Be Yourself

You learn a lot about other people’s goals when you take the time to ask.

One of the most common answers is to name someone famous. “I want to be big like Duane Johnson”, “I want to catch like Odell Beckham”, or “I want to swim like Katie Ledecky”. It can go even farther; “I want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg”. While those answers all convey the criteria by which people judge their performance, they also set up unreasonable expectations and unachievable goals; each of us is unique.

We learned to model ourselves on those around us when we were children, and even though we mature a great deal, many of us get stuck in the pattern of using a model to frame our goals and achievements. Yet it does not have to be this way.

When we create our visions of future success, we should strive to be ourselves throughout. Yes, this helps by giving us a real, achievable final outcome without the added baggage of whatever our model does or has been blessed with. But more importantly, it allows us to plan for the obstacles that are unique to our individual circumstances.

Quality Input For Quality Results

When garbage goes in, garbage comes out.

Your body is not a trash compactor. Whether it be food, drink, or supplement; do not expect quality performance from sub-par nutrition. (And especially when it comes to supplements: High price does not automatically equate to high quality!) The same goes for goals. Whether it is physical training, or business growth; do not expect amazing results from poorly implemented practices.

Spend time considering the inputs, because every input has an effect on the processes that follow.

The Low-Hanging Fruit

It is true for any goal, but especially a health or fitness goal: Make sure you pick the low-hanging fruit.

In other words, make sure that you target and accomplish the simple tasks that are immediately in front of you. A lot of people give up on big dreams because of their complexity. Yet if you take care of the parts that are within reach right now, the harder steps might just feel easier when you have momentum.

Get After It

You will spend months, if not years, working on the things you truly aspire to.

There is a time for preparation, when you plan and then methodically take the steps that get you closer; and then there is the time for action. But how do you know when?

It is easy to figure out when there is a deadline; a race day, a final day for entry submission, or even an accepted norm such as retirement at 65. Yet when there is no deadline, you can waffle on a launch date. There will always be another process that can be refined, another detail to attend to.

So for every goal that is important to you, take an honest look at where you are and get yourself an estimate for when you can move on it. Give yourself a deadline and go for it. It can be pushed back if life gets in the way. Someday might never come, but tomorrow is almost here. The only way to get after the future is to relate it to the present.

Seeing Is Believing

Seeing is believing.. or so the saying goes; but does believing something make it true?

If we do not stop to think about what we see before us, we can be fooled into believing just about anything. The same goes for what we hear.

In the constant flood of marketing that has become the norm of our culture, one of the best things we can develop is a healthy amount of skepticism.

A Lot In A Little

There are small blocks of time between activities; maybe a meeting ends early, or traffic was light.

These in-between moments are perfect for daily practices, a great way to build positive habits, or a moment to calm yourself.

If you recognize the opportunity, you can do a lot in a few minutes.

The Path of Least Resistance

Many of us struggle to make the right choices in the moment.

Sure, abstractly we know the better option; and on a good day, it is easy to make the right choice. But on those bad days, it is hard to do what we feel that we should, instead of what we want. Willpower takes energy to maintain, and constantly fighting saps energy until we reach a breaking point.

The simple trick that helps to stay the course is to take the path of least resistance. Avoiding the situations where we struggle is much easier than fighting against temptation every moment of every day.

Watch Your Language

The words we use matter, in our thoughts as well as in our conversations with others. Because the mind is capable of processing at speeds much faster than our rate of speech, even our rate of internal dialogue; each word has connotations that can trigger reactions. These reactions often happen on a subconscious level, and have an impact on our mood and outlook.

Every language gives us a number of options to convey thoughts, and some are better than others. While we use many words interchangeably, our reaction to the words may be very different. A few examples: I want to vs. I have to, I can’t vs. I won’t, That looks difficult vs. That’s impossible

Though we have command of our choice of words, controlling the emotional reaction once we use those words is much harder. So when it comes to achieving the goals that you aspire to, the difference between success and failure may just be watching your language.