My Updated 2013 Goals

My new year goal setting exercise helped keep me on track in a busy year. After my progress report recently, I wanted to update my goals to reflect my development in 2013.

I used to keep these kind of things to myself, considering them a private matter, but I much prefer getting them out there which gives me some accountability and provides some interesting conversations with people about their dreams and direction. So feel free to grab me and ask me how I’m doing, and please tell me how you’re getting on with your goals.

So here they are – some goals are the same, some are brand new and some are improved or updated versions of my original goals.

Get 7 hours quality sleep each day, preferably 8+
As before. Quality sleep is often overlooked as an essential component of good health. Take naps if need be.

Update at least once every 2 weeks
As before. I want to keep the quality of writing and info high and not just bang out posts for the sake of it though. There are approx 20 weeks left in the year so that’s 10 top-notch posts. Game on!

Continually improve flexibility and mobility
As before. Going to keep this one generic for now.

Sit down as little as possible
Will try to keep this up forever. Job makes it easy for now.

Move around as much as possible
As above.

Do 10 yoga sessions between now and year end
I’ve changed my reasons for doing yoga. Looking more at relaxation than flexibility. Keeping it realistic at once every two weeks.

Eat natural real food as often as possible. Keep processed food and sugar to a minimum. Monitor and limit grain and dairy intake.
Pretty much as before, with adjustments after my food experiments

When I eat badly, make sure it tastes damn good
Cheesecake… Mmmmm

Improve my Thai language
A big chunky fail with this one up to now. Will aim to learn and record 5 words a week and will take 10 Thai lessons before year end

Get out of Bangkok into natural and beautiful surroundings once a month
My first tip on staying healthy in BKK. Important in this great but crazy city

Spend lots of time in the sun
As before. Doing well up to now.

Keep social media time to minimal, necessary levels

When with friends keep my phone in my pocket or out of view, especially with people I don’t see often.

Take phone/device breaks often – when out running, on holidays etc. Call people more (rather than message)
This one is focused more on the fam now – I’ve got set numbers for how often I should call mum, grandma etc. This probably sounds a bit clinical but that’s better than being over here in my own world and not calling for weeks on end.

Surround myself with positive, interesting and inspiring people
To not do this is insanity. Be with people that bring out the best in you.

Be a positive, interesting and inspiring person

Run 100m in sub-12.5
Same. Current Personal Best is 13.48

Run 400m in sub 1 minute
Same. Current PB is 1:04

Run 5000m in sub 20 minutes
Same. Current PB is 20:50. Very determined and going hell for leather on this one right now. It will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine.

Try new things
Makes sense to me. Otherwise life might get monotonous.

Only drink water (with maybe some lime)

Limit coffee to 2 cups a day, and only one milky one
Make my coffee more espresso and coconut oil dominant

Only drink alcohol to the point of having fun and being able to fully function the next day
I find this pretty easy. I enjoy a few drinks but getting wasted doesn’t appeal to me anymore (getting old, maybe!)

Practice Intermittent Fasting
Will try out a few new IF approaches and am planning an updated article to reflect the explosion in popularity of fasting

Do things, don’t talk about doing them
Keep procrastination to a minimum. Act on ideas quickly.

Have 4 articles published in other magazines, newspapers or websites

Hold a handstand unassisted for 15 seconds
A tough one. The ultimate goal being a handstand walk or handstand push up

Give a massive push
Exciting developments coming soon!

Learn more about meditation and incorporate it into my life

Get back into Muay Thai
Will aim to go once every 1-2 weeks. Have already been twice in the last week or so

Find an Olympic pool and swim 1km
Just added this one on a whim. Haven’t swam much since I was a kid, so it would be good to bring it back into play.

Complete the IKFF (Internation Kettlebell Fitness Federation) test for Level 1
They have a particularly stringent test with a pass rate of about 20%

Do one thing every day towards these goals, however small
Keep progressing

Read this regularly
Serves as a good reminder and helps keep me focused.

If you’d like the assistance of a personal trainer to help hit your goals, contact us at BASE for a free consultation.

My Half Year Goal Review

At the beginning of the year I wrote a personal constitution of sorts, consisting of 31 things I wanted to achieve. Some were fitness-based ‘SMART’ goals, some were generic goals for the year and some were just ideas, concepts and approaches that I want to practice indefinitely.

Eat this kind of grub 80-90% of the time and you're doing alright

Eat this kind of grub 80-90% of the time and you’re doing alright

I’d love to say that I’ve smashed all 31 goals but that’s not entirely true. The exercise has proved very beneficial though, and has helped me stay focused and on track this year.

Below is my half year accountability check-in so we can see how I’ve done. In the next week I shall rewrite my goals, adjusting some of the current ones and adding some new to reflect my year so far, and my continued development and direction.

Get a new apartment where i’m happy and comfortable by March 1st

Purchase an awesome bed, sheets and pillows. This is important, seeing as I spend a 3rd of my life there.

Get 7 hours quality sleep each day, preferably 8+
I’ve been pretty good with this. I usually go to bed 7-8 hours before my alarm and if not I try to squeeze a nap in the daytime. Ongoing.

