Saturday, April 14, 2012

"No one ever said it would be easy, but it will be worth it."

Where have you been? Where are you now? Where are you headed?  People like to say we should forget our past and move on. We need to appreciate the present and not rush the future. I don't agree with these rules.  Rules are meant to broken, some more than others.

Your rules need to apply to you and your life.  You can be selective about what rules you will follow and which rules you can or should break.   The challenge is to figure out the difference between the good rules and the bad rules of your past, present and future.  In order to simplify this process, let's focus on your fitness and physical health since this is a fitness blog!

Your past history and experiences play an important role in your present physical health.  In fact, it is necessary to review your past in order to be successful in your current endeavors and set up your future goals.

In order to be successful in your fitness goals, you need to determine where you have failed in the past and the reasons why in order to be successful now and continue to be successful in the future. Sounds simple, but it's not or everyone would be as fit as a fiddle.

Once you are able to determine what your obstacles were, you can begin to problem solve and develop solutions to prevent duplicating those pitfalls.  Writing them down will help.  Did you run short of time if workout was scheduled for the end of the day?  Did you fail to have healthy food prepared in advance in order to prevent binge eating? Did you have an unrealistic plan to begin with based on your physical health at the time? Did you have a proper support network?

There are many reasons people fail but most of them are preventable with a little bit of planning.  This is where discipline and dedication play an important role.  The same obstacles will exist but if you are better prepared to handle them, your ratio of success will increase. This is why your past failures need to be addressed and not forgotten so you don't repeat them again.  You need to be dedicated to your plan and have the discipline to stick to it!

Your future goals will only be achieved if you first focus on the present.  The work needs to be done now or you will never reach those goals in the future.  Do the work, put forth the effort, be patient, be honest about your progress, make you and your health a priority and learn from your mistakes.

Don't become a prisoner of your plan but a partner with your plan. Find a balance that works for you and your life so you can be more successful than in the past. If you need help developing a successful plan - ask someone to help you.  Do you need help with your nutrition plan, your workouts or time management? What is your weakest point? What is your strongest? Seek out someone who will hold you accountable but also support you in your journey. You don't have to do it by yourself.

It would be ridiculous to go out and run 15 miles if you have never run before.  You need to have a base, a previous history of knowing how your body will respond, proper nutrition, proper hydration before and during the run. Without this knowledge, you are destined to fail. You may make it through the run, but you will likely pay a high price including injury, dehydration and an unpleasant memory of running all together.

Now if your goal for the future is to run a marathon and you are a newbie to running, then some planning must take place in order to be successful. The planning must take place now. Shoes are important based on running style, clothing can be important to avoid 'chaffing',  climate impacts training,  training partner and a time table to log miles and access progress in order to be prepared for the marathon race.

Think of your fitness and/or health plan like school.  The ultimate goal is to graduate. You have the required courses you must take to graduate. You also have elective courses which make the required courses tolerable. You have four years to get it all accomplished whether it's high school or college (unless you are on the 7-year plan!)   Some aspects of your fitness plan will not always be fun and exciting but necessary.  The workouts will not always be fun and exciting.  The food will not always be be what you want to eat.  "No one ever said it would be easy, but it will be worth it."

When you achieve a milestone in your plan, reward yourself appropriately (not with cake!).  Take before and after photos to track your progress.  Keep them handy or post them so on tough days, you can see your discipline is paying off.  Don 't adopt the attitude that you don't want those photos around to remind you of what you look like because that is EXACTLY why you need them!

You need to remember the past to keep on track in the present to reach your future.

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