Fitness as a journey instead of a destination

Fitness is huge now a days. Unfortunately, many people have little long-term success with their fitness pursuit. People jump on some method of training that have various lengths of success and at some point lose focus or interest. People want to get into shape for various reasons but many of them are short term or spurious. The result of this is that their fitness success is short-term as well.

That’s why I believe fitness should be viewed as a journey with enthusiasm towards both the highs and the lows. If one’s mentality embraces the failure and success knowing that both are integral to progress; then, the short-term goals will be hit and will be followed with long-term goal success.

A good starting point is coming up with a goal you would be proud to accomplish. From there you define necessary steps to meet that goal. Let’s say my goal is to run 5 miles, four times a week. Now there are two main factors to this goal: the distance and the frequency. The usual approach would be to try and accomplish both factors at once. This is shortsighted. Even if I was able to run the five miles I would likely not be able to meet the frequency being that I set a lofty goal for myself. Subconsciously, I would know I am failing. This would cause my likelihood of success to fall and the ability to complete my goal would be hindered.

Much like investing, smart decisions are made with long-term success in mind. The great Warren Buffet once said: “If you aren’t thinking about owning a stock for 10 years, don’t even think about owning it for 10 minutes.” To bring us back to our example, it would be great to hit my goal in week 1 and continue on that path to greatness but life doesn’t work that way. Instead, I would take a different approach. I would try to conquer one factor at a time. So for week one, I would try to run four times a week but only run two miles each time. The following week I would increase the distance to three miles but only run three times. I would follow a similar pattern of small increases in difficulty shown below.

 

Week Distance Frequency Total miles ran Net increase
1 2 4 8 0
2 3 3 9 1
3 5 2 10 1
4 4 3 12 2
5 5 3 15 3
6 4 4 16 1
7 5 4 20 4

Now, this would not be the fastest way to accomplish our example goal, but you never go broke taking a profit as my grandfather once said. Steady consistent progress is often the best progress.

This kind of methodology can be applied to any fassett of fitness, so start today, progress slow and think long term!   

One final message: You can do anything as long as you believe in yourself! Now go out there and accomplish your goals!

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