The Journey of a Thousand Miles...
Updated: Dec 14, 2020
For many of us, a fitness goal starts as the tiniest dream -- tucked away in the corner of our minds... Maybe it starts as a sidewards glance into a mirror, or as a tinge of jealousy or shame peeking into a magazine. For many of us, a fitness goal is born many years before it is realized. It seems the gestation period for a fitness goal may be much longer than we expect. The truth is, for many of us, these dreams are born but never fully germinate. They often die before they are realized. And that is because they are not nurtured; they are not tended to.
If you have been harboring dreams of fitness, you can take a few key steps today to begin to realize your vision. The most important action you can take is to cultivate your WHY. WHY is fitness important to you? For some people, fitness is about a feeling. A feeling of satisfaction with your physique, a feeling of appreciation from those around you. For others, a WHY is much more practical, rooted in personal health and longevity. Both categories have value, and I would argue that combining the two into a larger, overarching WHY will go a long way toward helping you achieve your own personal goals.
While everyone has their own system, I recommend taking the following simple steps to begin nurturing that dream:
Start a Fitness Journal: this can be a scrap of paper or an online journal like Evernote. Write in it each day. Start by writing about WHY you want to get in shape. List the reasons. Even if they feel arbitrary or self-centered, write them down and make them real! Reasons can include wanting to be healthier, wanting to look jacked, wanting to be more attractive for your boyfriend or girlfriend, wanting to live longer for your son or daughter, wanting to be more respected at work or by people around you, wanting to set a good example for friends, etc. etc. etc. List them all! When you exhaust your list, read it aloud and highlight or circle the reasons that feel most important to you. Pick three and write them in GIANT BLOCK LETTERS on a piece of paper that you can tape somewhere that you will see every day. This is a start.
Create a Vision Board: find some photos that remind you of your WHY. Perhaps they are pictures of your ideal physique, or your reasons for wanting to be healthy. Tack them to a poster board or a cork board and display them somewhere you will notice often. We know that images are a crucial component of defining our reality. In fact, "seeing is believing" isn't just a catchy phrase but a scientific fact. Take a few minutes a few times a day to see your vision board and then visualize yourself accomplishing your goals.
Share your Goals with Someone: finally, take the step of vocalizing your vision, plan and goals with someone you trust. Choose someone supportive who is going to champion your plan rather than shoot it down. Tell this friend, family member or colleague what you are trying to accomplish and WHY it is so important to you! Explain to them that it would mean a lot to you if they would check in with you from time to time to see how you are doing. This extra layer of accountability will help you begin your wellness journey and keep you on track!
Ultimately, how successful you are in reaching your health and fitness goals will come down to how connected you stay to your WHY. Find the allies and the avenues that work best for you! Most of all, take those first steps on your journey -- this is the only way you'll ever get started!