How Getting Fit Reshaped My Personal Goal Setting & Productivity Process

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Hey there, it’s Mike Cooch.

I’m going to share with you my recent body fat composition testing results and also what I think will be a very, very important lesson that has come as a result of this process of trying to get more fit.

I moved out to San Diego almost four years ago now. Since then I had put on a good 20 pounds in the year prior to that. So when I got here I knew that I wanted to take my fitness more seriously.

And this is a very important part of the overall lesson of what I’m going to share with you.

I’ve always taken my fitness seriously because my dad died very young of a heart attack. Since then I have always watched what I eat. I’ve always exercised consistently and it’s always been something that stuck to me.

But it’s also something that I took a very casual approach.

I wasn’t doing any sort of measurement. I wasn’t doing any sort of short term goal setting to have specific results that I was aiming for. So while I was generally healthy and fit, even go to the doctor regularly to get checked, I was not necessarily as fit as I want to be.

I’m in my mid-forties now and certain things start happening to our body.

It becomes a little bit harder to maintain that look that you’re looking for, especially when you’re living near the beach in San Diego.

Taking things up a notch

So I decided that I wanted to take things more seriously.

What I did is I actually hired a trainer in southern California who is known for successfully training people to achieve the body type that they want which is lean, fit and not the type of big muscle head.

The trainer put me on a plan and all other stuff related to workout routines. Soon enough I got great results. I lost more than 20 pounds when I was subjected to the routine.

My body looked totally different. I was putting on muscle and all that good stuff.

BUT, I hit a wall.

That worked for at least 90 days or something like that. Then, gradually, I hit a wall where I could not keep up with his program no matter how hard I tried.

The thing that was killing me was the Diet.

He had me on this super, super lean diet almost no fat to it.

I had to pre-plan all of my meals. I had to eat every two hours. Then, I was carrying around these Tupperware containers of perfectly measured out food throughout the day.

And that did not work with my lifestyle and felt miserable all the time. I felt hungry all the time. It was very clear that this diet was not meeting all of the needs of my body.

My body was giving me very clear signals of, “Hey man, you’ve got to mix it up a little bit. You can’t just eat all this super lean stuff.”

So I ended up flailing out of his program and got back to my old routine of real regular exercise. But again, nothing focused or specific in terms of short term goals or measurements.

Then about six months ago I said to myself, “Okay, I’ve got to get back to trying to figure this out.”

Change in approach

I’m not happy with where I’m at. I’m not happy with just this kind of haphazard thing. So I started doing more research on my own. The Keto diet had become well known by then.

I’ve been a big fan of the Paleo Diet for a long time so I generally eat very similar to what somebody on Keto would tell you to eat except for not nearly as much fat.     

I was not as obsessively focused on the low carbs. So I did some more research.

Keto seemed extreme to me. I try and avoid extremes when it comes to health because you got to give those things time to test out.

So I generally try and apply common sense when it comes to diet and exercise. I started reading more and more about that.

We do need more of the good fats in our diet, contrary to what the food pyramid says. And I’m sure you know that this crazy industry of sweeteners and over-processed foods is intuitively bad.

I have cut out a large part of food out of my diet but what I had not done is remove the good fats.

I found some resources that made a whole lot of sense to me and had a lot of scientific backing to them. People were getting the results. So I started to read these books and I started following the program that had both diet and nutrition.

Setting milestone

The other major change that I made to this approach was that I set myself some short term milestones. These milestones are based on the previous fitness attempts I made in the past.

I went ahead and booked measurement on the calendar using a third party service.

So, I started going to a fit lab here in San Diego where I would get measurements done. I get body fat tests and things like that just to create an increased sense of accountability in the program.

The result which is I am very happy to say is I had dropped about 12 pounds. That is from an intense six weeks of pretty intense dieting.

I had put on a decent amount of muscle, and my body fat measurement was 16 and a half percent, which was really good.

I was pleased with that because that is very good compared to my former measurements. My guess is before I did that pretty strict diet leading up to that, I was probably more in the 24% range.

I had a lot of soft fat on the body that I dropped already during that dieting period.

Then I went into a couple of months period where I was focusing less on cutting weight and more on adding muscle. According to the resources I read, it is important to rotate the routine between cutting weight and adding muscle. Add the fact that I don’t want a really big or bulky body.

Getting the desired results

It was a very deliberate approach which is what I felt what I really need. It was what is missing in my past diet the high-fat foods.

And I have not had any issues with hunger at all, so it’s been quite easy for me. The succeeding days, I was focused on adding muscle instead of cutting.

Now with the most recent measurement, my body weight has almost not changed.

It keeps on changing by a pound and a half. I put on a pound and a half. But I measure my weight every day, so I know that that’s just a temporary thing. But I have added almost eight pounds of muscle and I’ve lost over six and a half pounds of fat.

Now my body fat percentage is down to 12.9%. So I’ve gone from 16 and a half percent to 12.9%. My goal was actually to get down to 14%.

