Michael Grogan is a Personal Trainer/Movement Coach in Melbourne CBD & Clifton Hill, Australia.  He uses a combination of Gymnastic Strength, Advanced Mobility and Barbell Strength & Power exercises to achieve increased levels of performance and body composition with his clients. For more information follow him on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michaelgrogan_movement/ facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelGroganMovement and for enquiries contact [email protected] 

I had it printed on my wall, my goal for 2007. Train in the gym every day and eat according to a super clean diet that I had carefully planned for myself until I hit my goal weight and had my ‘six pack’ visible in the mirror. The first 5 weeks were on-point, I was feeling great and I was on track with my #shredgoals for that #summerbod07.

On week 6 it was my best mate, Jimmy’s, birthday – in previous editions, we had always gotten suitably hammered in order to celebrate the occasion. Not this year though, I was determined to stay on track in order to accomplish my goals.

I headed down to Jimmy’s and proclaimed that I would be getting the first round of drinks in, and that I would be having my 1 ‘cheat meal’ by way of a beer within that round and then I would be staying off the booze the rest of the night.

Mayhem ensued as I was chastised, ridiculed and my decision to stay off the booze was labelled as an act of ‘Judas’.  This went on for around 30mins as I held firm with my decision. However by minute 37 I had crumbled and succumbed to 4 Jaegar-bombs and a competitive skull (‘see you at the bottom’) of 2 vodka cruisers in a pint glass (all-class over here).

After the effects of this night, the nutrition and training plan quickly became a right-off as I skipped training the next day in exchange for the ‘hangover Sunday’ ritual of ‘eat anything and everything in sight’. I lost all momentum over the next few days and slowly drifted away from my targets and my 2007 goals became a lost cause.

Much like your best mates birthday bash, society will plant all kinds of honey pots in order to seduce you away from things you are trying to achieve. It is important for you to recognise this and readily assess the actual benefit of succumbing to these societal pressures, especially when it may take you away from your goals and dreams.


The purpose of this article is to alert you to 5 Societal Honey Pots that may lead you astray from your objectives and also give you some strategies to avoid them in order to stay on track with your goals.


1.    Your Best Mate’s Birthday

The big man’s birthday, a.k.a a sure fire way to curtail all your momentum of clean eating and training hard. Sure, you want to celebrate the special day with the BFF but it shouldn’t be at the expense of what you are trying to achieve. If the basis of your friendship is that you must, on all celebratory occasions, get famously sh1tf@aced, then it might be time to take a hard look at whether this is a true friendship, or just your excuse to let yourself off the hook every year.

How to avoid:

If your eye is on the prize then this is really something you want to make sure won’t curtail your momentum. A simple explanation would be, if this person is truly your best mate, then he would want you to be happy and achieve what you are setting out to do. Therefore he would not have a whinge or a tanty about the fact you are not drinking on his birthday.

However given the fact you won’t be drinking, it would be ideal if you do your mate a solid and put your hand up for sober driving duties on the night.


2. ‘Sunday Funday’

Woo! #Sunday #funday. I mean, I know we are setting out to achieve that glorious goal and nothing will get in our way, but yes, I will have a Parmie and Fries (hold the salad). Because after all, its Sunday, and god would want me to enjoy my Day-of-Rest by eating whatever I want even though it might ruin all my momentum through to the following Sunday.

Is it just me noticing this? Or does everyone’s goals and dreams seem to go out of the window as we lie around and pretend this day doesn’t count when it comes to eating good food or attacking our other goals and dreams. There are 52 Sunday’s in a year so those 52 ‘cheat-day parma’s’ aren’t going to result in you having that six pack by summer.

How to avoid:

Recognise that Sunday counts! Whatever momentum your trying to build for whatever goal you are trying to achieve – just remember there are probably 800,000 other people in competition with you trying to achieve something similar. These people may not be subscribing to your ‘Sunday funday’ philosophy and are grinding towards their goals while you are watching entire seasons of Geordie Shore, just because it’s Sunday.

3. ‘Hangover Sunday’

Sunday Funday’s cousin is ‘Hangover Sunday’. This is when we have a few drinks on Saturday night so we therefore spend the whole of Sunday smashing fast, often fried, food and telling ourselves its ok because its ‘Hangover Sunday’.

The logic behind this is that we already fell off the wagon on Saturday night so we then take the next logical step by pushing the wagon off the highest cliff we can find.

How to avoid:

When you are on track with those clean eating goals but you find yourself having a few drinks, its ok, it’s not the end of the world. But don’t use that as fuel to ruin the entire next day and potentially kill all the momentum you have built so far!

Try keeping a mental log of how many drinks you put away the night before and then completing 10 burpees for each drink consumed the next day, this will make sure you exercise the next day.

4. ‘Friday Drinks’

So you have been 100% clean with your nutrition from Monday to Friday afternoon. But then weekly tradition of ‘Friday Drinks’ comes around at the office and without a second thought you put away 4 pints of beer and end up stumbling home via the local kebab shop for a cheeky late night chicken ‘souv’…yes, that will curtail a lot of your hard work.

How to avoid:

Friday drinks has to be the worst of all vices to succumb to. You spend more time with work people 9-5 than you do with any of your true friends or loved ones. There’s no need to hang out with these people any more than you already do. Go hangout with those who support your clean eating goals; like your friends and family, rather than being stuck having to buy rounds for ‘Ken the Copy Guy’.

5. Christmas/New Year

The mother of all clean-eating and momentum killers! It’s not just the excess eating/drinking that kills our goals and dreams, it’s also the procrastination-fascination we attach to this time of year. “I really want to eat clean/change my job/start exercising….and after Christmas/New Year I am going to do it all”

How to avoid:

If you want to do something with your life then get started…now! Anyone who uses the birth of Christ as a shield to protect them from getting started with something they have always wanted to do, probably isn’t going to achieve it anyway.


To Conclude:

This article was not written by the fun police aimed at being a buzz-kill on everyone’s good times. However it was written to get you think about what societal pressures may be pushing you off track when it comes to your goals and dreams.

Momentum is hard to build and when it is interfered with by an event it can de-rail all of what you set out to do in the first place.

If you thoroughly enjoy the aforementioned events and are completely happy with where you are with your health/fitness and in life then that’s great, you are winning. But if you find you are wanting more and you are attending these kinds of events on auto-pilot, getting thrown off track and constantly finding yourself back at square 1, then maybe its time to re-assess where your at.

For all those wanting advice on setting their own structure with their lifestyle balance please get in touch: [email protected]




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Michael is a Human Performance Coach based in Melbourne, Australia creating high performance human machines since 2009. Michael believes in building physical performance using gymnastic strength, advanced mobility and barbell strength & power. Building mental performance through constant challenge, goal setting and skill based activities. Building lifestyle performance through discipline and mental drive.