Like many of us, I've been playing around with Chat GPT and have found it part amusing, part helpful, and part simply odd and scary. I wanted to share something helpful that Chat GPT 100% created.
Before you continue reading, a disclaimer. I'm using these 2 plans as an illustration only. Do not take these as fitness advice. Let's get coffee if you want some advice. 1) I don't think Chat GPT got it 100% correct with it's answer. I would not recommend this advice taken at face value. You need a personalized plan, not something AI generically spit out. It provided a great framework, but there are details that I would change. 2) Having the plan isn't going to magically give you the results. Just like a football team having the playbook doesn't mean they'll win the championship. Even if these plans were perfect - and they ARE NOT - the ability to get 1% better each day relies on executing the plan, accountability, reflection, and the ability to adapt.
So here's why I'm sharing these examples, even though they are imperfect.
1) If you want to get better at anything, you need a plan.
2) Improvement usually requires daily, weekly, and monthly rhythms
3) Having the plan is nice, (and the plan might even have flaws) but accountability is essential to succeed.
4) A CrossFit gym near you has the plan you need to improve your fitness and the accountability to back it up. In other words, if you currently aren't in a gym routine and working on improving your fitness, take this as encouragement to go looking for a CrossFit gym near you. You need accountability to execute the plan!
Here's the Chat GPT prompt I used and the answer I received back.
I want to become better at doing pull ups by approximately 1% every single day, inspired by the concept of marginal gains. At the moment I would describe my proficiency as a beginner since I cannot do a single pull up. Can you outline a plan of the small actions I should take each day in order to improve by 1%? Include these within the context of a week, month, quarter and yearly plan.
Absolutely, the concept of marginal gains, popularized by Sir Dave Brailsford, can be incredibly effective for gradual improvement. When it comes to pull-ups, starting as a beginner and aiming for a 1% improvement every day is a great way to make steady progress. Remember, consistency and patience are key. Here's a plan for you:
Week 1-2: Building the Foundation
- Daily Goal: Spend a few minutes hanging from the pull-up bar.
- Week 1 Focus: Get comfortable with the grip and hanging motion. Try assisted pull-ups with a resistance band if possible.
- Week 2 Focus: Aim to hold the top position of the pull-up (chin above the bar) for a few seconds. Start with a negative pull-up (slowly lowering yourself from the top position) if full pull-ups are too challenging.
Month 1-2: Gradual Progression
- Daily Goal: Attempt 1-2 pull-up attempts, even if they're just partial or assisted.
- Month 1 Focus: Continue with negatives and assisted pull-ups, gradually decreasing the assistance from the resistance band.
- Month 2 Focus: Aim to do a single complete pull-up with proper form, even if it's a struggle.
Months 3-6: Incremental Improvement
- Daily Goal: Increase the number of pull-up attempts to 3-4 each day.
- Month 3 Focus: Work on doing multiple negatives in a row.
- Month 4 Focus: Start incorporating isometric holds at different points in the pull-up motion (e.g., halfway up, quarter of the way up) to strengthen various parts of the movement.
- Months 5-6 Focus: Aim for 2-3 complete pull-ups in a row, even if they're not consecutive.
Months 7-9: Refining Technique and Strengthening
- Daily Goal: Do 3-5 pull-up attempts each day.
- Month 7 Focus: Fine-tune your pull-up form to ensure you're using the right muscles and minimizing swinging.
- Month 8 Focus: Work on controlled eccentric (negative) pull-ups, taking 4-5 seconds to lower yourself.
- Month 9 Focus: Begin practicing chin-ups and other variations to work on different grip orientations.
Months 10-12: Consistency and Gradual Intensity Increase
- Daily Goal: Maintain 3-5 pull-up attempts per day.
- Month 10 Focus: Increase the speed of your pull-up negatives while maintaining control.
- Month 11 Focus: Aim for 5-6 consecutive pull-ups, even if they're not perfect.
- Month 12 Focus: By now, you should be seeing significant improvement. Work on increasing your pull-up volume by incorporating more sets throughout the day.
Yearly Focus: Mastery and Beyond
- Daily Goal: Continue doing pull-ups regularly to maintain and improve your progress.
- Yearly Focus: Strive for 10 or more consecutive pull-ups with proper form. Explore advanced variations like wide grip, commando pull-ups, and muscle-ups.
Remember, the 1% improvement per day is a guideline and might not always be directly measurable. Progress might come in bursts, but the key is consistent effort and gradual overload. Listen to your body, rest when needed, and celebrate your achievements along the way.
I want to become better at meal planning by approximately 1% every single day, inspired by the concept of marginal gains. At the moment I would describe my proficiency as only planning 1-2 meals ahead of time per week. Can you outline a plan of the small actions I should take each day in order to improve by 1%? Include these within the context of a week, month, quarter and yearly plan.
Certainly, applying the concept of marginal gains to meal planning can help you make steady progress over time. Let's break down your goal of improving your meal planning proficiency by approximately 1% every day:
Week 1-2: Laying the Foundation
- Daily Goal: Add one extra meal to your weekly meal plan, making it 3 meals planned ahead.
