This morning, for the third straight year, I reached a personal annual gym record. It took every bit of 361 days, leaving me conscious it may never happen again, but today I’m proud to have reached the milestone. 15 years ago this week, someone made a comment about my weight; I had ignored it in pictures of myself for a while, telling myself it was a bad angle or the camera adds 10 pounds – whatever excuse I could make up. After that comment, I began a regimen of counting every calorie that crossed my lips and all of my workouts. I dropped 40 pounds within 6 months, 30 of which I’ve since replaced with muscle. There’s a reason diets and exercise programs fail – you will hit several brick walls, you’ll tell yourself you’ll make it up tomorrow, whatever – and then you don’t, and then you eventually stop. It’s how you plow through those things, maybe spicing up your diet with something new you enjoy or adding new things to your workout that will determine if you can keep going long-term. I’ve had many such roadblocks in 15 years. Rather than tell yourself you’ll make it up tomorrow, just do your best with each decision and each day and be proud of the number – knowing it’s your best. The beauty of diet and exercise is it’s simple mathematics – calories burned versus calorie intake; sure, you need ample vitamins and minerals, but the guiding principle of my regiment isn’t rocket science. There is absolutely no way I could have done it without my Fitbit workweek hustle buddies – that daily motivation to get up out of bed at 4 AM to go to the gym so I could compete and put my best number out there drove me for so long. Furthermore, when you work 50+ hours a week and come home to a family including 2 kids, you don’t get a moment without obligation… meaning I’m up at 4 AM each day to go to the gym, stream a program while I run and listen to music while I lift. It gives me a whole new way of looking at the day. I’m mentally recharged and refreshed, and I just feel good physically all day. I can also eat whatever I want without guilt.
You’ve got to have your own motivations. Mine started because I wanted to lose weight. Over the years, it has shifted to more of a mental mindset – my unplug time where I come up with my best ideas, and so I still look good at age 40 for my wife. 🙂
A gym goal is like any goal – you approach each new day making decisions. Make the decisions that will make you feel more whole, make you better able to live your best life, and will lead you closer to your goal – even if it’s very far away. All you can do in any day is the best you can do – make the best decisions you can, endure or pivot when you reach the hurdles or boredom and take every decision and day as it comes. Don’t look too far ahead, don’t dwell behind…. and YOU CAN AND WILL ACHIEVE WHATEVER YOU WANT.