The picture of me in the mirror is approximately six weeks ago. The picture on the left with jeans is from the other day. While I don’t believe looks are the indicator of health and beauty, I’ve found that progress is definitely the birthplace of fulfillment.
What do I mean..?
When moving forward each day toward a heartfelt goal or dream, there is consistent progress toward it, even when you can’t see it. And eventually, with that consistency, that progress, however small, can be seen. It doesn’t matter how small the progress is, just that it exists. When you see progress, you see your actions have been worth it, you see how capable you are, how much potential you have.
That’s what I feel now- because about seven weeks ago I wasn’t too happy with my body. I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I was nowhere near the shape I was in just a few years ago.
AND my work as an author and speaker is about inspiring others “to be whoever they want to be and create themselves.” Yet when I looked in the mirror, I’d actually failed to create the self I wanted, physically, at least. There were at least three times within the last year I’ve told myself that I would get into the “best shape of my life.” Each time I’ve quit when it got hard and quit exercising. Once after a few days, then a few weeks, then about a month or two into training I quit.
“But I am busy…” I would say.
“I don’t have time to keep this up…”
Only was I to realize that what I didn’t have time for was to keep telling myself I didn’t have enough time. Come on, we all know it deep down, there’s always enough time if we have enough willpower. You have enough time for that thing you keep saying you don’t have the energy for.
I wondered… how could I tell people they can be who they wanted, if I couldn’t even do start to do it in more areas of my life, especially physically?
That’s why I decided to do a little experiment and see what kind of shape I could get myself into. In just about 39 days, those are my results. No, not just the pictures. I mean just look at the way I am standing, the difference in the energy I am projecting. To me, I gained confidence and self-esteem. To me, I gained an understanding that I have a lot more potential to make something happen than I ever thought!!
But those results, that process, also produced these 5 things I learned…
1.) Sometimes being strong means doing what you don’t want to do. It’s easy to do believe ourselves to be strong and to keep building onto what’s been easy. But the true test of character is when you don’t want to do something you really ‘ought to. When you don’t want to spend an hour a night studying about your passions. When you don’t want to get out of bed and exercise 5-7 days a week, when you’re so busy you don’t think you have time for YOU, or when you would rather eat food you know you shouldn’t, and scroll the internet all day. When you don’t really want to work on your dreams because they are taking a long time. When you want to quit and blame it on the economy or your age or lack of education or experience. THOSE TIMES are when life is figuring out how strong you are… So how strong are you?
2.) Creating your reality doesn’t just mean working really hard to make your dream job a reality. It means having the discipline and wherewithal to put equal focus and attention into all areas of your life, not just your job. Be determined to create excellence in each area of your life! This includes your diet, your exercise, your relationships, your hygiene, your recreational time, your self-care, and your spiritual practices (if you have some). I have been, for the last 2 years, the person that spend 8-10 hours a day working, and zero time exercising, or testing myself because I always introverted myself… Creating your reality means creating your reality- reality means all areas of your life. So what have you been neglecting?
3.) The importance of a goal is who you become in the process- not the thing you get. I realize that my goal to get into the best shape of my life WAS NOT to get good pictures. Yes, that is fun. I admit it! It feels so good to see my confidence rise in my image. But what is so much cooler is all I’ve learned about myself through digging deep, and doing things when I don’t want to. What I got is how much more energy I have in my day to day life. How much more energy and focus I have for work, how much more energy and focus I have to concentrate on all the beautiful things that are happening each moment! Every time you set a goal, you find out how strong you are- you find out what format forces are available within you!
4.) Progress = Fulfillment. Fulfillment comes from progress. Fulfillment does not come from a final destination of a 6-pack or a million dollars or a better looking butt or a nicer house. Those are nice. But it’s the progress that counts, I believe! For instance, I’ve been waking up every morning with excitement to put my feet on the ground and see how much stronger and how much more energy I have than the day before. I look forward to seeing how my previous day’s workout affected me!
5.) Results are a result of consistency. Let’s face it: we live in a world of instant gratification. Because of this, a lot of us are kind of wussies. We don’t like to work hard and we don’t like to commit to something long term. A lot of us like quick sugary or fatty fixes from 7-11, or internet porn. We’ve conditioned ourselves to not work hard. But what I’ve learned and what’s been proven to me time and time again is that sustained results don’t usually come from a single effort. Success isn’t an overnight gig, it’s an up all night gig. Meaning that the results you seek in any area of your life are usually only going to come when you consistently put effort into them!
…BUT HOW DO I DO ALL OF THAT?
Yeah I know what to do but I can’t seem to do it. How do I just do it?
Maybe Mark Twain had said it best, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
For me my goal was to get “Into the best shape of my life.”
I hadn’t exercised in a while and had to get started.
I went on a run.
I started to break it down further into exercises. Gym/weight days. Running days. Etc..
(Break down whatever you want into the things you ‘ought to do to reach the goal).
Then, instead of trying to do a million push ups in one day to get the results, I was consistent in exercising myself in different ways as often as possible.
I got started where I could and stayed with it, each workout after each work out.
All you gotta’ do is just break it down. Take your goals. Your objectives. Your, “wish I would’ves,” and turn them into actionable plans. Then get started and live strong!
While I sit here, typing this, I think that goals are so important because they are an opportunity to build self-esteem and self-confidence. They are an opportunity to express love to yourself by achieving your most heartfelt dreams- you are living the possibility of who you are by testing your limits. And so what are your limits? Where do you end? Can you keep going? Who do you want to become? Will you help yourself ‘get there’?
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