So I beat that by a pretty good number. And honestly, it’s been very, very easy.

This program that I’m following feels like it’s not difficult at all.

Now that’s all well and good.

Reevaluation of process

What’s interesting about all of this is that what this process has done for me is it forced me to reevaluate my whole process around goal setting and what it takes for me to achieve things.

You probably know I’m pretty intense about that type of stuff. I really like personal development and I like being really conscious of what it takes to achieve goals and to live the life that I’m trying to live.

This program also coincided with my first Tony Robbins event. I’ve always been a huge fan of his materials, but going to the event was definitely a huge kickstart for me in a number of different areas.

But what this whole process did was had me sit down and evaluate, “Hey, what is it that really works for me? What are the things that I really need to make sure I have in place to drive myself forward, to achieve my goals in any area of my life?”

And I came up with eight things and I want to share with you what those are.

I hope that this will help you so take note of the eight things that are littered here. Evaluate the key things, system, the process in places and ways of using them from this article. Because if you don’t you are missing a big opportunity to get clarity on how you maximize your life in all areas.

Eight things to help in your productivity

Personally, I like mnemonic devices.

It makes things easier to remember. If you can tie things together in certain ways then you can remember them better. Relations and connections make it easier for our brain to remember things.

For me, I have all of these things start with the letter ‘M’. So expect that there will be Eight M’s.

Having things this way just makes it easy for me and it actually works out beautifully.

1. Milagro

So the first one is ‘Milagro‘. If you’re not familiar with the word Milagro, it is a Spanish word that can mean miracles or dreams. That definition is perfect for me and for my business.

“What is my dream? What is the vision that I have for whatever it is that I’m trying to accomplish?”

Do you see how it connects? Hence, I like that word, because it is all about dream and vision.

It’s also associated with gratitude. I think that instead of the word goal, that word has a different meaning to me that works as a mental shift for me.

I used to think of goals as just these very black and white. That they are usually numeric things that I had to go and achieve or not. It is like a win or loses.

And I have learned over time that that’s kind of a crazy way to live life if you want to enjoy your life at all. So Milagro is a great word for me because it reminds me that one life is a dream.

And that I’ve got an amazing life. That this process should be something that is beautiful.

It’s a dream, a vision and I want to make sure that I’ve connected to that. That is something that’s beautiful and inspiring to me. Whatever it is that I’m aiming towards.

So that’s the first, Milagro.

2. Motivation

In anything that I put time and energy into pursuing, I want to do my best. I want to know what my motivation is, what my ‘Why’ is.

In one of the things that Tony Robbins teaches is that your ‘Why’ is much more powerful than your ‘What’ or your ‘How’.

As long as you know the ‘Why’ that’s driving you, you will figure out the ‘How’. And, you’ll figure out the exact ‘What’.

So making sure that I’ve really connected to why this is important to me and why I’m going to commit serious time and energy and resources to pursue that vision.

3. Model

The third is a model.

This is an area that I have not done really well in the past. The fitness approach really opened my eyes to any area of my life. And it’s interesting because I think I’ve always been pretty smart about this from a business perspective.

But in all areas of my life, there is some sort of model out there that has already proven a path to accomplish what it is I want to accomplish. In almost all cases there are models, and if I’m really trying to innovate in some area, then maybe there isn’t an exact model, but there’s probably something that gets me closer.

It gets me in that direction that I can learn from and then innovate on top of that. I’m being very clear about what that model is, who that model is, what are the lessons from it and what are the key takeaways that make the model successful.

Really studying that and this fitness challenge that I’ve been on. I think it was such a great reminder of that because I studied and executed on one person’s model. A person that had great success with their model, I am talking about this fitness trainer, but it was not the right model for me.

I think that’s an incredibly important lesson, that you’ve got to find the right model for you.

And sometimes that takes experimentation and trying some different approaches because the real low-fat model, even though he has great success with a lot of people with that did not work for me at all.

4. Milestones

Number four is milestones. This was another really, really important eye-opening experience.

I am a very motivated person. And I will grind.        

If you tell me that I have to go in a certain direction, I will go in that direction for years and not really pick my head up and not really question it. I will just go.

But what I realized is that if I don’t create milestones that inspire me and provide some sort of celebration of progress then I really am just missing out on a huge amount of rocket fuel to propel me towards my goal.

Along the way of this fitness challenge, it’s getting these body fat test done. They are the milestones.

It inspires me because I know I’m going to have to go in and drop down to my skivvies in front of people and jump into a tank of water then get measured.

But in business, it’s creating quarterly celebrations with your team or for yourself.

Having certain things you have to achieve to hit those quarterly celebrations. Hustling like crazy because you know that there is an awesome Vegas trip plan for you and your team or there’s a new car in it for you or something like that.

It’s the exact same thing that if you were working for a good boss you put some sort of milestones in place to get you inspired. While as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to do that for yourself.

I have an incredible amount of personal discipline when it comes to generally moving in a direction but putting milestones in place excites me.

