What does fitness success and progress look like to you?
Is it losing 2 stone? Running a marathon? Dropping 3 dress sizes?
Whatever it is one thing many of us are guilty of is not feeling like a success until we hit that goal. Goals are great motivators and having a strong reason why can be the difference between having a dream and making that dream a reality. What we need to remember though is to celebrate and feel good about all the other achievements along the way.
Because if you want to drop 2 stones in the process you’ll lose your first pound, first half a stone, a stone. When you are one pound lighter you might not be where you want to be yet but you’ve started and made a step towards that.
If you want to run a marathon at some point in training you’ll run 5km, 10km, a half marathon, Again these are all massive achievements in their on right and using them as reasons to celebrate can help keep you motivated towards reaching that ultimate goal.
I think the key is to keep in mind that your progress might not be perfect, instantaneous or linear but changes are all positive, whether they have a big or small impact. If for instance your doctor has said you need to lose weight for your health, they may well have an ideal weight in mind but as a starting point a reduction of any size is still better for your health than staying where you are. If you currently do no exercise three sessions a week may be the ideal but even if you only manage one you’ve still increased your activity 100%.
This goes beyond fitness too.
Having a chat with a fellow fitness professional the other day we touched upon the idea of success within our field. There’s the idea I think we all subconsciously have that there is one end point within our corner of the industry by which our success is measured, whereas in reality what we get value and a sense of purpose from is actually very different, and whilst it’s good to have things to aim for sometimes this can cause you to lose sight of achievements which actually mean a lot (even if there’s less public glory associated to them) and you can end up judging yourself harshly. The fact is there may be things we will never achieve but focusing on those suggests we’ve failed whereas in reality the impact we have made has made a difference.
For me the key is of course striving and setting the scary goals but also being kind enough to yourself to notice the small wins that happen along the way, because when you do reach that big goal that won’t be the end, you’ll find new goals or bigger goals so when you think about it, only ever looking forward can end up being tiring and leave you always feeling like you aren’t enough.
So it isn’t case of don’t aim big just don’t forget all the other wins in the mean time.