Update at least once every 2 weeks
I haven’t hit 2 a month but have been happy with the direction of the site this year and the feedback I’ve received. Going to consider post frequency in my new goals although I don’t want to compromise quality for volume.

Continually improve flexibility and mobility
This is still an area that needs improvement. Haven’t made significant gains here. Ongoing.

Sit down as little as possible
My job makes this pretty easy and I’ve added to this by walking instead of taking bikes or trains wherever possible. A strong pass. Ongoing.

Move around as much as possible
As above.

Do yoga at least once a week
Fail. My opinions on yoga have developed a little. Will address this in my goal update.

Eat natural real food as often as possible. Keep processed food and sugar to a minimum.
Ups and downs but generally pretty good. I’m following the 80/20 rule well.

When I eat badly, make sure it tastes damn good
Most of the time when I eat badly, I do it properly!

Improve my Thai language
Massive fail! Will address in goal update.

Get out of Bangkok into natural and beautiful surroundings once a month
Check! I’ve averaged once a month and have been on some great trips to amazing places this year. Will ensure I keep this one up.

Spend lots of time in the sun
I think I’m more tanned now than I’ve ever been (which still isn’t all that much!). Having this list to remind me helped me be more conscious of this. A definite pass. Ongoing.

Spend less time on social networks and more time actually socializing
Deleting Facebook from my phone means I spend little time on it now. I tell myself I need social networks for work and keeping in touch with friends from home, but part of me feels I’d be better off just deleting the lot. For now, will continue using social networks in moderation with a focus on business promotion.

Call people more (rather than message)
Still seem to message far more than I call. Think I will make this goal more of a process goal or SMART goal in my update, especially keeping in touch with family and close friends.

Surround myself with positive, interesting and inspiring people
Thinking about this at the start of the year and making it one of my goals has really helped me achieve this. I’ve developed strong friendships with some great people, and I feel we bring out the best in each other. Really, this is how every relationship should be. This goal has been hugely beneficial to me and I see it as a lifelong aim.

Be a positive, interesting and inspiring person
You’d have to ask those around me about this one!

Run 100m in sub-12.5
Still around 13.4 so work to do here.

Run 400m in sub 1 minute
1:04 is my current record. This will be a tough one for me and will require a solid 6-8 week specific program for me to achieve it.

Run 5000m in sub 20 minutes
This one has become a bit of a monkey on my back. I now feel it’s time to pull said monkey off my back and beat him to death. I’ve come consistently close over the last few months without much specific training. I hit 20:45 on our fun run and am confident of smashing this soon. I’m doing specific training 3-4 times a week to get this done so I can then focus on the 400m 1 min.


National Stadium Track – the spot where I’ve been (attempting to) smashing all my running records

Do all 3 of the above at the same time; don’t achieve one at the expense of another
I put this one in without much thought – it’s not really realistic the achieve all 3 at once and there’s nothing wrong with tackling one goal at a time. Will scrap this on my review.

Try new things
Another ongoing lifetime goal. I’ve done pretty well so far this year, in one way through my series of dietary experiments.

Do a muscle up
Success! Have hit one on the rings and bar. Will go for multiple muscle ups on my goal update.

Continue to make The LAB a success and a great place to be and train
Again, you’d have to ask those around me but with the expansion project that’s more than doubling our studio size, I’d say me and the team have done a pretty damn good job. Well done guys : )

Stay as close to 80kg as possible and within 10-15% body fat – my optimum composition and weight for peak performance
I lost some excess Chrimbo kilos and have bubbled around 80kg through improvements to my diet and my training. Happy thus far, but ongoing.

Only drink water to rehydrate (with maybe some lime)
Largely successful. Ongoing.

Limit coffee to 2 cups a day (down to one ideally)
There or thereabouts. Fine with my caffeine consumption but want to drop the milky coffees.

Only drink alcohol to the point of having fun and being able to fully function the next day
Success! My moderate and infrequent alcohol consumption has meant no monster hangovers and strong productivity! Ongoing.

Practice intermittent fasting
Check! Most weeks have hit a 24 hour fast.

Do things, don’t talk about doing them
I’ve always done quite well with this and will continue to act on my thoughts, ideas and ambitions and keep procrastination to a minimum. Ongoing.

Read through this list once a week
Have looked through periodically which has helped with my continual development.

So that’s the first 6 months. A mixed bag but overall I’m satisfied. I’ll give myself a C+.

Living in an often chaotic city like Bangkok means that sometimes you have to remove yourself to clear the mind and develop focus. Next time you have some time away to relax and reflect I’d strongly recommend recording some things you’d like to achieve, both in the short term and things you’d like to do for the rest of your life.

Soon I’ll revise and update my goals for the rest of the year.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, I kindly ask you to ‘like’ our Bangkok Fitness Facebook page, ‘like’ it here and share on social networks if you feel others would benefit. Feel free to leave any comments too… Many thanks!

Sometimes training with friends can help motivate. Consider private group fitness trainingprivate group fitness training at BASE.

