Reality is a harsh and cruel mistress, but she’s always fair.
Mark Young, a fellow fitness professional and human flag wrote a post here that really got me thinking about the nature of goal achievement. When it comes right down to it, most of the times when we’re chasing after a particular goal we’re living in our own heads, and it’s straight up kills any chance that we have towards making real progress.
Think about it this way: how many times have you encountered someone trying to lose or gain weight? Pretty often I bet. Now how many times have you heard that same person swear to the high heavens that they aren’t eating “that much”, or that they’re eating like a pregnant giant yet can’t gain weight? Probably a good 90% of the time – and these are the people who will spend most of their days spinning their wheels; the physical embodiment of the phrase “traveling without moving.”
So what gives? Their continued execution deserves some props, but they have no objective tools by which they can measure their progress, and they’re going nowhere because of it.
Girth measurements? Objective.
The way your clothes fit? Objective.
Guessing how much you do or don’t eat? Hell naw!
Having tools like these at your disposal isn’t only recommended but downright necessary because they tell you the most important thing ever: are you moving closer to your goal? It’s like the ultimate flow chat to awesomeness.
No matter what formulas you follow or other people tell you, if you aren’t making any progress towards your goal, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
1 – How is your execution? Are you handling your business and doing what you need to do?
2 – Have you done #1 consistently?
3 – Have you given it enough time to work?
If you answer yes to the above questions then you need to change something. Don’t continue banging your head against the wall of defeat out of some false sense of commitment to a plan that isn’t working. Despite your inner voice telling you that it should be working, the reality of the situation is that it isn’t. Adjust your course of action and begin using some tools outside of yourself to track your progress. Rinse and repeat until your awesometicity quotient increases by at least 172%.
If you answer no to those same questions, you might need to change things up but guess what? You have no idea if you do or not. Your execution and consistency is all over the place, plus you haven’t given enough time for the fruits of your labor to grow, so even if you do switch things up you’ll probably end up in the same position as the one you just left, constantly stuck in the should be loop and not addressing the root of what is. Until you meet those three basic requirements you have no frame of reference to base your changes on, so anything you do is pretty much a shot in the dark.
I wish someone had told me this when I was younger, but sadly I had to get it dropped on my head in a song for it to stick: a movement in any random direction is not progression.