I must make a confession:
I hate superhero movies.
I know that makes me pretty much “The Biggest Weirdo Ever” in today’s world full of comic book fanatics and Deadpool groupies.
I loved superheroes growing up, though.
I’ve always been a fan of Superman. After all, he was a “Super” man, right? Stronger than a locomotive, and faster than a speeding bullet.
Truth be told, I loved Clark Kent more than Superman.
Here was a man who went to work each day with a secret.
He knew who he was and he knew what he did behind the scenes, late at night, when someone was in trouble.
But during the day, he remained anonymous. Just add glasses, and he’s a beat reporter for The Daily Planet.
Just because you can’t fly around town in a tight spandex suit without being arrested doesn’t mean you can’t possess some super-human-like qualities.
There are Super-men and Super-women among us.
They are no different than you and I.
And we can learn how to harness their superhuman behavior, we can use it to change our lives for the better.
Superheroes or Regular Folks?
When we think of Superheroes, we think of your classical, muscular, lean physique.
Case in point, Superman:
While Clark Kent may be able to hide his gains underneath his button-down oxford, Superman is another story altogether.
Assuming Superman is natty, he’s got quite the appearance.
Thick pecs, defined arms, meaty forearms, and a full 8-pack.
I don’t know about you, but I would be checking Superman’s locker for signs of assistance.
Maybe it would be genetically impossible for you to look like Superman. Hell, this is an artist’s rendition, likely because even Superman can’t actually look like Superman in real life.
But let’s say you have a goal to have Superman’s arms.
The real question you need to ask yourself is:
Do I have the desire to do what it takes in order to obtain Arms of Steel?
We’ve all seen people with arms bigger than ours.
Shoot, every time I walk into the gym, I’m mirin’ the jacks of some of the bros I lift with.
A superficial goal of mine is to have huge arms. So sue me, ya know?
If I want to have enormous, fear-inducing arms one day, I think less about my desire to have huge guns, and more about if my daily actions are aligned with this goal.
I ask myself questions such as:
- Am I eating enough protein at regular intervals to maximize protein synthesis?
- Am I training my biceps and triceps to muscular failure each time I’m in the gym?
- Do I aim for full, muscular activation through proper range of motion when I’m in the gym?
- Yes, I do – I use the programming in No Squats. No Deadlifts. Huge Gains. which has caused my arms to grow over an inch in the past 18 months.
- Do I go all-out every set I perform, taxing my upper body in order to require adaptation?
- Am I getting enough sleep and eating enough wholesome foods to properly recover?
I make sure my overall goals align with my daily habits.
While I don’t have “Superman guns” just yet, I’m making progress. My arms have grown about an inch in the past year, and I’ll keep striving for more.
But perhaps your goal isn’t to make women and children hide in fear as you walk down the street.
This mindset shift away from the goal and towards the daily habits can be used in most any situation, though.
Goal: I want to have a 6-pack
This is the most common fitness goal of the male trainee. Obtaining the elusive 6-pack has driven males crazy with obsession for years.
A huge majority of our online clients list a “6-pack” as goal #1.
If this is a goal of yours – and it’s truly a difficult look to obtain – do your daily habits align with your desire for ab veins and sub-10% body fat?
It’s hard work to get here, but ultimately, it’s possible.
If this is the look you’re going for, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
- Am I on point with my diet as consistently as possible, constantly being mindful and making good dietary choices?
- Am I planning for social occasions and making choices that align with my goal?
- Am I drinking only occasionally – or not at all – in order to save calories appropriately?
- Am I training hard enough in the weight room to actually have some muscle to show off once the fat is stripped?
- Am I fighting through hunger strategically, making sure I stay hydrated?
- Are my food choices nutritious and whole, or am I abusing IIFYM in order to make room for (too many) treats?
Perhaps your goal isn’t as “superficial” as wanting a 6-pack. (If it is, you should take our free fat loss course here.)
Perhaps your goal is a bit more mainstream.
Goal: I want to remain lean “effortlessly” without counting calories or macros.
The overall goal of your nutrition shouldn’t be to have to count tablespoons of peanut butter for all of eternity.
You ultimately should be striving to be able to maintain a lean physique year-round without the need for obsessive counting and tracking.
I must admit, I’m jealous of those who are able to instinctively remain lean throughout the year.
It’s something I am still trying to wrap my mind around. The former fat guy inside of me makes it difficult to be mindful if I don’t have concrete, objective numbers to aim for.
I’ve been moving towards a more habit-based approach lately, though, and I am constantly asking myself the following questions:
- Am I being sure to emphasize protein and fiber in order to remain full a majority of the time?
- Am I staying away from snacks and goodies when I’m at home in a controlled environment?
- Am I staying low enough in overall calories (without counting) to account for my less-than-perfect weekends and social situations?
- Am I staying away from drinking my calories and getting enough whole foods into my system?
- Am I abstaining from mindless eating and snacking during the times when I’m the most tempted?
These are all issues I have had with my own diet in the past.
For me, snacking is a Pandora’s Box. Once I “pop”, I can’t stop.
This is a difficult goal for me, as well as many others. But with a good dose of self-awareness, it’s a goal that can be mastered with enough of an emphasis on your daily routines and habits.
Not every goal is fitness related, though.
Perhaps your goal is a bit different.
Goal: I want to be financially independent.
The goal of financial independence looms in the distance for most of us.
We all want to have enough money to not have to work for “The Man” any longer.
But what does it take to truly be financially independent?
Some may say “a lot of money”, but money is relative. Money is just an exchange rate – a value of currency to purchase goods and/or services.
Many have become financially independent without making “loads of cash”. It takes time, and often a ruthless opposition to the comforts of society, but if financial independence is a goal of yours, it may be worth the time and effort.
If this is you, then nevermind. You should be “there” already.
If you want to have the freedom that financial independence can bring you, do your daily habits align with your goals?
Financially independent people are debt-free. They have few (if any) installment loans and their cash is at their disposal.
They pay themselves, and not the banks.
I’m not there – yet – but financial independence is one of my biggest personal goals.
(Along with the jacked arms, of course.)
I am constantly asking myself the tough questions:
- Do my purchases truly bring me joy, or are they representative of something else – some other need or desire I have?
- Am I paying off my debt as fast as I can, or am I spending money on things I don’t need?
- Are my purchases for my own pleasure and enjoyment, or are their purpose to raise my social status and the way others perceive me?
- Will I find satisfaction in my purchases long-term, or will I be “buzzed up” for a bit, only to have the feeling fade?
- Can I further reduce my expenses in any way?
Easily some of the most fascinating people I’ve ever come across are swimming in cash behind closed doors.
They are regular folks on the outside. They dress normally and drive everyday cars.
But there is one thing which is notably missing from them:
The stress and worry of money.
With true, financial independence, there’s no need for a scarcity mindset. You can sleep well, knowing you and your family are taken care of.
It’s tough to picture Superman worrying about how he will pay his bills.
Superheroes are Superheroes for a reason. They quietly and confidently go about their business, and their habits dictate their future.
If you find yourself desiring a long-term goal, and you start to think it’s impossible, it may be time to take stock of your own life.
And search for the Superman within you.