Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baby Steps

As a type A, want it yesterday, must be the best kind of person,  I naturally was attracted to CrossFit. I love the competition, I love the full lifestyle that it promotes, I love that for a moment the world stops and I am facing myself in an epic battle, I love that every time I leave the gym I feel like it was the hardest thing I have ever done.  I knew I would get stronger, I knew I would challenge myself but what I did not anticipate is that I would learn how to live life better from CrossFit. This past Saturday Jere and I went to an all-day CrossFit improvement seminar. Of course we focused on mobility, weight lifting, form running and gymnastics, but we also talked about goals. You know how I feel about goals, but what Leo, the owner of CrossFit Evolution shared with us was a unique perspective. Here is how I interpreted it:

Leo shared his goals with us and he had to take his phone out of his pocket and read them to remember number amounts and times. I thought....."hum, that's different" I know my goals by heart...I read them almost everyday. But Leo doesn't, he doesn't even know them off the top of his head. He told us it's not the goal itself that matters, it is the journey. WHOA! What? Never heard that before in my goal coaching, self-help anything, but it makes sense. Here it is; if you are so focused on the end result what are you doing to get there? What are you doing everyday (the journey) to get there. You need a plan, you will need to sacrifice something and you need to be disciplined enough to do it every single day. The journey is about learning, keeping it fun is also a key to actually making it happen. Like a 5 year old learning to ride a bike. The 5 year old isn't walking around with a goal board telling everyone that in exactly 3weeks from now he is going to ride a bike. No everyday he is on that bike, one day he takes the training wheels off, the next week he's riding 10 feet without falling, the next month he can do a turn. Small wins. He probably got hurt a few times but the fun of riding a bike outweighed the uncomfortable growing pains and he kept moving forward. That's how we need to view our goals. As a fun journey with a few bumps in the road.
No bike picture so this is me riding a train.

Guessing I fell off that train a lot, but the fun of riding outweighed the temporary pain. Can you find that little kid inside of you and have fun on the journey? Come up with a linear plan... set small daily goals and do them with fun and excitement like a kid would. Make it a game if you have to. Don't train yourself to hate the journey. If you say its hard and you go for the big goal instead of small wins everyday, you will be frustrated. Don't do that. 

Another point that Leo touched on was sacrifice. Especially in CrossFit if your goal is to be super strong and lift 550lbs you're going to have to sacrifice speed. Think the same thing goes with any goals in life. Think of your goals as a wheel around you each in its own catagory: 

You want to improve your career you might have to sacrifice your physical goals for a while. Now I'm not saying that you quit exercising and eating right when you go for a promotion.  You can maintain where you are at physically and put all your extra time and effort into your plan that involves hitting your career goals. Maintaining an area takes a lot less time and energy than pushing for a new goal. The trick is to focus on one thing at a time and stay balanced with the rest. Don't be so focused on your career that you're eating fast food and not sleeping and your physical maintenance falls apart.

And finally stay focused on what you can do, not your limitations. I have a lot to write on the topic of limitations but I'll keep it short. I was involved in a lawn mower accident when I was 2, the doctors were going to amputate my foot but my parents let them try a reattachment experiment. It worked but its ugly, I'm missing a toe and they said I would never walk normal or have normal balance or do this or that. No body told me that and I never thought about what I "couldn't" do. I have never once used my foot as an excuse and I never will because its not a limitation to me. I think its a blessing. If you can change the way you feel about your "limitations" I guarantee you will accomplish more than you ever dreamed of. 

What techniques have you used in the past to accomplish goals?

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