Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. –Sir Winston Churchill
We fail. We fall down and people laugh at us. And if someone has a video camera handy, these failures can end up on America’s Funniest Home videos, so we can all have a good laugh.
Who doesn’t love that show?
Fitness is a life long journey which is full of twists, turns, bumps, failures and victories. Fitness is definitely not about the fastest person to lose 20 pounds or winning some sort of twisted weight loss competition.
There is no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow but the payoffs for your quality of life are massive. Having or developing a couple of the following traits will keep you on the fitness straight and narrow and your trek more enjoyable and worthwhile.
1. Set goals
If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit everything. With most things worthwhile, it helps to set goals. When motivation wanes, you’ll need goals to hang your hat on, or you’ll never get out of bed because hitting the snooze button is so much easier.
The process of setting goals is an entire post in itself. However, using the S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound) goal setting method is quick, easy and a good place for you to start.
Then writing this down and keeping it someplace prominent will act as a great reminder on why you’re busting your butt. To give you an idea, I will use myself as an example.
Specific- I want to deadlift twice my bodyweight, that’s 360 pounds.
Measurable- I will record how much I lift each week to see if I’m making progress.
Achievable- Is my goal to hard or too easy? My current max is 315 pounds and a 45 pound increase is achievable.
Realistic- 45 pound increase isn’t a massive jump and by deadlifting twice per week, I plan to make this happen.
Time bound- I’ll test my 1 RM by December 31, 2016
Now it’s your turn.
This world doesn’t owe you a thing. You come into this world with nothing and you’ll leave with nothing. What you do with your life in between is entirely up to you.
Whether you want to run a marathon, deadlift twice your body weight or even become a professional athlete, you’re going have to put in the hard, uncomfortable yards.
You’re going to face difficulties, you’re going to fail and you may even feel like quitting along the way. However, if you acknowledge this, you face these obstacles head on and you want it more than breathing itself, you’ll never fail. That’s grit, baby.
3. Fun factor
Think back to your childhood when you ran, skipped, rode bikes and played all types of games with your friends. Take your time, I’ll wait.
Did this feel like exercise? Did this feel like torture by treadmill? Of course it didn’t because you were having too much fun to think about your sweat, elevated heart rate and calorie burn.
When movement is fun, you’re more likely to do it and when it feels like punishment, you don’t. Sounds simple doesn’t it? That’s because it is.
Inserting some “fun factor” into your regular routine like playing a sport, dancing or whatever interests you will make exercise more enjoyable. Life is already full of stuff that we have to do and exercise shouldn’t be one of those things.
Life comes at you a million miles per hour and there will be plenty of excuses for you to stop making exercise a priority. However, I want you to remember that someone will always have it tougher than you.
That guy in the wheelchair who is paralyzed from the waist down would love to get up and go for a walk. Please keep that in mind when you come up with another excuse not to get up off your butt and move. Just strap on some shoes and go for a walk.
It’s that easy.
There are going to be times when you’re either too busy, too tired, injured or when you just don’t give a crap about going to the gym. Exercise slips down on the list of priorities and the scale becomes your enemy.
Rather than going down this slippery slope just aim to do a little movement each day. All movement is good movement and it all counts. Exercise doesn’t always need to be formal or intense.
Strap on some shoes, catch up on housework, stretch or do something fun. Doing 10 minutes of movement has great health benefits for your body and state of mind. You do have 10 minutes right?
We all fall, but it’s not a matter of falling, it’s more a matter of you getting back up. Having one (or all 5) of the traits listed will ensure you’ll get back up and get back on a successful and enjoyable journey towards good health.