So now in all areas of my life, I’m doing my best to consciously put milestones in place so that I know that I’m running towards those. I’m going to have those to mark my progress and celebrate my progress.

5. Measures

Next measures. I’ve always been a huge fan of measurement in business.

I’ve kept a daily scorecard for business in like forever. But in fitness, I had not done that. I did not get up and weigh myself every day. I did not use a tape to determine if my muscles had grown.

Nor, did I go in and do regular body fat testing. I did not watch calories. I didn’t do any of those things.

So now, I will never stop doing those things from this point forward. It is fun having those measures to know if I’m making progress or not. And you can do this in every area of your life.

Fitness, finances, business, and fun. It really doesn’t matter. There is some way to measure that.

The closer you get to those measures, you make them important, and you make them tied to the results that you’re trying to achieve.

You make them the more effective they are the more fun they can be. That’s measures.

6. Massive action

Never leave the setting of a goal without taking massive action.

Tony Robbins teaches that and I am a huge, huge fan of that now.

I did not understand exactly what that meant until I went to his event and I saw the way that he approaches it. It is absolute immersion into whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve.

So if you want to become an excellent swimmer, then the moment that you decide that you’re committed, you get on the phone and you book your first lesson, there is no time wasted.

That may not be the person you ended up training with long-term. It may cost you a few bucks because you made a mistake. It doesn’t matter.

The point is that you get momentum. And momentum or lack of momentum is a real killer for most people.

Getting that momentum is the thing that can often change the course and of your progress.

Make sure that you actually take that step forward in the right direction. That first step leads to many more in most cases.

7. Management Process

Next up is a management process.

Again, this is something that I’ve done in business very well my entire career. It is to have very specific processes around.

I’m watching and measuring numbers, doing experiments, testing, learning, applying what we learn, having meetings with the team, and all of that in a very set rhythm.

But in my personal life, I have not done as much to establish that. So now I am to implement it in my life too.

Having what I call an operating system in place for my life as well and being very, very dedicated to it. It is a major breakthrough in my business and in my life.

8. Me

Then the last one is me. Number eight is me. 

And what I mean by me in terms of this whole lesson is who do I need to be to accomplish this Milagro that I’ve created?

“Who do I need to be and who am I now versus who I really need to be?”
“And what’s the gap there?” 
“What’s the difference?” 
“What things do I have to give up?” 

More questions like,

“What things do I need to stop being and stop doing in order to be the person that will achieve that growth?” 
“What do I need to replace some of those old patterns of behavior with new patterns of behavior to make sure that I’m the person that I need to achieve that Milagro?”

Those kinds of questions concerning me are what I need to ask constantly.

One of my favorite quotes that I have in my personal development journal, says that,

“In order to become the person that you want to become and live the life that you want to live, you’re going to have to let that old person or that old life die”.

Which is kind of a sometimes harsh reality for people when they first hear that.

It’s dramatic, but it’s true. If you are going to become that new person, there is an old person there that you’re going to have to shed.

It’s like the butterfly coming out of the cocoon.

You’re going to have to drop some things to become that new vision of who you are and the person that would achieve that Milagro.

So that’s it. That’s my eight steps.

Milagro, motivation model, milestones, measures, massive action, management process, and me

Anytime that I’m sitting and planning what I want the future to look like in the key areas of my life, I’m like, “Do I have all eight of those things in place and clear?”

So then I’m ready to move forward at full speed to achieve that Milagro.

Having a conscious process like that is so valuable to me to make sure that I’m utilizing all of the tools and resources that are available to me. This is also to give me the best chance of success in the key areas of my life.

So I hope that’s helpful for you.

I’ll let you know when I get my next results back, my plan. I believe that just by following what I’m doing and continuing to add muscle I will achieve my plan. And it is to drop my overall weight down to 185 from 190 and to maintain body fat somewhere between 10 and 12%.

I really don’t want to go lower than that. I think if I to go lower than that, I’m going to have to cut out some things in my life that I don’t want to cut out.

I’m not going to give things up. Again, this is all about maintaining a lifestyle approach that I can sustain over a very long period of time. And I think I’ve found it so I’m not gonna mess with it.

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Mike Cooch
Mike Cooch

LVRG CEO Mike Cooch is a serial entrepreneur who generates 6-7 big ideas before breakfast (conservative estimate) each day.

Mike has a Texas-sized passion for sales & marketing, business development, technology, and entrepreneurship.

He has founded successful businesses in technology services, agency services, publishing, and ecommerce (and flopped on a variety of attempts as well…keepin’ it real!).

His businesses have made the INC 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America three times, and have been recognized as a 'Best Place to Work' in their respective cities.

He has an MBA from Babson College, the #1 ranked entrepreneurship program in the world by US News 24 years running, where he has been a regular guest lecturer on 'Managing a Growing Business'.

He has three children, is an avid skier, hiker and traveler, and is loving his adopted hometown of San Diego.