by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
Not everyone is willing to get in shape or even step on a bodybuilding stage. But if you are, you should document everything.
What am I getting at here? No, I’m not telling you to toss all your money into a video and production crew to follow you around, but document everything you do on your phone. This means taking pictures, videos, writing articles to post online, and simply documenting the journey.
Why am I saying this? It seems like a chore, right? I mean, life is busy as is. Who has time to start documenting their journey to the stage or their weight loss transformation? Well, you should. After all, you probably spend hour upon hour scrolling through your social media feed looking at people’s lives who you don’t even know.
So, why does it sound out of the question for you to document everything and share it online through whatever platform you choose?
Let me put things into perspective as to why I’m telling you to document everything. Here are some reasons why you should be documenting your journey, success, and even the moments you think aren’t anything special.
How many times did you want to give up? How many times have you already? More than you’d care to admit? You’re not alone. The good news is that you’re holding yourself accountable for reaching your goals when you document everything. And taking things up a notch is posting it online via social media, your website, doing a podcast, or YouTube video, journaling about it in an article that you can post online, or even writing a book.
All of this adds up to something that I’ll touch on at the end of this article, but personal accountability is where most people fail and toss in the towel. There are days you don’t want to show up at the gym. There are days you don’t want to eat clean and just want to sit in front of the television with a half-gallon of ice cream and a spoon. There are days you want to sleep in and skip your cardio session. This is all normal stuff. But when you document everything, it gives you a reason to show up every day because it’s part of the process now.
Check Your Progress
That which doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done. I couldn’t tell you which smart individual was quoted saying this, but it’s true. If you want to succeed in your weight loss journey or on a bodybuilding stage, you should document everything so that you can compare where you are today to where you were 30 days prior, 60 days, 90 days, a year ago, etc.
Far too many people give up because they don’t feel like they’re seeing the progress they hoped for, when in reality, they’re making significant progress — it’s just they see themselves every day, so those incremental changes that are taking place get lost because you see yourself every day. It’s no different than going through the process and seeing someone you haven’t been with in nearly a year, and they tell you how great you look (they can see it because the before and after progress is a full year apart).
So, document everything so that you have things to compare yourself against. Sure, it’s you versus you, but that’s how it should be. Don’t compare yourself to others.
Leave Something for Your Future Generations to See (the MOST Important!)
This is by far the most important, in my opinion. Everything you are doing above, when I mention to document everything, is leading up to this last and final piece of the puzzle. I truly believe that no one has thought about this, and when it hits them, it’s going to be like a lightbulb turned on above their head. Or at least it should if you want to have kids, already have them, or are old enough to have gone through that entire process already.
Where am I going with this? It’s about you and your legacy. The things you have done while on this earth. It’s the ability for generations that come after you to know who you are, what you look like, what your voice sounds like, the things you’ve accomplished, the topics you’ve spoken about, etc. Imagine being able to pull up pictures, videos, and audio of your great, great grandfather and getting to know who he was since you never met him. That would be profound.
People on YouTube may be striving to become a YouTube sensation, but I wonder if they ever stopped to think that their great, great, great, grandkids one day will be able to go online and watch their videos and understand who they were and what they were about?
How cool is that? Honestly. It’s why I look at what I do as a writer, the podcasts I’ve done and been a part of, and the YouTube videos I’ve put out as a way to document everything. Family members who will come long after I die will be able to look up their family’s history and come to the stuff I’ve published. My books will outlive me, my kids, their kids, etc. They’ll make an impact long after I’m in the ground.
Document everything and have something that future generations can find and learn about. Think about Ronnie Coleman as an example. His kids know who he is, but the reality is that we all die. What if his great-grandkids never get to meet him? Will they ever know the man who won eight Olympia titles? Will they know the name behind the supplement brand? These things will outlive him, and because he was able to document everything, future generations get to see not only who he was but also the passion in his voice when he spoke in various YouTube videos.
When you document everything, it has the ability to change not only your life but generations to come.