When we are constantly racing towards a destination, what happens to the moments we are living right now? Fast does not always mean better, many times we are in such a hurry we fail to do the necessary work it takes to build a strong base. In life details matter.
When we choose to take a stand, not yield to pressure, we learn that we can triumph over darkness. Facing the truth, we take the actions necessary to accomplish our goals, despite our fear of failure. The difficulties we will face in life are great, when we choose the right path, it may take us into unknown territory, yet if we stay the course we find what we need most.
A habit is not born in a day, change will not come with a couple of days work. It is only through diligent work, overcoming any setbacks while continuing to learn on a consistent basis that we realize progress. In life consistency is king.
One day we wake up and we realize that time has caught up with us. It could have been a doctor visit or weekend adventure or even a glance in the mirror.
All is not lost! There is a solution. We can never turn back time, but we can always strive to be the best version of ourselves. The good news is that each of us has the ability to get to that place, the only question is are you willing to make the change?
Where do you start? Do you go sign up at a gym? Start eating fat-free food? Count calories?
If you are a determined self-starter you could begin walking daily, cutting sugar out of your diet and controlling your portion sizes. This would immediately make a difference.
You could do some research, making sure that the information is from reputable sources.
You could also find a good gym or a trainer that fits you and will help you achieve your goals.
So you are 30, 40, or 50 and have not worked out in a decade or ever. There is some important information you may want to consider.
Number one rule, no matter what you decide to do: You cannot out-train a bad diet.
I cannot stand the word diet when it is used to refer to a short-term eating plan. Our diet is the food we eat throughout our lives. Every meal, every day makes up your diet.
All of the popular short-term diets must work to some degree or there is no way they would be selling them. People had to lose weight following the plans.
The problem is losing weight is only part of the equation. Is it just water weight? Are you starving yourself? If so, you are just setting yourself up to gain it right back. Is this fad diet good for your heart? Causing other health problems? If we want to be healthy and youthful we need to consider carefully what we do long term.
If we only care about what the scale reads, then sure temporary fad diets will do. The problem is they are not sustainable. In many cases, we will end up losing the muscle we need.
Every day one of the most important decisions we will make is what we put into our bodies. We have to be in it for the long term, there is no quick fix or magic pill.
Understand the power of food and learn what proper training can do for you when coupled with healthy eating.
When it comes to training, you are going to have to spend a little money. You get what you pay for in fitness. I am not talking about fancy equipment, clothes or gyms. I am talking about working with someone who knows what it will take to get you on the road to a healthy body.
Find a fitness professional who has experience, who motivates you, and who you get along with.
Just like a healthy diet, fitness must be a lifetime choice. Set aside an hour a day for yourself. Carve it in stone, make it your time. Maybe you begin with 30 minutes, and then work your way up over time.
It took all of us how many days to get to where we are today? A lot! The solution is not to go all out on day one, week one, or month one. Take small steps that build on each other until fitness becomes a sustainable lifetime habit.
Once you make the change to a healthy diet and a commitment to fitness, you will inevitably see, and feel, the results. Build on that foundation and challenge yourself in new ways as you make progress.
We love to add in challenges at the gym to help people mix up their routine and try something new, even if it is just for 5 to 10 minutes a day.
We are all guilty of telling our friends and family about the things we hope to do one day, and then doing nothing towards achieving those goals.
Inaction costs us our desires. Think about the inventions, art, music, literature and financial gains that are lost because we never take the necessary steps.
Could it be that we are all lazy? Or do we just derive enough pleasure from picturing our perfect scenario without having to do any of the work it will take to get there?
The problem with this is that one day we will begin to have feelings of regret and disappointment.
I see it all the time in the gym. People come in to get into shape. They know they need to do something and yet they just cannot persevere or push through mental/physical obstacles. Sometimes they blame it on “not having time,” which simply means it is not a priority. We all have time for the things that matter to us.
Then, a year passes, and inevitably they are worse off.
I have seen it in Jiu Jitsu so many times. People come in and want to learn, but they just are not willing to put the time into learning. I can tell you this observation I have made. Those that have become black belts in Jiu Jitsu that I have trained with are not the loud, weight-lifting braggart types. They are those that showed up day after day and put in the work and the time to learn.
I also observed it in my writing career. People often talked about their projects, took classes, seminars and did everything they could, except actually putting pen to paper day after day.
The problem comes from the inside. Each of us must ask ourselves if we are content maintaining our current life without making any changes. If the answer is no, then we must make changes.
Dreams, goals and destinations will never happen without first taking solid steps that will build the momentum to reach them. Each of us holds the power to change, no matter what our situation is at this moment. We cannot blame anyone else for our failure to accomplish our goals. The decision is up to us, we alone must take action.
I know that I am not the only person to have big internal battles, so today I will share a little about mine.
When my day begins roughly around 2:30 am five days a week, the first of my daily battles kicks off. I may wake up just before my alarm, in which case I wonder to myself if I should close my eyes or just get up. Often I am shocked into alertness by my alarm and I dream about what it would like to just turn it off and roll back over. I always get up, because a few minutes extra sleep will make no difference. It may sound crazy, but I enjoy getting an early start on my day.
After I have read the news and enjoyed a cup of coffee, I take my dogs out for a long hike at about 3am. During my walk I judge how banged up I am from the day before. My leg, foot, shoulder, back or a combination of them all, may hurt.
It may play out in my mind something like this: I am not going to do everything today. Maybe I’ll just do half a workout or I’ll just move around. Then I think about my end goals and I know I will do what I need to do.
The bottom line is we all struggle with many things every day. We know what we should do and yet we often settle for what is easy to do.
This is where personal responsibility comes into play. We as adults should know the cost of any decision as well as understand the reward. We are the ones who will ultimately need to take action to reach our goals.
It is hard, not fun or popular and at times we may feel like we are missing out. If we are honest with ourselves, we all know deep down what choices we should make for ourselves.
Making better choices is a learned behavior and it takes work. The good news is if we practice it, it gets easier. It may be really hard to get up before the time you usually do to get in a workout, but after a few weeks of doing it, it becomes a habit. Keeping our ultimate goals in mind is a great help when we become distracted by something. Immediate gratification is tempting, but if we change the way we look at life, we come to understand while it looks, tastes or feels good at the time it is not greater than the alternative prize.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Success comes with being consistent. It does not matter what you wish to accomplish in life, the key to achievement is working on it day after day.
I am not talking about some self help, new age mastery technique. I am talking about backing up your dreams with action.
Pablo Picasso wrote “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”
John Steinbeck wrote “Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.”
Malcolm Gladwell, the author of Outliers writes that greatness requires enormous time. In fact, he recommends investing 20 hours every week for ten years in order to achieve success, and he calls it the 10,000 hour rule.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
A great start on the road to reaching our goals is just showing up. I think that first step is hardest sometimes. It could be putting words to paper, sketching on a pad, showing up to the gym, opening a book or even making a good food choice. No matter what we wish to accomplish, we must start somewhere or it’s nothing more than wishful thinking.
Most people fail to begin. Once you begin, you are on your way to success. This is where it becomes so important to be consistent. You must put in the work each day in order to progress.
Find something that stimulates you deep down. A dream you want to accomplish, and commit to it. Start working today. It will get tough, life will come up, temptations, distractions… you may ask yourself if it is worth it or if you will ever see results…. It is so important to just keep doing it.
It is only through proper repetition that we become a master at anything. Becoming a better version of ourselves takes work.