By this time next week 84.96% of those who rang in the new year aspiring to achieve certain much-needed improvements to their health and/or fitness in 2016 will have already given up on said aspirations.
Before my more astute readers head over to Google to fact check me, I must admit the 84.96% statistic is completely made up. Although, based on my coaching experience, I’m confident in asserting that it likely isn’t too far off the mark, either.
I would love nothing more than for every individual who desires to take control of their fitness, health, and quality of life in 2016 to be successful.
To do this, though, we must get past the philandering of excuse making and cut right to the root cause of the problem.
But what is the root cause of so many failed attempts at losing body fat, building muscle mass, running faster, jumping higher, improving heart health, increasing flexibility, getting six pack abs, enhancing energy levels, or any other similar goal? And can all these failures really be consolidated down to a single common denominator?
You may think it rather arrogant of me to pronounce having the answer to this profound question.
Nevertheless, I insist that I do have the answer and that those who take to heart what I’m about to say will free themselves from the bondage of feeling like hopeless failures, opening up the path toward astronomical success in 2016 – and beyond.
As a forewarning, what I’m about to say is overtly simplistic. This is due to the fact that the root cause of most of our failures in life is simple to identify. The simple nature of what ails our ability to successfully achieve our goals also makes it equally uncomplicated to confront and put to right.
Easy? Not so much; at least not at first.
The simple truth is that failing to make progress towards achieving goals related to matters of health and physical fitness always boils down to one thing: lack of self-discipline.
The reason the vast majority of resolutions end as dismal failures is that people are very good at identifying what needs to be fixed in their lives, but are decidedly woeful at implementing the self-discipline that inevitably precedes the consistency required for successful, lasting improvement to take place.
Most everyone understands the importance of consistency. Unfortunately, only a select few consciously make the connection that self-discipline is required to actualize the consistent habits necessary for success. And, fewer still, become intentional about prioritizing personal discipline in their lives once this conscious connection between consistency and self-discipline is made.
This latter group consists predominantly of those who exude excellence in most of what they set out to accomplish. It’s inevitable because self-discipline is a precursor to excellence.
There’s actually a couple names for these people. You may have heard them before. They’re called WINNERS and CHAMPIONS.
I’m not using these terms in an arrogant or boastful manner. And I’m certainly not defining winning merely in terms of financial gain or worldly success. I’m intending to describe those who become champions over whatever challenges stand in their way to actualizing the improvements they desire for their life experience, whether spiritual, mental, or physical.
I can think of no better words to describe the end result for those who put their nose to the grind day after day, disciplining themselves toward putting in the work required to realize their goals, while avoiding unproductive distractions.
If you take nothing else away from this posting, I want it to be this: Those who are able to go beyond identifying a goal (or set of goals), to establishing a plan for achieving it, and then polishing that plan off with the self-discipline required to execute it to completion, these are the ones who will successfully achieve their goals (or experience significant improvement while falling short, which is still a win in my book).
It’s not the fortunate or the lucky who succeed. Luck has little or nothing to do with it.
Success belongs to those that are self-disciplined and are, therefore, consistent. Period.
Intuitively, all of us working toward accomplishing challenging goals pertaining to our personal health and fitness know this to be true. And we’ve all experienced the remorse that follows behaviors that are inconsistent with our professed goals and desires.
For example, this is why we feel guilty after eating a Big Mac and fries. We rightly recognize that it’s a lapse in discipline that led to inconsistent action. We’ve acted in a manner that’s inconsistent with our goals and we appropriately identify this inconsistency as not only failing to progress us towards where we’ve declared we want to be, but even moving us in the opposite direction to some degree.
Regret is the natural response, but it’s how we react to it that makes all the difference.
Living a disciplined life doesn’t require that we never falter or fall short. This would be impossible. The inability to be perfectly consistent all the time is part of living life as an imperfect sinner in a sin-tarnished world.
This doesn’t mean we should be proud of our shortcomings. It means we need a strategy for dealing with them – and doing so swiftly – before they’re allowed to inflict even more damage in our lives.
But how many people allow their failures to linger, continuing to fester, only taking them that much further from achieving their objective?
We can be honest here. We’ve all been guilty of this at one time or another.
You know how it goes. A cheat meal turns into a cheat weekend, which then proliferates into weeks of undisciplined eating, negatively impacting our training sessions, and adding several pounds of unsightly fat to our frames.
Because all of us are prone to falling to the myriad temptations to act inconsistently with our goals, it’s imperative that we maintain a priority on self-discipline amidst our inevitable temporary lapses in consistency.
What this requires from us is the prompt recognition of our shortcomings and swift correction of course.
We don’t dwell on our failures. We honestly assess them, learn from them, correct our error, and continue moving forward.
This is what consistent self-discipline looks like and it’s how you win in fitness, in spirituality, and in life. Without self-discipline, our goals – fitness or otherwise – are doomed to predictably plunge to their untimely deaths.
The 84.96% who will have given up on their new year resolutions by this time next week will learn this truth the hard way. Sadder still is that 90% of them will go on to repeat their failure again come next year.
Don’t be that person. Be the one who shows them what it takes to win: SELF-DISCIPLINE.
“In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.” – Harry S. Truman
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