- Week 1 Focus: Choose a day to plan your meals for the upcoming week. Start with simple, familiar recipes.
- Week 2 Focus: Experiment with different recipes and incorporate a variety of ingredients. Begin considering nutritional balance.
Month 1-2: Expanding Proficiency
- Daily Goal: Dedicate time each day to research and plan meals for the next day.
- Month 1 Focus: Plan snacks and at least one new recipe for the week. Focus on ingredient overlap to minimize waste.
- Month 2 Focus: Begin considering portion sizes and adjust recipes accordingly. Pay attention to the balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and vegetables.
Months 3-6: Fine-tuning and Consistency
- Daily Goal: Plan meals for the next day while evaluating and adjusting your current meal plan.
- Month 3 Focus: Incorporate theme nights (e.g., Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday) to streamline planning.
- Month 4 Focus: Start building a repertoire of favorite go-to recipes. This reduces decision fatigue.
- Month 5 Focus: Experiment with meal prepping and batching to save time during the week.
- Month 6 Focus: Begin planning meals that align with specific health or dietary goals you might have.
Months 7-9: Increasing Efficiency and Diversity
- Daily Goal: Plan meals for the next day while reflecting on the previous day's choices.
- Month 7 Focus: Explore international cuisines and incorporate new flavors and cooking techniques.
- Month 8 Focus: Research and plan meals based on seasonal produce to enhance variety.
- Month 9 Focus: Begin tracking your meals' nutritional content to ensure a balanced diet.
Months 10-12: Mastery and Continual Growth
- Daily Goal: Plan meals for the next day while continuously reviewing and optimizing your process.
- Month 10 Focus: Incorporate family or household preferences into your meal planning.
- Month 11 Focus: Experiment with adapting recipes to accommodate dietary restrictions or allergies.
- Month 12 Focus: Reflect on your journey so far and identify areas where you've seen the most improvement. Set specific goals for the next year.
Yearly Focus: Maintaining and Expanding Skills
- Daily Goal: Continue daily meal planning while challenging yourself to explore advanced culinary skills.
- Yearly Focus: Consider taking a cooking class or learning more about nutrition to enhance your meal planning proficiency. Share your knowledge with others to reinforce your understanding.
Remember, the 1% improvement per day might not always be a direct measurement, but the idea is to make small, intentional improvements consistently. Your meal planning skills will develop over time, and you'll find yourself capable of planning a week's worth of meals with ease and creativity.
“I want to start the habit of meal planning from a starting point currently planning 1-2 meals per week. According to the book, Atomic Habits, I should create a cue, a craving, a response and a reward around this habit. Can you suggest how I might do this in practice?”
Absolutely, creating a habit loop based on the cue-craving-response-reward framework from "Atomic Habits" is a fantastic way to establish a consistent meal planning habit. Let's break down how you can implement this framework:
1. Cue: Make it Obvious
Choose a specific and consistent cue that triggers your meal planning habit. This cue should be something you encounter daily and is easy to recognize. For example, it could be:
- Time: Choose a specific time of day when you're relatively free, such as after dinner or before bed.
- Location: Select a designated spot where you'll do your meal planning, like your kitchen table.
- Existing Routine: Attach meal planning to an existing habit, like after finishing breakfast.
2. Craving: Make it Attractive
Associate your meal planning habit with a positive emotion or anticipation. This will make you look forward to the habit. Consider:
- Visualize: Imagine the relief and ease of having your meals planned for the week.
- Reward Yourself: Plan a small, enjoyable activity after meal planning, like watching an episode of your favorite show or reading a chapter of a book.
3. Response: Make it Easy
Simplify the actions you need to take for meal planning. The easier it is, the more likely you'll stick to it. Start with:
- Simple Start: Begin with planning just one additional meal per week.
- Templates: Create a simple meal planning template with slots for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Fill them in gradually.
4. Reward: Make it Satisfying
Reward yourself for completing the meal planning task. Rewards can be intrinsic (feeling of accomplishment) or extrinsic (something tangible). Examples:
- Visualize Outcome: Imagine how convenient and stress-free your week will be with planned meals.
- Treat Yourself: Enjoy a small treat like a piece of chocolate or a cup of tea after you finish planning.
By implementing these steps, your habit loop might look like this:
After dinner, sit at the kitchen table.
Look forward to the ease of the upcoming week with planned meals.
Use a meal planning template to plan one more meal for the week.
4. Reward: Enjoy a cup of your favorite herbal tea.
As you become comfortable with planning 1-2 additional meals per week, you can gradually increase the number of meals you plan. Remember, consistency is key. Over time, your meal planning habit will become ingrained in your routine, making it easier to maintain.
“I want to start the habit of [explain the habit you want to begin] from a starting point of [explain what you already do]. According to the book, Atomic Habits, I should create a cue, a craving, a response and a reward around this habit. Can you suggest how I might do this in practice?”