We often go in to new endeavors with high expectations. Whether we’re trying to lose weight, get stronger, learn something new… our minds are focused on results.
It’s a great thing to have specific goals; we love when people have a clear vision of what they’re working for! But this focus can cause issues if we haven’t put any work in to our mindset. Mindset can make or break any goal we have in life (fitness related or not).
Not putting any effort in to how we will react when we run in to a hurdle is like never doing any maintenance on your car and then getting mad when it breaks down. Eventually, if a car never gets any routine service, it’s bound to encounter some issues. You can be mad about it, but ultimately it was your own fault for never putting any money or work in to your vehicle.
The same goes for any goal we are trying to reach. The question is not IF will you face hurdles… it’s WHEN will you face hurdles. And if you go in to your journey expecting a smooth ride until you reach your destination you’re going to be setting yourself up for a lot of disappointment. Sure, you can be upset when you have a bad training week or suddenly you get an injury that is putting certain movements on pause; but ultimately you must come to terms with the fact that obstacles are part of life.
Let’s take an injury for example: You could be on the perfect diet, getting 8 hours of sleep a night, following a well-balanced program, and still end up injured. Hell, you could fall down your stairs tomorrow and break a leg. Accidents happen. Shit happens.
Or lets say you trying to lose weight: Again, you could follow the most strict diet and workout 5 times a week, but that doesn’t mean your scale weight is going to go down every single day. The obstacles will come at some point!
This doesn’t mean that you’re always looking over your shoulder, waiting for something bad to happen. It means that when when something bad does happens instead of sitting in our sorrow and wondering “why me”, we create a plan.
Yes, life is unfair. No, obstacles are not fun. But putting all of our time and energy in to those thoughts and feelings will not only not change anything, they may also push us back. By spending too much time complaining, we may inadvertently start taking bigger steps backwards.
Let’s take our say you’re the Injured Ian. Ian hurt his knee hiking, and now he’s bummed. He keeps complaining to his friends, saying: “If only I had just stayed home today. I was just starting to feel super fit”. Ian stops going to the gym all together. He gets depressed so he heads to the cupboard to help make him feel better. In two weeks he’s gained 5 lbs, and he says “This injury really set me back”
On the flip side, if Ian got injured and said “this sucks! I guess I’m going to have to focus on arms for a little bit” and gets right back to the gym the next day, he probably won’t feel like his injury set him back as far.
Or our Dieting Diane. Diane hops on the scale and she’s up 2 lbs. Frustrated, she wonders why she even tries. She gets a cookie with her coffee to help make her feel better. Later that night, she orders out and skips the gym because she’s just not in the mood. The next day, her weight went up another pound. She throws her hands in the air and says “Nothing ever works”.
But what if: Diane hops on the scale and sees she’s up 2 lbs. “Man, I don’t like seeing that. I wonder what it’s from? BUT I’m going to stick to my plan and keep moving forward”. She crushes her diet and the workout, and by the next week her weight has stabilized.
If we allow every obstacle that comes our way to completely derail us, we will never make it to our finish line.
Next week we’re going to discuss how we can make sure we keep moving forward despite obstacles!