Success in fitness is no different from any other success or achievement in life. It must be achieved in the same way.
There are certain principles that must be in place for success to be achieved; if a solid foundation does not exist, then it will be a never-ending battle of fad diets, nouveau fitness regimens and dangerous cleanses.
Below are four principles that must be in place to obtain success in any area of life (including fitness) – something I picked up from a coach by the name of Dan Sullivan:
1. Follow the gap principle: Do not measure your success against the ideal; measure yourself based on the strides you have made from where you started. Measuring against the ideal only leads to frustration and disappointment. Whereas, measuring against where you started from builds confidence and a sense of accomplishment. For example, if your ideal is to look like a super model or professional athlete, you are always going to be unhappy and disappointed if that is not achieved. But if you say “Hey, I started out at 190lbs and now I am 174lbs, I am doing pretty well so far, all I have to do is hit that 165-lb benchmark,” then you’re encouraging yourself and the results will keep coming your way. Then once 165lbs is reached, you can reassess your goals and move forward from that point.
2. Always show up early. Set a time to train or workout and be early. Showing up late shows a lack of respect for your goal, your work out partner, your own time and energy, and it omits extra time to fit in an extremely important part – the warm up.
3. Always do what you say you’re going to do. Your word is currency; it has extreme value. It can actually be more valuable than money. If you say you’re going to do something and you do it, that builds your stock. It shows that you can commit and meet those commitments. But don’t promise others, promise yourself and make it happen. Then others will be impressed and look to you for guidance.
4. Finish what you start. We love people who finish what they start. That means if you start a fitness regimen, then you must follow it all the way through no matter what the excuse is. We are infatuated with the person who was 400 lbs and committed to a goal and is now healthy, fit and changing the lives of others. We are not infatuated with the person who tried and gave up. This one can be tricky because people tend to push too hard in the beginning. Consistent progression will build the foundation for success and make it much easier to reach the next level of fitness.
If you picked a goal and followed the above principles, you are guaranteed to succeed. A major reason that most people do not reach their goal is that they give up.
On top of the four principles above, here are some nuggets of wisdom by Thomas A. Edison:
“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
“Great ideas originate in the muscles.”
“The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are: Hard work, Stick-to-it-iveness, and Common sense.”