Live or exist - the choice is yours.
When you're 90 years old and the end of life is near, would you rather reflect back and say, "I lived" or "I was afraid" and "I regret _____"? Fill in the blank. I'm assuming most would choose the first option.
Sure it's easy to get stuck in a daily routine but that's no excuse. If you want something bad enough, you fight for it, you work for it, and no matter what it takes you go after it full speed ahead. Accomplishing your fitness goals is no different than giving it your all for the career of your dreams, your relationship, or being the best parent you can possibly be. Life is all about choices - make sure they lead to healthy and positive lifestyle changes! Sometimes fear can drive your actions with the little voice inside your head saying, "I can't do that!" "I'm too out of shape, too old, too tired or too busy."
Stop. Nothing in this world causes more failures than our own thoughts.
I've had many doubtful moments, I couldn't even begin to count, but the difference is I'm very self-aware, acknowledge it, and immediately redirect because it’s highly unproductive and distracts from what's important.
Another obstacle I often see is the fear of what other people think. If you’re different you stand out, which is a good thing! Be you, be unique. Just because you take care of yourself doesn’t mean you are selfish or shallow. Quite the opposite, it shows you value yourself and your health. The fitness focused can often be viewed in a negative light by those who don’t understand it. Through my own journey, I’ve met so many people who have struggled with weight or life in general, just like myself, and they worked extremely hard to become who they are today. None of us are immune to difficult times nor the human condition. Always remember you are not alone, believe in yourself, and have the confidence to succeed. You know your true self and that’s the only thing that matters. Keep this mindset and you'll always come out on top!
So how do I avoid existing, fear, and self-doubt? Each year I set personal, professional, fitness, and life goals. It's important to be well rounded and edit/review all areas. Never stop growing or learning.
To stay fit I set several small goals to build momentum and then one or two large ones that require patience. I've listed them below!
Here are my 2017 summer goals:
- Trail running – I always try to discover a new path because exploring the unknown is exhilarating.
- Learning photography while staying active – this is worth another blog post (coming soon)
- Socializing! - I'm an introvert by nature but luckily also an eternal optimist. Relocating comes with its challenges even if you are outgoing on social. You’re the new kid on the block (talk about self-doubt), you’re trying to get to know people, and any normal person fears being accepted. After I survived that phase during winter and spring, I came out on the other side this summer just fine and realized, wait I need to connect with other fitness and outdoor enthusiasts!!! Nothing compares to new experiences and friends. Whether you need a workout partner, hiking buddy, or just someone who inspires you to do better. It’s amazing how much you can grow based on your circle, but remember be selective!
- Endurance training – it takes a lot to discourage me, but this is it. Working on endurance is slow, painful, but oh so rewarding. I plan to diligently work on this all summer, fall, and so on. It’s more of a lifestyle and if you get out of the habit you have to put in serious work to regain it. I’m in the beginning phase, but by the end of summer I plan to climb mountains faster than before and not get passed up by people twice my age (yes that happened in the beginning. I aim to keep it real).
- Muscle definition – this is something that requires patience, proper diet, and balance. In order to maintain muscle mass, you cannot solely focus on endurance training and cardio. Did you know physically inactive adults lose 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30? Even if you are active you still experience loss and this continues to accelerate as you age. Don’t go reaching for the wine bottle, it’s crossed my mind too, start making changes today. Read it, remember it, and work on it!
What will your quick wins and large goals be?
Start living. You can do anything you want - determination is a beautiful thing.