Nothing Worth Having

There’s an old, time-tested phrase that goes like this: “Nothing worth having comes easy.”  But is it true? Think about marriage. Or a college degree. Or a clean, organized house. They not easy at all. But are they worth having? You bet. Things that are worth having take a few ingredients, like Time, Effort, Planning, and Determination. But are my goals worth all of this? Are yours? Think about how you will feel when you accomplish your goal – what will it look like and feel like? Are your goals stretching you to become better?

I think I can safely say that my next Goal for 2012 is a stretch, not just for me, but for most of us:

Goal#5 -Stay in regular habit of Exercise/Healthy Eating so that I can: 1. Keep the 27 pounds I lost in January OFF (maintain 175 pounds)                                                                         2. Get into great Cardio shape so I can run a marathon (Goal for 2013)                   3. Improve physical limitations to my 1 mile time (goal of 6 minute mile, currently 6:10 minute mile) my 3 mile time (goal of 21 minutes, currently 21:45) and one-hang pull-ups (goal of 60, currently 45).                                                               4. Live a healthier, fuller life by eating better, merging from a partial organic diet to a fully organic plan.

Time                                                                                                             Let’s face it – time is one of our most valuable commodities. I take it for granted though, sometimes wasting it in the silliest ways – Netflix/Hulu, Youtube, checking Facebook or Twitter 47 times a day… and yet I can produce excuses at the drop of a hat to avoid something I SHOULD be doing, like  taking care of my body. Every one of us has 24 hours each day, and some folks do EXTRAORDINARY things with the time they have – like the dad who has 2 full-time jobs while balancing a family, or like the student who takes 18 credit hours while balancing a part-time job to pay for tuition, or like the single mom who works out at 5 am so that she can be healthy enough to run and play with her kids. This is a big world with billions of people in it – there is someone busier than me who is doing what has to be done to accomplish their goals.

So I need to learn to drop my excuses and make time for my goals. If my goals are worth it, I need to make the time to do them. And I am not someone who randomly does things I am not used to doing, and I would bet the same is true of you. We don’t get into shape by accident, with no schedule.  Therefore, I am setting aside time every day, 6 days a week, to workout. 6am – 6:45am.

Effort                                                                                                                    It’s funny, but it’s true – so often I pass the buck when hard work needs to be done. I don’t often volunteer to be exhausted, beat up, or sore. That’s why if I am going to accomplish this, I’m going to have to put some blood, sweat, and tears into it. Everyone, EVERYONE wants to lose weight, get into shape, and look great in a swimsuit, but how many of us achieve this? 7 out of 10 Americans are either overweight or obese. Check out the CDC website if you want to see something scary – http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.HTML   The map of the US goes from white, to blue, to tan, to orange, to red. Freaky, right? So If I’m going to beat this trend, it’s going to take some digging deep and putting some serious effort in.

Planning                                                                                                                      Up to now, this is all wishful thinking. I want to make some significant strides in my health this year. Whoopdeedoo. What is my PLAN to get there? Well, being the type A, obsessive compulsive, detail-oriented guy that I am, I have plans and lists for everything – seriously, everything. It takes me a while to even tell my wife all the plans that I have for certain things for fear that she will freak out at the sheer insanity that I carry around in my brain all the time. But I need a plan. Have you ever tried going to the gym without a plan? I have. Sometimes I would just walk around the gym thinking about what I felt like doing … then 20 minutes later, I would settle on something. Then I would finish that exercise … then start wandering again. Not a great way to workout and see results. So what is my plan? Here ya go:

1. Do Insanity from March 5th – May 5th,                                                                               2. Do Yoga, light cardio, and ab work for the month of May,                                           3. Do P90X from June 4th – September 4th,                                                                                       4. Do Yoga, light cardio, and ab work for the month of September,                                             5. Do an Insanity/P90X hybrid for November and December.

I like doing Beachbody programs because they do all the planning for me, and I just have to show up and push “Play.” Also, I know how long my exercises will be. And I can do them at my home with minimal equipment at any time I want. I don’t have to pack a gym bag, drive to the gym, fight for a machine, or PAY somebody for something I can do out of my house. They give me the structure and accountability I need to make it.

Will and Determination                                                                                 Determination is somewhat similar to Effort, but it has a longer perspective. Am I going to grit it out and see it through? Can I push and push, be consistent and vigilant enough to see this goal come to fruition? It will be tough, no doubt. Sometimes it will feel like I’m this kid above trying to move that huge sumo wrestler. But I bet you that if that kid pushed and pushed every day, eventually he could push that sumo wrestler. He may even push him over one day. I’m so often influenced by the world around me – a world that tells me to expect immediate satisfaction, and that I can leave or move on if I’m not happy with something. But just like anything else that is worth it, physical achievements don’t happen overnight. Everything is about immediacy today. I heard someone say something once – Only in America can we have “reality” TV shows with people in incredible shape and who are ridiculously wealthy, and all they do is sit around a pool all day, drink beer, and have sex with each other. This is not reality. To borrow a phrase, we must have “Long obedience in the same direction” if we are to accomplish anything that is worthy in this world.

Like I said: Nothing worth having comes easy. So here’s to all of you out there who have a goal, have a plan and structure, and have the determination and grit to get there. There is nothing harder, but there are fewer things that are more rewarding.

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