Hard Work + Planning: The Winning Formula For Achieving Your Fitness Goals
It’s frustrating isn’t it? You have your big fitness goal solidified. Perhaps it’s running a marathon or losing a certain amount of weight. Whatever it is, you know exactly what you want to achieve, but despite your very best efforts, you feel as if you’re not getting closer to where you want to be.
Sometimes it seems like you’ve been working hard and putting in the hours, but for every step you take forward, you take another few back. It’s safe to say that you’re not alone.
Fitness related or not, again and again people set ambitious targets but fall short in achieving them. There are many different reasons why this might happen, but one of the most common can aptly be described by this old saying: “If you fail to prepare, then be prepared to fail.”
Some simple preparation can get you on track to seeing improvement and eventually reaching your goals.
Formulating Your Plan
If you take the most popular media outlets as gospel, it would seem that the successful people of this world miraculously gained their great achievements overnight.
However, this is rarely the case. Most overnight success stories are built upon a key combination of planning and hard work, and every big fitness goal is no different.
As the English playwright John Haywood famously said: “Rome was not built in a day.” Indeed it was not. Rome was built brick by brick, building by building. If they had no plan and instead just a vague idea of what they wanted Rome to look like, it would never have materialised. Whilst big goals can be beneficial, they can also cause paralysis. Often we fixate on the destination without giving enough thought to the journey.
So what is the solution? Feel free to have a big end goal, but don’t lose the forest for the trees. Don’t forget to break it down into focussed, achievable sub goals.
Let’s take the marathon for an example. Unless you’re a superhuman or a seasoned pro athlete, you’d be hard pressed to set off and run a comfortable 26.2 miles right off the bat. It’s something you need to build up to. Before you tackle a marathon, it’s probably a good idea to complete a half marathon. You may want to break it down even further, perhaps first completing a 10k run, a 5k, or a 1k – all the way down to a distance that you’re comfortable with. Everyone will be at different points on the continuum, so start with what’s right for you. Break that big scary marathon down into the smallest achievable steps you can take each day, and then commit to doing them.
The same goes for any other big fitness goal – it’s just more apparent with a marathon. If your goal is to lose twenty pounds, start with the first pound. If you want to do a one-handed handstand, work through the easier progressions first. When you feel comfortable with the level you’re at, then start to build gradually. Turn that 1k run into a 2k, and take the slow but steady path to reaching your end goal.
Now it’s time for you to take action. Whatever your end goal, fitness related or not, start by breaking it down into sub goals, all the way down to the smallest thing you can do each day. Write down a chart with each milestone on, somewhere where you’ll see it every day.
Then begin the grind. When you see your milestone chart every day, you’ll be more motivated to keep pushing yourself to the next step.
This journey can be difficult, and it requires some degree of patience, but investing in the journey is rewarding beyond measure and is the most sustainable route to achieving what you set out to.