Do you approach goals the same way you approach your workouts? If you are unstructured in a workout, does that show how unstructured you when faced with other stressors in life? The truth is, the same principles of working out your body can be directly applied to achieving goals. Here are the top-five similarities between the two.
1.You have to be future-oriented
Just the very concept of working out is based on the idea of working toward a preferred future. Regardless of your specific physical goals, when you exercise, you are doing it for the benefit of your future self.
This is a fundamental part of any goal-achieving activity. You don’t get from a bachelors to a PhD. overnight. When you are working toward something, you are applying effort in a future-oriented way. You’re putting in the work, today, to receive a benefit (new language, promotion, degree, money in the bank) tomorrow.
2. You can’t just look like someone who’s getting something done…
Have you ever seen that guy at the gym who just doesn’t seem to be giving it all he’s got? This guy is either watching TV or taking 10 min breaks. Really, he seems to be doing everything he can to look like he’s working out…without actually working out. These types of people are wasting their time and money (if they have a membership). If you want to get anywhere, physically, you have to use your time wisely by giving it all you got.
The same can be applied to our pursuits. We are only given today and a limited number of hours. And it’s how we use this precious time that our goals are achieved and lives are directed. If you put little effort in, you’ll get little effort out. It’s not enough to just show up to the gym and pick up a few weights. You need to train and push yourself toward becoming better, faster and stronger, regardless of how insignificant it may seem. Going all-in matters.
3. Be consistent
It happens every year. The gym is packed from January 2nd to January 31st. Come February, and it’s easy to tell that fewer and fewer people are going to the gym. Lots of people remain constant in their work out right up ‘till the time they reach their short-term goals. After they get those six pack abs, run that marathon or feel better about that cheese cake, they stop their routines and fall back into their old life patterns. Soon afterward, their muscles get a little smaller, they move a little slower and, in no time, they are back where they were, before they started exercising.
Life is more than attaining short-term goals. It’s about growing, moving and reaching new levels of achievement and understanding. You cannot make any meaningful progress if you are always fluctuating between acceptable and unacceptable. Yes, you’ll manage to live within acceptable levels, but you’ll never know what your body, mind and spirit were capable of.
4. Have a clear purpose
Key to any successful workout is being focused. There are so many different ways in which you can train: cardio or weight training…cross fit or push ups in your backyard….swimming or rock climbing. To get the most out of your workout (and workouts), having a purpose is essential. Otherwise, you’ll be expending a whole lot of energy and not going anywhere.
In life, we are faced with innumerable options. Defeatists would like you to think everyone is handed a set of cards and only those can be played...the die is cast and all that. The reality is that your goals are achievable. But, they are only achievable through focused effort. You want to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Okay, what are the steps that can get you there, and let’s start with step #1. It’s through this type of intense focus that man could land on the moon, the four minute mile could be broken and Kenny G could play the longest note ever played on a saxophone.
5. Push Past The “Wall”
Everyone hits the proverbial “wall.” It’s the moment during a workout where your body and mind try to get you to stop. It’s harder to breathe, your muscles are tightening and you start thinking that you won’t be able to make it one step further. While this moment can be intense and painful, it is also the moment when you get to decide how bad you want it.
How bad do you want it?
We all hit the wall. In the course of walking around, we all have moments that knocks the breath out of us. Lies fill our heads, trying to get us thinking in ways we know that aren’t true..
“Who am I to think I could do this.”
“It’s not in my genes.”
“Maybe it’s hard because I’m just not meant to do it.”
When those thoughts fill your head, get happy…really, really happy. Because, right now, Resistance is raising it’s ugly head and plotting to kill you. It knows what you are capable of and it wants to stop you at all costs. By pushing past this wall, you are fighting for your life and you are winning. It’s the getting past this moment..this wall… when you prove to yourself (and world) that you will accomplish what you set out to do, and nothing will hold you back. And it’s also the exact time you start to feel good. Endorphins are released and, suddenly, you start to feel better. You start to think, “I can do this!”
As you push on toward your goals, think about all the mental and physical effort it takes to to workout your body. It’s not just about lifting weights. It’s about moving towards a preferred future and doing so in a focused and consistent manner. You can reach your goals, but no one can do it for you. Just like no one can give you that awesome-bod. You have to earn it. So, go earn it, push past those walls and prove what you’re made of.