife and I have done to work with this and with each other so that we don’t both go crazy trying to figure out how to get enough sleep is we take different nights. For instance, since I work mostly during the week, Monday through Friday type of a schedule, she takes four nights a week. Those are her nights with Max to wake up, feed him, basically take over and charge through the next day on whatever rest she was able to get the night before.

It comes to me. I have three nights in a row, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. It doesn’t mean I won’t help out on other nights if she needs it or if she’s completely burned out from a tough week and vice-versa. That’s pretty much how we have set it up and it works well. As I move into my Mondays for my work week, I’m coming off of the tail end of getting 6 to 7 hours of sleep, If I’m lucky. I know this because I’ve been tracking my sleep. I do this so that I can start to understand how much sleep I am getting each night. This whole episode here is a quick check-in but I also want to talk about how to set yourself up for success no matter what you’re currently dealing with.

If you’re trying to get in shape like I am trying to get my body in shape, I’m also trying to get my mind in shape, the full package. I want to go up on stage on Hero and feel like my mind is clear. I feel smart, witty and funny. I also want to feel like I’ve got boatloads of energy and that my body represents somebody who is very well-conditioned. That’s what I want to portray up there to show that you can start anywhere in your life whether you’ve been doing this for years or getting started after some setbacks and health challenges, etc. No matter where you’re starting from, you can improve. That’s what this is all about. It’s not about being my best self ever up there. I feel like that is a continual journey through life, always trying to reach that next level. There is no end to that. It’s a continual process of trying to become your best self. I want to show that I’m better than I was when I first started and then I’m only going to get better. That is the goal.

THS 40 | Set Up For Success

Set yourself up for success when you have a big goal like this. My mission and goal is to get fit as F. I cursed in the last one. I don’t like to curse too often but let’s say get fit as fuck. I want to be up there on stage and people would be like, “Damn, I saw him a couple of months ago and he didn’t look terrible. He didn’t look bad. He had a dad bod but damn, those are some sick results in a short amount of time.” I want to do that and inspire people to show them that you can make a big change in a short amount of time if it’s only 2 to 2.5 months. I’m setting myself up for success. I know that I need to focus on my nutrition, what I put into my body and I also need to exercise a lot more religiously. How do I do this? It’s great to map it out and say like, “This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to work out more and eat better.” There’s a lot more to it than that.

Let’s start with the nutrition. It’s so easy when you’re working hard and your hungry to open up the cupboard and grab whatever is quick and toss it in your mouth. The chances of whatever you’re tossing in your mouth of it being healthy, it’s probably not going to be healthy and going to be some carb-rich, processed food that is going to want to store itself as fat. It’s something that you’re going to have to burn away later and make it even harder for you to achieve those physical goals that you want. Not only that, putting bad nutrition into your body. Our bodies are like Ferraris. We’ve got these incredible machines but we put the lowest octane into it. What we need to do is we need to start putting that premium gasoline into our bodies so that we can get the optimum results out of what we do, out of this machine that we have and that we’re driving around every single day.

We need to make sure that we have healthy snacks available at all times. We need to make sure that we meal plan as much as possible. I don’t plan out my meals because if I plan out on Wednesday, I’m going to have a tuna sandwich at lunch. What if I don’t want a tuna sandwich at lunch? What if I want to have chicken, something different, a beet salad or something? I love a good beet salad. You need to make sure that you have quick meals ready to go, quick snacks that are healthy and things that are going to be rich in protein, veggies and those natural carbohydrates. It’s very easy to go to the store once a week, grab a bunch of fruits and vegetables and maybe even set yourself up on a meal plan.

We have this meal plan and this isn’t an ad but if you haven’t tried HelloFresh, you’ve got to try it. It does require a little bit of cooking but they prepackage these meals for you. They give you these wonderful cards with instructions on how to cook them. Some of the meals take a little bit of time if you’re not an expert chef. I’m not the handiest in the kitchen so it does take me a little bit longer. Jeni can go in there, cook this great meal with the HelloFresh and have a nice, clean workspace. Where mine, I have stuff everywhere, onion rinds and shit all over the kitchen. She always walks in. She’s like, “What happened in here?” I said, “I’m cooking. Please leave. Don’t judge me. The meal will speak for itself.” I’m able to cook these restaurant-quality meals with this HelloFresh service. We have four meals coming to us each week. They are to die for and are incredible.

No matter where you’re starting from, you can improve.

I’ve tried other services like this and this is by far is my favorite one. It makes me enjoy cooking. It teaches me how to cook. That’s a whole different segue but to set yourself up, you need to know that you’re going to have a healthy breakfast and a healthy dinner. For somebody like a hairstylist or myself, entrepreneurs, we forget to eat. It is so important that we don’t forget to eat that when we do eat, we’re eating these protein-rich, healthy carbohydrate meals that will keep us fueled and they’ll feed our muscles as we’re training. Without that, we’re going to eat crap. If you eat a nice, healthy meal, it’s going to fill you up for a long time. You’re going to be less apt to reach for a snack because you’re not going to be hungry.

