Top 10 Life Lessons to help you succeed in 2020 - Oxygen Strength and Fitness

Top 10 Life Lessons to help you succeed in 2020

Top 10 Life Lessons to help you succeed in 2020

In this article you will read 10 simple lessons I have learnt from my 48 years on this planet.  They are principles that I lead not only my training by but my life as a father of two and a husband. My challenge to you is to take on board some of these lessons to enable you to take control of your life in 2020 and use exercise as a vehicle to help you become a better father, husband, brother, son, so you can start enjoying life more as you reap both the mental and physical rewards from your efforts.


Sport has played a massive role in my life from the age of 14 playing rugby and Judo to today competing at Powerlifting. The key skill I have learnt from all of these sports has been to have self discipline in all aspects of my life to be able to make constant progression.  This skill has come from the fact that sport has a definitive structure with rules, guidance and outcomes which always encourages me to want more from it. For me this is  much like life itself as an adult/parent I have defined my own values and principles to lead my life by. This is my driving force that enables me to stick to my chosen path.


When was the last time you embedded yourself into a subject to extract every last detail about it that you can find? Or turned up and helped at your sports event, volunteered your time to help others. To succeed in reaching goals in life I have always been honest in the aftermath of the event as to whether I have succeeded or failed and also what I did good and what I could have done better? I also believe in submerging yourself into something with 100% effort is the only way to gain ownership of a task and giving you a better chance of reaching the outcome you wanted at the start. At the end of the day it is your goal in life and not someone else’s so you need to drive this forward and see it through.


Once I have set a personal goal in life.  I always take time to workout how I am going to get there. Right now I am planning the necessary steps that I have to take to be able to reach my goal of competing at the World Championships in Canada this coming November. That involves calculating the cost of the trip, logistics of travel, cover for my gym whilst I am away, training/nutrition plan and savings for it all to go ahead. This will without a doubt stretch me and my abilities in many ways. I would rather have this than following the same thing day in day out with little or nothing to strive for in the future. I will also gain a massive sense of personal achievement from this knowing that my efforts have been rewarded by the careful planning at the start. The simple line of fail to plan, plan to fail comes to mind.

Team Working

The majority of us at some point in our lives have been involved in some form of team based environment whether that has been from school, college, armed forces or maybe sport. Part of the bonus of being in that setting is the support, camaraderie, cohesion and strength that you get from others that allows you to strive on and achieve things that you never thought possible as an individual.  Over the years in my sport the guys and girls I have met in Powerlifting have done that for me by encouraging me to strive for more in my training but they have been there to pick me up when I have fallen and applauded when I have succeeded. Surround yourself with like minded people and you will have a greater chance of success.


Being able to show up and train as hard as you can with the best form 4 days a week 52 weeks of the year for 30 years has got me success, not some quick fix programme. That means no unnecessary days off, regulating food intake and retiring as a party animal. The attitude of I will do it tomorrow or I have a better offer is your worst enemy here – make everyday count in your efforts to reach your goals.


After every competition I assess what did and didn’t work with training and on the competition day. I can only do this as I have kept accurate records of my training. Detailing useful information on the sets/reps/rpe/weight/exercise/how I felt that day. How do you know what is or isn’t working in your life if you don’t take time to assess where you are and if it’s where you want to be. Same can be said about your personal or working life. How often do you evaluate the life you have done in a year. What you could have done better? What would you change and why? All this feeds back into your goals and long term planning for a better life.

Time Management

Definitely have had to practise this skill as my training is done outside of training my clients and running my gym. This has meant to be more accurate in rest times, avoiding idle chat and even split sessions up to complete workloads. One of the most useful skills to the work/life balance of high loads to ensure things run smoothly and stress levels are kept as low as possible. A major influence on this is your planning be prepared for your day. How many of us would have more time if we took lunch to work? Had our clothes ready the night before?


In the weight room having good communication skills is important for your own and others personal safety. Especially when it comes to spotting a bar or when you are attempting a 1 rep max. It is also a very important skill for me when coaching as sometimes key words and actions will enable my client to grasp a technique much quicker and easier. Bedrock of most problems in a relationship comes from not talking as a family or with partners so put down that phone and talk some more. Banning phones, tv and tablets at the dinner table is a perfect start forcing us to all engage more with one another.


All the planning and evaluation in the world is no good without correct delivery. That is why I pride myself on being as technically correct as possible in both my coaching and training. This not only ensures my safety and others but also gets me the most out of each movement, training session giving me faster and smoother progress. Don’t become the king of procrastination find a solution to a situation and then go for it. How many times do you say to yourself what if? or I should have? even Maybe tomorrow?


Ability to be fluid and change your plan with differing personal circumstances such as an injury or time constraints. Far too many times over the years, people give up because they cannot do everything they once did. Rather than concentrating on what they can do and seeking help to rehab an injured area.  Be open to last minute change and accommodate others as life has a very bumpy road and you will need to be prepared for that.