Hey, hey my lovely lettuce-heads!
I often talk about “finishing strong” whether its in my spin/turbo classes, 30 day health challenge groups, or just plain goals we’ve set for ourselves (daily, monthly, annual, career). So often we all wake up with a plan to tackle our work day, focusing and accomplishing more than we did yesterday, getting to our workouts that will sweat off all the calories we might have overeaten the day before, and chisel away at this goal of “happiness” we envision for ourselves but aren’t quite there yet due to this, that, and there.
Im not talking about perfection here, because planning, motivation, focus, and execution are all important steps, equally as challenging. What I AM talking about here is the fact that there are simple steps accomplished people take in order to finish what they started, and not only just complete the task, but they end finale style, with gusto, with a surplus of shazam. They know how to finish hard.Whether its 5 more calls at work, sprinting at a workout’s end, or actually crossing off your day’s checklist with the MOST IMPORTANT step of kissing your loved one goodnight… the proof is that people who feel like they’ve given their all, actually live their life the most fulfilled.
In this article, Im going to address through my experiences of achieving goals myself, helping my challengers, instructing group exercise, and everything Ive ever researched … the 4 things WINNERS do and quitters don’t.
1. They KNOW their excitement will wain and they’re bound to hit the roadblock of BLAH. Acknowledging the reality that one’s enthusiasm will not stay anywhere near the peak of when it first sounded like a good idea…is a first MAJOR step. You gotta know that you WILL be stoked at the beginning and then… you WILL hit a roadblock. My 30 day health challengers often face it at night, because guess what? Studies prove motivation is highest in the morning and the chips that they vowed to not touch in the morning, now are talking to them through the cupboard, saying “oh come on…youve worked hard all day…you deserve this.” My workout classes come in with relatively fresh legs, smiles, and nervous energy awaiting the difficult sequences we encounter. However come 20-30 minutes in they start to look at the clock, wondering how long till its over…and they start to punch a little softer, stare at the instructor a little longer, and take a few more water breaks. Yup, totally normal… the nerves and adrenaline has worn off, theyve been working hard now for almost half the class, and they’re excited for their warm dinner after a long hard day, dreaming of rest and relaxation instead of another half hour of sweat and sprints.
Another example is when people create these amazing goals when they sign up to be health coaches, or start their positions at work, or decide to pursue their grad programs…but then after a few days, a few years, they get farther and farther away from their dreams, clock in day in and day out sure… going through the motions…but looking for something else to blame besides themselves so they do anything BUT stick their nose to the grindstone. I totally include myself in this normalcy, in this reality of roadblock blahs. Yet, the reason I (and others) can push past these motivational blocks is our acknowledgement that we are no different from our neighbor- we ALL encounter the roadblock of BLAH- in every day, every goal, every career choice, every thing we’ve ever been excited about and decided to pursue. The difference between winners and quitters is KNOWING this is normal.
2. They remember WHY they started.
Winners come back to their big FAT why every day. They reflect. They remember. They go back to square one. They assign the feelings behind their WHY and how substantial these goals are in their life. Otherwise, if theres no reflection of WHY the roadblocks feel far from worth it. Winners remember how bad they feel after a cupcake binge, so they enjoy their modified desert without feelings of deprivation. Winners make their last 5 phone calls in a day because they know those are the small steps that will change their month from flop to killer. Winners remember that waking up 3 hours before everyone else does is worth it because thats what will leverage them to accomplish their goals versus daydreaming about it. Winners will spin, run, and push the last 5 minutes of their workout because thats the difference between a 600 calorie burn and a 700 calorie melt fest, and the difference between being more fit for next week versus remaining the same. Couples that communicate and kiss every night know that they want to be together forever. Theres no “hoping” in forever… it means every moment, every night, through every high and low time… happily (working hard together) forever.
3. They realize WINNING is a lifestyle choice.
Its unfortunate Charlie Sheen made such a joke of the word “winning” but even with all of that madness attached, winning is indeed a choice. If you want to win with your body, youve got to win in your career. If you want to win in your love life, youve got to win in your workout. Decide to WIN…work hard, give your all, be in the present, and then when you’re done with one hat, be done and be completely present in the next. Productivity breeds productivity. Love for who you are, what you bring to the table, and what you can accomplish needs to be unveiled at EVERYTHING you put your mind to. How you do one thing…is how you do all things. If you want to stop quitting in life, stop quitting halfway through your workout, halfway through a challenge, halfway through your relationship, or even worse…stop quitting when you’re almost there. Everytime you choose to finish, you choose to win, and youve proven to yourself that if you can finish this…you can finish that. Practice finishing, and you’ll be a finisher before you know it.
4. They REVERSE ENGINEER…PREPARE…PLAN…and BACKUP PLAN
Have you had ideas that sound brilliant…up until you started researching all the steps it takes to get there? Winners dont set goals unless they’re serious. And serious means 1) Ive researched from proven experts all the steps it takes to accomplish said goal 2) Im more than prepared to take all these steps and have a game plan and 3) I know there will be a gamut of monkey wrenches I cant control… so heres my a) plan b) plan and c) plan. Im not saying that you just sit on your hands until you have it all figured out. Using your hands, getting dirty, and working hard is exactly what it takes to research, reverse engineer and either move forward with a goal or adjust and move forward with a different one. For example…in order to get great results from working out …talk to the fittest people you know and look up to, and see what they do… or even offer to take them to dinner if they walk you through their workouts with them. Hire a personal trainer. Take a group exercise class that will run you through it. Join a challenge group full of ideas.
I get asked this all the time and reply with:
1) Wear a HRM so you can calculate heart rate/calories during and after
2) Prepare a music playlist that youd HAVE to move to even if you were tied to the floor
3) Pick a machine that you know well enough to realize how to pick up and slow down the pace/resistance/intensity
4) Pick an accountability partner/group and announce what workout you’re doing for the day so that they can hold you accountable, checking in after, or better yet doing the workout WITH them
5) Create a workout for yourself alongside your playlist, mixing of high resistance climbs, sprints on and off, building efforts, sub tempo efforts, and max out time trials.
6) Have a back up machine to jump to if yours is taken. Have a workout at home thats intense in case you forget your shoes, music, or the gym is too crowded (Turbo Fire, Les Mills Combat, Insanity). Get to know your own body so you know the difference between a hard workout and an easy one if your HRM goes out of commission.
7) Make it FUN and SIMPLE so that you come back the next day and do it again, or atleast something like it.
Time and time again, these are the differences I see between the winners and the quitters at work, on Team Lettuce with the coaches, in my personal life, the 30 day health challenges, my fellow group exercise lovers, athletes, and most obviously… myself. If this helped YOU, share this article with someone who could afford to win a game or two or twenty… and EVERYTHING they set their mind to.