How to Achieve your Goals, Part III: Don’t Quit

Did you know that there is a secret to achieving all your goals?  Sound intriguing?  Read the following article to uncover the one simple thing that can practically guarantee success in all your goals…

(If you would like to read the first two parts of this series, you can click here to go right to them: Part IPart II )

Can anybody guarantee success in all circumstances?  Probably not, but if there was such a guarantee, it would apply to this.  The one simple thing that can guarantee success for any goal is: Don’t quit.  So, if it really is that simple, how can I justify writing an entire blog on that concept?  Because simple and easy are two completely different things.  What’s the difference?  Simple just means “not complicated,” easy means “something that can be accomplished with little effort.”  Very, very different!

I have written about my workout goals lately, and the biggest thing that I have learned in the gym recently is that it is easier to accomplish any task physically than it is to accomplish it mentally.  I am quite sure that my body can physically run faster than I do.  Because my brain has put limitations on it, though, I don’t.  Recently at the gym, I made a plan for my treadmill run.  I was going to run intervals where I would run the first half mile at an easy speed, increase the speed for the next mile, slow it back down for a half mile and then complete the rest of my run at a sub 7 minute mile.  Physically I am sure that I can do this.  I even lectured myself that I would not stop.  The entire run I kept that mental lecture going … but somehow, with less than a minute to go, I found myself off the treadmill.  Although I got control and jumped back on, I failed because I was not mentally strong enough to push through.  I am not proud to admit this, but if I am going to be real in this blog and go on this journey together with you, it requires me to be honest about my short-comings also.

I wish I acted like this quote from Will Smith:

“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple, right?”

IMG_2268Over Memorial Day weekend last year, Bret, Brittany, Hunter and I competed in a Battlefrog competition.  It is a military grade obstacle course race.  The race was 8k (almost 5 miles), and most of it was in the mud.  We trained mildly for it, which means that we went to the gym regularly but did not train for the obstacles directly.  We had no idea what to expect prior to the race.  What we experienced was incredible.  Just before each heat started, there was a former Navy Seal (I nicknamed him “Mr. Motivation”) who gave everyone an inspirational pep talk about not quitting and accomplishing the impossible.  At each obstacle and mud pit, complete strangers were working together to help each other through.  At one point, I was neck-deep in mud trying to figure out someway to get out, when a random person stuck out his hand and pulled me up.  At one obstacle, Bret had several people jumping off his back so they could get over a wall.  Let me clarify that there is a group, “the elite” who run the course for time and financial prizes.  They do all the obstacles without help.  The rest of us, though, were allowed to work together and help each other finish the race.  It was an experience that I will never forget – complete strangers working together to help each other accomplish our mutual goal of not quitting!

And it really is that simple.  Whether it is with our diet, physical training, relationships, or job goals, they are all the same. We have to get to the point where we make our goal, stop thinking about it and just do it. Click To Tweet

I found a great quote by Neila Rey, a fitness expert:

“I already know what giving up feels like.  I want to see what happens if I don’t.”

Do you have any areas where you struggle because you let yourself give up?  Let’s talk about it.  We can encourage each other to keep going!

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