Most of us know what it’s like to strive for a goal; to work really hard at something with the hopes of succeeding. Maybe you landed the job you wanted, made the team you dreamed of being part of or ran that marathon that had been on your bucket list for years. When the hard work pays off it’s exhilarating.
By the time we reach adulthood most of us have come to know some variation of the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”
The truth is, though, we sometimes want it, but not bad enough to work at it. Ironically, we all do it. We say we want to improve at work, need to work out, want to lose weight, run a race, get into a certain college, or get to the next level of anything you can think of, but then we get to the end of our days and we didn’t do one thing about our so-called desires except complain about not reaching them. Sound familiar?
It takes perseverance and an iron will some days to overcome the excuses in our heads. On any given day my energy level, hunger, motivation or the weather could make me cancel a workout. I have an indoor gym in my basement…weather should never come into play when deciding whether or not to work out, but it does. How? Because when it comes to excuses the possibilities are endless.
It also takes a solid plan to meet your goals. We would never set out to run a marathon without a serious training plan and yet we set out to meet all kinds of other goals without much more than hope. How many of us say we are going to eat less, work out more, and be beach-ready every summer? Most of us. How many of us start an actual plan, make it 5 days and throw in the towel by Friday night? Been there, done that.
We can’t just dream about our goals anymore. We have to really want to change down deep in our bones. We have to want our health WAY MORE than that chocolate cake. We have to want our health WAY MORE than how tired we feel. We have to want our health WAY MORE than any bad days, good days, rewards or any temptation that could be dangled out in front of us. We have to commit to ourselves that this is the most important thing in our life and work at it like we have never worked at anything before. We have to make sacrifices for our goal. We have to work around it, block time out for it, and keep it sacred or it will not happen.
You can’t just dream about it and you can’t just want it. You need to make a plan and you have to work that plan each and every day.
Not sure where to start? Start with the end. When do you want to achieve this goal? Start there and work backward. If I am training for a marathon I mark the date on my calendar and that is the day I need to be ready to run 26.2 miles. Then I go back to today. How many weeks do I have to train? How many miles do I need to be able to run each week to get there? How many days per week will I train? I fill out the calendar every step of the way until I am training the max number of miles I need to be prepared. I check my calendar everyday so I know what is expected in order to stay on track for meeting my goal. If I want it badly enough and my actions back that up, I will reach my goal. I will be prepared to run that marathon. I just need to follow the plan.
What goal are you working toward right now? When do you want to achieve it? Get out your calendar and work backward. Then go get it.