We have developed a program designed to help you achieve improve your amount and quality of physical activity. That might be something like aiming for a goal of running (or walking) a marathon (or a half marathon or a 10K), or getting into cycling or swimming — any form of activity really – the point is for you to do whatever it is you want that will get you to be more physically active. The program is based on research evidence, several years of running, and the writing of four books on distance running. We have had the privilege of talking to hundreds of runners from around the world, including world renowned coaches, about their own running experiences, their training programs and the changes that have occurred in their lives as a result.
This is more than just another ‘x-week’ program of physical activity, as it takes in other aspects of your life and the entire ‘change experience’ that you will go through with the food you eat, the healthier life you’ll lead, the relationships with friends and a changing social scene, and many other things you may not have even thought about.
Most importantly, the focus of the Activity Compass is the change process itself. Step by step, the Activity Compass takes you on your journey from thinking about making the changes you desire to ‘doing it’ and then, just as importantly, maintaining the new way of active living you want.
The Activity Compass goes well beyond the simple ’18 week’ training program, builds on the experience of others around the world, and incorporates proven evidence-based processes for making changes in your life.
There are 5 ‘steps’ in this 90-day journey to success.
S – Starting Up
T – Taking Control
E – Energy
P – Persevere
S – Stay the Course
1) Starting up
This is the first stage when you have made up your mind that you want to make a change – that you want to be more physically active. You’re mentally preparing to take action and make the changes you want to make. We provide you with the information you need to get into the mental state for making a successful change. This is not rocket science. We give you valuable tools and supports to guide you through a very critical stage in your journey. That’s why this is the Activity Compass – you know where you want to go – what goals you want to achieve – and we provide the map, directions and guidance to make your journey a success.
2) Take Control
You’ve moved along in the five step process now – the mental preparedness is ready to transform into detailing the ‘plan’ for how you’ll go about what you want to do. This is where you set your goals and priorities and where we help you create those future states and help you map those with actions that will lead to your success.
We call this the Energy Stage because this is where you ‘operationalize’ the detailed planning you did in the second stage. In other words, you begin that physical activity that you’ve been mentally preparing for and for which you’ve created the plan for ‘doing it’. The plan has been created and you are now in the period where you follow it for the next seven weeks.
In this stage you’re still maintaining your physical activity as planned, but we recognize that there can be moments where slip-ups occur or obstacles present themselves that you hadn’t anticipated (you may, for example, get injured and this prevents you from doing the physical activity for a period of time). This is very natural and can happen to many people on such programs. There is no need to stop the program though! In this Stage we provide you with advice as well as tools and resources to make sure that you can address the problems head on, and keep using the Physical Activity Compass.
5) Stay the Course
At the end of the 90 day Physical Activity Compass period you won’t want to suddenly stop what you’re doing – especially if you believe that you’re making a long term lifestyle change to be more physically active – which of course, you are! In this Stage we provide you with the tools and supports to help you maintain the change that you’ve made for the rest of your life.
And if you want, we will provide you with tools that you can use to assist others as well. In fact, what you’ll find is that the changes you make in Your Life will lead to changes in the lives of others with whom you are close. Being more physically active is a powerful way to achieve health and well-being. And it’s simple, so long as you have the right process in place to make the changes you want to make. And that is what the Physical Activity Compass is all about!
Here are some of the key messages – from Malcolm’s book The Messengers – that are built into the Physical Activity Compass.
1. The rewards of long distance running include greater self-respect, greater respect for others and greater levels of confidence.
2. Happiness can flow from one of the most fundamental of human activities.
3. Running long distances builds strong social networks which contribute to the happiness of all concerned.
4. Physical activity contributes to building happiness and our emotional, spiritual, and mental well-being. As research shows, being happy is addictive.
5. The emotional, spiritual, mental and physical well-being derived from running long distances creates a level of contentment; a sense of being unworried.
6. It is possible to overcome adversity; never give up.
7. It is possible to transform your life.
8. Achieving goals positively contributes to a ‘can-do’ attitude that embraces life and its infinite possibilities. Failure is only failure if one never tries.
9. Believe in yourself; have courage; anything is possible.
11. Be inspired.
12. Enjoy what you do.
What will you get from using the Physical Activity Compass?
· A detailed 90-day step by step guide to get you physically healthier
· A proven change program based on scientific evidence
· Advice, tools, tips and inspirational stories that will keep you motivated and on track
· One on one communication as you use the Activity Compass
· Access to additional experts
· Weekly Support mail that includes podcast links, video, and templates to assist you in your Compass activity.
The 15 Physical Activity Modules
90 days (approx.13 weeks) plus 2 bookend weeks = 105 days
Introduction – 1
Starting Up – 2
Take Control – 3
Energy – 3
Persevere – 3
Stay the Course – 2
Onwards – 1
Each module consists of:
- Written material
- Inspirational stories and quotes
- Resource links to follow up with
Why is this a 90 day program?
Because Behavioral research evidence shows that it takes 90 days to prepare, plan act upon and build new behaviors and be unlikely to relapse.
Because brain research indicates that it takes a few months of ‘practicing’ a new behavior to create changes that are permanent.
If you are interested in working with us – helping us help you achieve your health and fitness goals through the Activity Compass – then email Malcolm at: firstname.lastname@example.org.