I was recently looking for equipment for training my clients; one of them suggested I try to search Craig’s list. I was shocked to find tons of stuff. Most of the headlines read “hardly used” so as the New Year approaches a lot of you will be making their resolutions I been thinking a lot about what makes someone quit. I don’t make New Year resolutions; I am of the mentality that as soon as I realize I need to work on something or change something right then is the right time. How many times have I heard the “ I will quit smoking after New Years/my vacation/ my birthday” I just think to myself, why? Is that going to be your last Vacation/New year/? You eventually have to manage being around other people who smoke so do it now!
But if you are considering making some health changes you all have my support. Here are some common mistakes.
As an endurance junkie this might sound hypocritical but my ‘small’ might not be ‘your’ small. All journeys start with a single step. I often see beginners take on to much and that adds to disappointment and quitting because you are setting yourself to fail. If you are a beginner establishing a routine is the most important, be realistic about how much time and effort you can commit and go for it. I have a daunting goal ahead of me but I broke it into smaller tasks and then applied it. I started with establishing running without a day off first, then increased my distance then added the heavy pack. If you are thinking of bettering your time start by adding speed training to your routine on what you think your body can handle safely, once or twice and don't worry if you don't hit your target every time, you will hit your desired pace once, then twice and so forth. The most important here is that you are trying to change your behavior and mentality, non runner to runner, slow runner to faster runner, couch potato to gym goer.
Stop making excuses.
It hard for everybody and sure there are times that is harder for us than for anybody else but is that the real reason why you are not doing it? My past success on overcoming challenges is that I take ownership always, I spend more time trying to figure out what I contribute to the problem than what other did. I can’t control others but I have control on my actions. Sure I been victim of unfair circumstances that I had little control of it but I took ownership 100% on how I reacted to it and how much I let it affected me. Sometimes it will be hard or impossible because of injuries or commitments but that is never the reason to quit. When it becomes hard for me to train because of circumstances I focus on the other things that I need like planning the logistics of my quest or getting ahead on my responsibilities. So when the window of opportunities opens again I am ready! Stop looking around to find excuses of why you can't do it and start spending time focusing on how you can make it happen. Remember that you become better at what ever you spend most energy on, an if the energy is spent on making up excuses you will just become better at finding more excuses and is that really what you want? I remember the first time I was criticized for running ultras way back when I started, somebody was telling me about a conversation of somebody who was trash talking about me " who do she think she is?" she has only been running for a few months. My friend was upset until she noticed I was smiling, she was puzzled " is fabulous" I said "A few months ago everybody pity me, no body wanted my life, all people where talking about about me was did you hear? now somebody wants my life!i had just gone for something that person had made excuses for to not do and that's why he was upset because I was about to show him that it could be done of you only had the guts to do. Stop making excuses and go for the life you want. When you find yourself at rock bottom learn to rock climb.
This is a big one. I see lots of new runners or people at the gym at the beginning of the year and just fade away the next few months. Why? Anything that is worth having takes effort. Like a marriage, at the beginning is all butterflies and excitement then it turns into responsibility and doing someone’s laundry, but is all on what you focus on. When I decide I want something I embrace all aspects of it since they are all integral part of the whole project.
The moment you decided to take charge on your health you didn’t say “ I will get healthy until it gets too hard or boring” Is exciting to start something because everybody is supportive and excited for you too. “ Go for it” “100% behind you” In no time things change when it starts affecting your old life, all of a sudden you are not cooking all 3 meals from scratch or changing the sheets every two days or meeting your friends for a drink every Thursday. I took a long break last year, I was getting pressure from everywhere and continuing at the pace I had been going was not possible. Both of my kids needed me home, Karl because of his condition, teachers struggled to find the right plan for him and needed my full attention as he adapted to his new school, Hans' grades started to plummet so I needed to take charge, while I knew that his lower grades where more about the social distractions in particular video games, I swear you can see a pattern of lower grades every time Call Of Duty releases a new edition I was being blamed for it. "You focus on saving the world more than me” First of all I don’t give up much to conversations like that, I want my kids to be givers not takers. Like I told Hans, instead of thinking that I am favoring sons you should be on your knees thanking God every night it wasn’t you the son who was going blind because the odds where just as high. What bother me is not that it was true, but what if he though so? I spend a year and a half watching SNL with both of my boys and making 100’s of Waffles for sleepovers until Hans had no excuse for bringing C's home then he had no choice but to admit what i knew. “ You are right mom,I haven’t had the best attitude towards learning lately and blaming you was the easiest way of justifying it”
Through it all I never lost my commitment towards my goals, I simply had to exercise patience, deal with setbacks as they came and maybe had to modify my plans a bit.
I wish you much success in the next year and all others to come; there is nothing more rewarding than taking control of one’s life. I am know as an incredibly stubborn person and that has cost me some friends or relationships but if somebody doesn’t respect your decisions they shouldn’t be in your life anyway. The way I see it, this is my life and I am in the driver seat. I am often surrounded but the most talented people in the world and I am blessed for that but not even then do I sit back. I surrounded myself with people better than me not because I want them to take care of me but to learn and grow. Is irrelevant of who they are, the way I see it, in my life, I am the president and CEO of my destiny.