Shelved Progress

 

Before you know it that DVD will be on your shelf having a conversation with Billy Blanks

Across the country, right now, there is an epidemic. As we sit at this very moment millions of exercise DVDS, diet books, self help books, tread mills, and running shoes sit in a dark closet, dusty book shelf or cabinet. An epidemic of shelved progress. A goal once pursued with such passion until week three hit. We’ve seen this throughout modern history. The abandoned fitness goal. The Atkins Deit, Tae Bo, P90X, weight watchers, Zumba, and the chuck Norris endorsed “total gym” machine. Most of us can look at our shelves right now and see our goal failures. Some of those DVDs might still be shrink wrapped. So, what happened? Why are we stopping our pursuit of better health? We know the benefits, yet we fail to take consistent action. Are the systems we use failing us? Or, is it our internal structure, our mindset that is shelving our progress?

 

I recently saw an add for a new video work out system, hip hop dancing. Wow, my mind was blown. In the guided video workouts a hip hop star takes you through a grueling dance session. A lady appears on the screen and says “it doesn’t even feel like I’m working out” as if she falls into a hip hop induced trance and awakes with 30 pounds shed from her body and a six pack. Of course, you need to enjoy your workouts, but let’s be clear, you have to put in the work. Odds are if you don’t feel the workout, your not going to make progress. You need to have fun working out. This fun needs to come from challenging yourself and pushing to break barriers. Not saying you won’t get in shape by dancing with your tv, but if your making a fitness program purchase because you think it’s going to be the easy street, well than you’ve got the wrong mind set. And, before you know it that DVD will be on your shelf having a conversation with billy blanks.

 

The other side to the difficulty coin is you picked a program that is just to hard. Sometimes, our eagerness gets in the way of logic. I’ve seen some new comers to the fitness game picking programs designed for professional weightlifters. Programs with “two a day” workout sessions. Often our bodies aren’t ready for this kind of load. Patience is key. A sedentary lifestyle will require you to take small steps and get your body ready for heavy work loads. Altered movement patterns may require us to do the not so “sexy” workouts to get us back on track. If you chose one of these programs your likely to burn yourself out and get injured. Remember, your a father with limited time. Pick a realistic program you can stick to. If your spending hours at the gym, your limiting the time you have with your kids. It’s not just about you anymore.

 

It’s January 2nd, the gym is full of new shoes, water bottles, workout logs and the crinkle of supplement jugs being cracked open. What a sight January 2nd is, the gyms memberships appear to have doubled. And, we have a line of guys doing curls in the squat rack. Than, come March or even February, the stampede has dwindled. The treadmills are wide open. The squat rack is being used for squats. What happend? Where did these hopeful driven gym goers head off to? They’ve fallen off the path of consistent action. Most, after not seeing the results they want begin skipping a day or two, than a week, than a all out no show. Improvement in any area of life comes with consistent action. Progress doesn’t happen over night and there isn’t a pill you can take to speed up the process.
When we get our gym membership or buy our DVD fitness series we got access to equipment and information. What we don’t find is a workout partner or a guide. Human beings are social in nature. We require a support system. If we don’t have it, we tend to fall back on our progress. Getting the right support during a fitness endeavor is key. Someone to guide you, push you, check in with you, and join you. Setting fitness goals with your friends can help everyone stay on track. There’s a lot we can do on our own, but at some point you’ll need someone to help lift you to the next level. Often, this is what the DVD series and health books lack, a person to add the human element to your progress. Now, you might get this at the gym when you meet other like minded people and some can be helpful. Some may be intimidating. Picking the right gym is key. The right environment can motivate you and keep you on the path to gains. If your gym happens to be your living room, make sure your family supports you and include the kids.
The system is important, we have to choose the right system for us. Whatever system that may be, cross fit, yoga, running etc. However, our structure is what keeps us in it. Our structure is built from our mindset. It’s how we interpret the world. It’s the key element to any change. Our mind makes us and can break us. Our support system, our family and friends, help mold our mindset. they can motivate us and keep us on track. Challenges aren’t easy. That’s why they are called challenges. Change is not easy. The best way to tackle challenges and achieve change is to act. To make small actions every day. Every piece of information gained will compound your progress over time. It’s a common principle we see in finance, compounding. Well, compounding exists in our lives as well as in our bank accounts. Invest in your change. Invest in what makes you better. Those small investments will compound into huge gains. Don’t allow your book case, cabinet, basement, or closet become the keeper of failed attempts.

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