I’m also making sure I have plenty of water. I have meals planned in the sense like we have go-to meals ready to go at a moment’s notice, as well as water. I drink a lot of water. When I start to get hungry, I start to drink water. Sometimes I realize, “I’m not hungry. I’m just thirsty but I thought I was hungry.” Make sure you drink plenty of water. It’s working. It feels great. Sometimes it’s not another cup of coffee you need. It’s more water because water gives us energy too. It might not be the most delicious thing in the world to drink. Maybe give it a little bit of a lemon squeeze or something like that but drink more water. It’s worth it. When somebody asks you, “What’s your drink of choice?” Don’t say, “A gin martini with two olives.” Say, “Water.” Start to brainwash yourself a little bit until you start to believe it. Fake it until you make it a little bit. It’s going to give you that energy that you need and make you feel better and more recharged throughout the day.

Another thing I’m doing too is I want to make sure that it’s easy for me to get to the gym. To do this, I need to make sure that there are gyms close to me. I have a home gym but it’s not the easiest thing to do now because I go to work. Our MOB Studio is about 25 minutes away from my house. Working out at home is a lot trickier. I need to get out of my house because I can get trapped there. I got two beautiful kids that steal me away from me and my workday. As much as I want to spend time with them, I know how important it is for me to do what I need to do for myself and at work. If I stay home, sometimes I can get sucked in too long to playing and then I’m giving my kids and myself half attention. I want to make sure that I’m giving myself full attention, my Ryan time when I’m at my job or in the gym. When I’m done with that, I want to make sure that I’m giving my family and my kids full time. I don’t want to give this partial attention in any different way because it’s not going to be my full self. I’m not going to be able to give them everything that I want to give them or I would give myself.

The last is I’ve made some rules for myself as well. These are sticking pretty well. We have rules in the world and we like to stay within rules. Sometimes we like to break the rules but also, if we didn’t have rules, we wouldn’t have anything to base our actions on. I decided to give myself some rules. I gave myself two rules. I don’t want to suddenly have this whole scroll sheet of rules that are going to be so inundated with stuff that’s going to make me not want to do any of these rules or look at it and blow it off. I’ve done that before with mantras and things where I’m like, “I made twenty mantras for myself.” I have this entire list and then I’m like, “I don’t want to read any of these because it’s too long. It doesn’t inspire me anymore because it’s too strict.”

THS 40 | Set Up For Success

I have two rules now. I’m calling them Ryan’s rules. I only eat dessert on the weekends. Weekends are typically Friday and Saturday. If it’s a Sunday afternoon brunch or something and there’s a dessert, I can’t resist it or whatever. You can bend them a little bit. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, pretty much no dessert. I’m not perfect but having these types of rules is helping me think like, “It’s not a night for that.” Also, no drinking on a school night. That means no Wednesday afternoon bottles of wine. No more of that. Save that for the weekend.

I’ve already noticed the bloating starts to go away from times that it’s been a drink or two a day. For months, it was especially during COVID where it’s like, “Every day is like Groundhog Day.” What day is it anyway? Is it Monday? Is it Friday? I don’t know. Let’s drink. That was a tough fear. I got a lot accomplished but my health and fitness could have been better. I was drinking too much. By having this other rule, where I’m only drinking on the weekends as well. Dessert and alcohol are combined in that sense where it’s only going to be a weekend thing that I have to almost earn it. It’s like working for the weekend thing except I am enjoying my weeks but the weekend is when I can take some extra time and indulge. If I want to have a couple of beers or something then that’s fine on the weekends.

What was funny is that now that I started this whole building for HERO thing, I didn’t drink that much over the weekend. I had a beer and a half. It was Sunday. It was not a school night. It was a school day before so it didn’t count. If that says anything too about taking action and getting shit done, the GSD principle. I’m working a little bit then I’m going to go home and spend some quality time with my family. I wanted to make sure that I started this week off strong. I’m focused on fitness and my mental health. I’m getting the week started on the right foot. This is going to help. Even having this check-in, this accountability even though I don’t see you reading or see your responses to this, I appreciate your support.

Hold me accountable because it does help. I’ve got these rules. I’m trying to set myself up for success. I hope what I’m doing here and going forward is helping you too. If you have some big goals ahead, some HERO challenges that you are setting yourself up for success and that maybe even think about making some of these rules for yourself. Don’t go crazy with the rules. Start with 1 or 2, the whole dessert and no drinking only on the weekends, not on a school night. They’re combined so they go hand in hand. I’m not trying to remember too much stuff. It’s very easy. Even when I smoked pot, I’ll smoke pot on a Wednesday night. The kids go to bed and then I take a puff. I didn’t want any ice cream because I had told myself that’s breaking the rule. As much as I had those hunger pangs when you smoke, I didn’t want any.

What did I do? I had a protein shake instead. It’s this delicious protein shake but it is good for me. It’s what my muscles needed and I felt that was all that I wanted. It’s only been a week and I’m super excited about where I’m at. I feel strong and confident. I did get some sleep last night because it was Jeni’s night. She did not get much sleep. Shout out to Jeni for powering through. I’m going to get sleep. It’s very important to get sleep. We can do a whole other session on that. I’m learning more and more about it. If you don’t get enough sleep then you’re going to eat worse, feel worse and we all know you’re going to get less done. Your productivity is going to go downhill fast. Here I am, Building HERO Number Two. I’ll talk to you next episode. We’re also dropping some other shows with some interviews and things like that. I’ll be checking in with you up until HERO. We’ll see where I’m at and hopefully, I’m fit as fuck. Talk to you soon.

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