Failure Is An Option
Naming a goal and doing little in its pursuit is just giving failure a softer name.
Failure is an option. For most who pursue a fitness goal, failure will be the only option. I suggest that 90% of people who conceive a fitness related goal never achieve that goal – most never come close. I believe people fail at fulfilling their fitness agenda for a combination of reasons, primary among the reasons are:
- Time; underestimating how much time it will take to fulfill one’s fitness destiny.
- Ambition; overestimating what can truly be accomplished within established time, personal, and physical boundaries.
- Effort; underestimating how much effort is involved in changing the landscape of the human form – effort at the dinner table as well as effort in exercise.
Think It Through, Don’t Drift
Fitness is an endeavor requiring thought of an end-result, and the creation and follow-through of an achievable plan leading to that result. If there is no thought of where that outcome lay nor how to get there, then the term endeavor gives way to the word drift. To my knowledge, drifting has never taken anybody where they want to go.
Time; establish realistic boundaries
- How many days per week are you truly able to commit to an exercise program? Over-committing can lead to frustration, and abandonment of the course. Better to start with just one day per week of rigorous exercise and prove to yourself during a month’s time that this can be achieved. Then, after a month of successfully creating that habit, add one more workout per week. If you start by attempting six exercise sessions per week and you can’t keep that pace, you will likely get disillusioned and give up.
- Time allotted per workout; same as above. Better to commit to 20-30 minute workout sessions in the beginning, and add time after you have proven to yourself that you can meet that initial boundary. As your lifestyle and schedule permit, add an extra 5 or 10 minutes to your workouts and adjust your goals upward accordingly.
- Make an honest study of how long it will take to reach your goal(s). Don’t expect change overnight because it will not happen overnight. Accept that you are probably months, if not years away from fully realizing your fitness goals. However, with consistent workouts supported by mindful eating, you should see small changes with your body regularly.
Ambition; establish realistic goals
Too many people choose the unrealistic goal of looking like an action figure or a magazine cover when really, they should just be trying to look a little less like an obese cadaver.
Before you can begin to establish what your fitness goals are going to be, you must first establish what they should be. Understand and respect the boundaries of your lifestyle; relationships, job, time, abilities, age, and so-on. If your boundaries are not consistent with your goals, then the goals need be amended downward to accommodate those boundaries.
- Once your time, personal, and social boundaries are established, only then can you conceive what your goals should be – based on the limits of your boundaries.
- Be realistic. It’s one thing to dream about having a youthful body; it’s something entirely different to successfully earn one. Prioritize what you can vs. what you want to achieve. Use logic, honesty, and perhaps a professional opinion to determine whether or not it should be a goal.
Effort; don’t pamper yourself
- Body-changing exercise should be rigorous if not intense. There is a direct relationship between intensity and results. I know of no great fitness success stories which came about by taking the stairs rather than the escalator, and cutting back on desserts.
- Despite all the effort and all the sweat in exercise, the hardest efforts one will face in the quest to lose weight will be in uttering the word no on an ongoing basis.
Complexity In A Nutshell
I have seen many people attempt significant change in the landscape of their bodies. A few I know have succeeded; most I have known have failed. Those who have succeeded have had three things going for them; the ability to set realistic goals, the mental drive to pursue those goals, and the acceptance that true change is a long-term endeavor. Be well. rc