We all have goals we set for ourselves upon beginning this journey toward health. In fact, there’s a goal right there: health. Other goals could be losing “x” amount of weight, running a marathon, lifting a certain amount of weight, or doing a particular gymnastics movement. But those goals take time. And sometimes it can be really discouraging if you are constantly focused on the end state and not the journey. Instead of getting frustrated or discouraged, (and as cliche as it sounds) I want you to stop and smell the roses; celebrate small victories along the way! Why? For one, if you’re always focused on the long-term goal, you might let fear win, afraid you’ll never reach it…and you might give up. BUT if you have been documenting (yes, writing down) all of the victories along the way, and you see the improvements you’ve made so far, you’ll be empowered to keep moving forward.
Do I really have to write them down? Yes! People have a tendency to forget things…or misremember them. You may forget that when you started working out, you could only jog 50 meters and now you’re running 400’s without stopping. You may think that you’re not getting stronger, but if you look over your notes you’ll discover that you’re lifting twice as much as you used to. I want you to have the facts in writing, posted in your bathroom, in a journal, on your desk – wherever you will see them – to look at and remember how far you’ve come. You know what else you can do? Tell people about your victories. It’s not bragging, it’s celebrating! And let others share in your celebrations and remind you that what you accomplished is worth celebrating – so PLEASE, tell a coach, a friend, your spouse when you hit that PR in the gym! We all want to celebrate with you! Celebration creates positive momentum that can keep you energized and enthusiastic about doing what it takes to reach your longer term goals.
If we aren’t celebrating the small victories along the way, we have a tendency to get…bored. And that once inspiring goal? It becomes a stressor. We must look at the power of incremental change, because, you see, small victories add up. So next time you lift 5 pounds heavier than ever before, do not say “but only by 5 pounds”… NO. We want you running to write it on the PR board and then to have a coach take your picture with your white board! Next time you run 3 seconds faster in your mile than ever before – celebrate. You lose 2 pounds – celebrate. Instead of focusing on the big picture goal, focus on the small victories each and every day. Did you take less breaks today during the workout? Did you do one more push-up before dropping to your knees? Did you use heavier weights? Did you stick to your meal plan? These are the small victories that will add up to a big victory and you reaching your long term goal.
We have the guarantee of countless scientific studies that all of our efforts will not be in vain. Eating healthy will make us healthy. Sticking to an exercise program will make us stronger, increase our vitality, and help us enjoy our lives to the fullest. But you must make the decision in your mind that this IS NOT going to be a 3-month fling or even a year-long endeavor. Committing to the long haul is doable and enjoyable when you focus on the small victories.
If you’re not sure where to start, need guidance, accountability, or a great group of people to celebrate daily with, we would love to help guide you toward your goals.
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