When you run a race, you have one main goal: to cross the finish line without dying, right?
Secondary to crossing the finish line fully intact is crossing it with a good time, maybe even a personal record.
When you start your first year of college, you have one main goal: to eventually (hopefully in about 4 years) walk across the graduation stage, diploma in hand. Secondary to graduating from college would be having a good job lined up after you graduate.
When you attempt anything exciting, positive, potentially scary and new in your life that may propel you on to bigger and better avenues, you typically have one general BIG goal you aim at. A target – your “bullseye.”
GOAL ENEMY #1: DISTRACTIONS
When you look at it in simple black and white terms, it seems so easy! All you have to do is get from point A to point B.
Health and fitness goals are no different from any others. In a race – we’ll use a 5k (3.1 miles) for example – point A is the starting line and point B is the finish line. What you need to do to get from point A to point B is successfully get through by means of running or maybe run/walking miles 1, 2, 3 and the last 0.1 to cross the finish line.
Using the college example, point A is your first day of your freshman year. Point B is being handed your diploma at graduation. But in college everything in between point A and point B is a little trickier than running 3.1 miles!
You have to successfully pass your courses (and learn a little a long the way) while being bombarded with all kinds of distractions that can distract you from the very clear point A to point B path. Parties, football games, road trips, social influences, changing majors – these are all types of “distractions” that could effect how quickly you reach your goal.
Some of these distractions can knock you so off course that you wake up one day, look in the mirror and think “My vision and purpose was so clear, but now Point B seems so far away. Where did I go wrong?’”
OUTLINE YOUR HEALTH AND FITNESS GOALS
Now take your health and fitness goals. Point A is where you are right now. Point B is where you would like to be. But everything in between point A and point B in this scenario is even trickier than the goal of graduating from college!
With all the distractions college can have to knock you off course, how about all the distractions that can come at you just living life as a grown up? A career, bills, family, relationships, not to mention all the other occasional unexpected things life throws your way just to see how much you really can handle.
It can almost seem like life is deliberately testing your resolve, asking “How how badly do you really do want to achieve your goals?”
Life will throw things your way that need your attention for sure and could even appear to take priority over your health and fitness goals. But to achieve those goals, you can’t let the little daily or weekly distractions veer you off course. Because you will be tested, and it’s easy to use these “tests” as excuses if you aren’t particularly motivated on a given day.
And all of the little “tests” you don’t pass add up.
For example, I sprained my ankle over the Christmas holiday. I had planned to rack up my running miles, do 2-3 track workouts over the two-week break and get some great, hard strength-training workouts in over the holiday. But when I sprained my ankle, I couldn’t even walk and didn’t know how long I would be out of commission.
Needless to say, I was not too happy that my running and workout plans would now have to be reevaluated, or maybe even eliminated all together for a few weeks.
I administered the R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) for two full days, and while the swelling and bruising looked horrid, my foot actually started to feel better. By the second day, I started thinking about what I could do instead of dwelling on what I couldn’t do.
I could do exercises that didn’t require me to put a lot of weight or pressure on my foot: battle ropes, punching bag, seated arm exercises and abs. So that’s what I did. Then the third day I attempted to “take my foot for a walk” and mustered up 1.5 miles in 35 minutes, still conducting the R.I.C.E. treatment most of the day. On Thursday, four days after the injury, I went to the gym and did a 45 minute back workout, all seated exercises, and walked 3 miles (though it took me an hour, lol). On Friday, I went to the gym again and did an hour-long chest and shoulders workout.
My point is that I could have (and almost did) used my sprained ankle as an excuse to not workout. Anyone can easily use any unexpected obstacle or distraction that life throws their way as an excuse to get off track.
You will have obstacles and distractions. You just need to be somewhat prepared on how you will stay on course despite distractions and minor set backs.
TIPS TO STAY LASER-FOCUSED
If you want to achieve your goals in 2018, here are ways you can stay laser-focused and on track:
1. Determine Your Point A and Point B
Write this down, or draw a diagram if it will help you: IDENTIFY what your Point A is. Keep it simple. You may have several things you’d like to achieve, but for now just identify what your one BIGGEST goal is and what your Point A is. Then, IDENTIFY what your Point B is for that same goal. Now you have your starting and end points mapped out.
2. Determine Your Path
What is the path you need to take to get you from Point A to Point B? Is it in miles? Is it in years? Is it in identifiable steps? Write those down.
3. Recognize Potential Distractions
This is a very important step so that you aren’t blindsided by potential distractions that could veer you off your journey toward reaching your goals and have you right back at square one (or Point A) gain this time next year. Think of all the things that have caused you to fall off the wagon in the past and what you can do differently this year to prevent that from happening again.
4. Keep At It!
Keep revisiting the above steps over and over, EVERY DAY if you have to!
– Point A (starting point)
– Point B (destination)
– Path to Point B
– Distractions or potential obstacles and your plans for dealing with them
With laser-focused determination and a solid plan in place for reaching your destination, have confidence that you WILL reach your goals this year!
ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.