We know that goal setting is important. If you need a step by step plan to set goals read HERE. But a goal is only a dream without taking action on it. In order to make your goals a reality we must have a plan in place and execute it! Not perfectly but consistently! Always remember that your health and fitness is a lifelong journey. Timelines on our goals are important but remember that this is just a timeline for that goal and your pursuit of your best self does not stop once you reach your goal. You must have the mindset that this is a journey, that this will be ongoing even if you originally committed yourself to only sixty or ninety days.
One on my largest fitness goals a few years back was to complete an Ironman Triathlon. I had already completed duathlons, running and biking events but I did not know how to swim properly for long distances. I needed to be able to swim 3.8km continuously to complete the swim portion of the race. I had never swam laps in a pool, but I knew I could keep myself above water enough to not drown. Part of my plan was to first just get in the pool and try swimming a few laps. In my head I told myself I was in pretty good shape so this shouldn’t be hard. I jumped in and swam one length of the pool. Head above water and no idea how to do a proper front crawl, I was gasping for air once I hit the other side. Right there I knew I had some work to do and this wouldn’t be as easy as I thought.
For many people this is like going to the gym for the first time. The first workout can be hard, uncomfortable and maybe intimidating. You have two choices: 1) Stop and give up on your goal and let it remain a dream. 2) Show up the next day, try to get better and do this consistently until you are more comfortable and it becomes habit.
That’s the same choice I faced. Stop there and tell myself swimming is not for me. But that is not what I did. As I left the pool I asked for help. I asked if adult swimming lessons were available and I signed up. I knew this would keep me accountable and I would have a coach who would help me get closer to my goal. After the lessons the next part of my action plan was to get in the pool at least twice per week to practice. A YEAR later I completed my first triathlon, a 1500m swim and three months after that I completed an Ironman.
The other thing most people don’t see is what happens on the road to success. Everyone sees other peoples success, the tip of the iceberg, but not the journey they took to get there. Many people thought I was a fitness trainer so this was easy for me and I could just go out and do it.
No one ever saw me going into adult lessons for months. No one ever saw the hours I committed to getting in the pool to practice my swimming. No one ever saw the 20 to 30 hours of training I put in a week to complete an Ironman event.
If you see others success don’t think it is something that they achieved in 30 days. If you find out their real story it most likely took them months if not years to get to where they are now.
If I can give you one lesson on success this year it is take action and be consistent. Results don’t happen overnight. Plan for the long game and make health and fitness a lifestyle not just a short term plan.
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