I was walking my dog Ranger in the snow this cold January morning here in Colorado. Looking out at the frozen ground (and trying not to slip) I was thinking of all the goals and resolutions that January often brings: Family. Health. Career. Spirituality. Service.
I'm guessing that you're reading this because, like me, you care about your health and there's a good chance that you have some goals around health. Now that the honeymoon phase of our fresh new goals has grown a bit cold, I wanted to share an idea that I use to help me keep my goals in front of me, instead of behind me. And to help me be ready for the reality of what it takes to achieve them. For me, the path to my dreams requires moving through these 4 levels:
I like seeing this as a target, with the Zone 1 (and me) in the middle. My goals are waiting in all directions around me. No matter which goal I'm going after, I probably have to step through Zone 2 and Zone 3 to get there.
There are no shortcuts. The obstacles don’t block the path; they are the path.
Whatever you’re working toward, look at what level you are on and see what’s beyond it. Sometimes I want to quit in level 3 because it’s hard. It’s ok that it’s hard, or frustrating, or intimidating. It’s supposed to be. That’s what a meaningful goal requires. That’s the price of admission. And that’s what makes success feel so good. You do the work. You solve one problem, and then the next. You get to the other side. And when you do, your confidence grows and your challenges diminish.
A few years ago I made the goal of doing 50 pushups every time I found myself standing around waiting for the shower water to warm up. It was hard. It was uncomfortable. I didn't want to do it. But I kept thinking about the goal waiting on the other side(the fitness boost of sneaking 350 "free" pushups into each week without spending any extra time in the gym), and it kept me going through Zone 3. Now I'm on the other side in Zone 4, and it feels automatic and easy. I'm amazed at how it's helped me. The difficulty of doing it was truly the path to the result I wanted.
Be good to your self, and live the life you've imagined! Don't be afraid of the work waiting for you.