You’re Never Past It – Let These People Inspire You

Russian kettlebell maestro Sergey

Russian kettlebell maestro Sergey

Last week I had the honour of training with kettlebell world champion Sergery Rachinsky. He’s one of the strongest men in the world, holding multiple world records for strength and endurance such as his 100kg back squat for 180 reps.

His feats and mental toughness are mind-blowing on their own but one thing I found particularly inspiring was that he’s still smashing strength records at 42 years of age with plans for many more to come.

A has-been by 30?

About 10 years ago whilst working in a bank in England I remember a conversation with a colleague about fitness and exercise. I’d just started training and was really getting into it. I recall him holding his belly and telling me how it all goes downhill when you hit your late twenties. The weight just piles on, he told me. And besides, with a wife, kids and job there’s no time left to look after yourself. He basically said that he was on a steady decline towards ill health, powerless to do anything about it.

At the time I was concerned for my future and his words stuck with me.

Of course, I now realise that he was externalizing all his reasons for not looking after his health in an attempt to convince himself that his poor state was due to factors beyond his control. He felt better thinking that yeah, he was unfit and in bad shape, but what more could he do? It was all because of his age/job/kids/schedule etc.

Sadly, by relinquishing responsibility for his health he probably never did anything to change it.

The truth is, you can achieve incredible feats of fitness, strength, endurance and skill at any age.

I’m not talking about a 50-something who does a leisurely jog in the park twice a week – I mean elite athletes, world record holders or sportsmen and women dominating people their children’s or grandchildren’s age.

Here are some incredible stories of strength at all ages:

Herschel at 48

Herschel at 48

Not content with being a top NFL player and world class sprinter, Herschel Walker has gone on to become an MMA fighter into his 50s. Here he is fighting at 48. Seriously, scientists should study this guy.

Dara Torres was still beating records going into her 40s and at 45 she narrowly missed out on the 2012 Olympics by 0.32 seconds. Here she talks about her lifestyle.

In 2011, 54 year old George Hood set the world record for the longest plank hold at 1 hour 20 minutes. Not content with this, he smashed it 2 years later with an incredible 3 hours 7 minutes.

Canadian strongman Kevin Fast, 46, set the World record for pulling the heaviest object, a C-17 cargo plane. This is undeniably a cool record, but he outdid himself when he set the world record for most people lifted at once, with 22 girls on his back.

Kevin lifted 22 girls to set a world record
Kevin lifted 22 girls to set a world record

Just shy of her 50th birthday, tennis legend Martina Navratilova won a mixed doubles championship at the U.S. Open. This was an all-age full event, not a masters.

Sportsmen who didn’t just compete, but played in the top flight of their sport during their 40s: Jeff Carney, NFL player aged 45, Teddy Sheringham and Brad Friedel, football players in the English Premiership aged 40 and 42 respectively. Dikembe Mutombo and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, two NBA legends who played at the highest level until they were 42.

On a personal level, my uncle serves as a great inspiration to me. He’s 53 and in great shape, runs a few marathons a year ranking high in his age group, goes rock climbing every week (he outclimbed me when I tried it) and often beats me at tennis. He fits in all this training and competing while running his own company.

This guy ran a 3:15 marathon at 80 and smashed my 5km target time by almost a minute #noexcuses

This guy ran a 3:15 marathon at 80 and smashed my 5km target time by almost a minute #noexcuses

I’ve had many friends who’ve run marathons. Most go for sub 4:30 hours, or perhaps 4:00. Occasionally I have a very fit and active friend who trains hard and goes for sub-3:30. Ed Whitlock recorded a time of 3:15:53… at age 80 (no typo, that’s eighty), a respectable time for a man his great-grandson’s age.

Fauja Singh was running marathons at 100 years old. He finally hung up his running shoes aged 101, with a 10km race in Hong Kong. He ran for premature babies charities, being billed as ‘the oldest running for the youngest’ – what a beautiful and inspiring goal!

Olga Kotelko is a 92 year old athlete competing in numerous track and field events, such as high jump, long jump, javelin, shot put and sprints. She holds 23 world records and 17 records in her age category. She told the NY Times that she has more energy now than when she was 50.

Olga at 91

Olga at 91

The World Masters Athletics records page is a huge inspiration to me not only as I age, but also now. I set some 2013 running goals of a 20 minute 5km time and a sub-1 minute 400m time. I was a little embarrased to discover that the oldest person to record a sub 1:00 400m was 74 years old. Our marathon running friend Ed Whitlock (pictured above) hit a 19:07 5km time aged 75, a time I would be massively proud of.

Equally impressive are the 100m world record times. Some inactive guys my age would struggle to hit a 17.5 second 100m time. A time of 17.53 was recorded by Frederico Fischer when he was 90 years old. 90 goddamn years! Please record your 100m sprint time, and if it’s not as fast as Freddy then let it be the biggest wake up call of your life.

I’ll leave you with this video from the Veterans Athletics Championships in the over-95 category. Seeing Emiel power through like Usain Bolt in lane 4 brought a tear to my eye. I sincerely hope that’s me in 65 years time.