Reflection is key
" The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection."- Thomas Pain
"Thomas Pain was an American Political Activist. One of his principal contributions was the powerful, widely-read pamphlet Common Sense (1776) that advocated colonial America's independence" (Thank you, wikipedia)
He literally had a common sense approach to things. I find personal reflection extremely important. I even apply it to diet and exercise.
As for my diet, I often take the time to review and reflect what made me successful in staying on course or why I may have failed in my attempt to be consistent with my diet plan for that day.
Sometimes it is due to poor planning on my part that I may fail, other times it is even simpler than that. LACK of willpower. Yes, willpower is sometimes a challenge even for me and I have been eating clean for a few years now.
My exercise schedule is constantly changing as I reflect on my goals. Each training cycle involves a time for reflection on how successful it was or was not. I make a point to speak to my training partners all the time. I also engage in discussions with the people I train. I am consistently asking them how they feel certain exercises are affecting them and what they thought of their training sessions.
I was thrilled to hear one of my younger trainees recently say how he has gotten stronger in the two months since he started working with me and that he has seen greater gains in that short time than he had in the past year and a half working with his team at school.
This shows his reflection on his training and in this case it was very uplifting for him. Sometimes this is the true benefit of reflection. The boost in confidence in knowing that what you are doing is successful.
Tip: Set aside time each week to reflect on your diet and exercise program and it will benefit you in many ways.