What if I told you I could give you a fool-proof, 100% guaranteed formula for fitness success? Well, I can. And it’s not a top secret training routine or some kind of fad diet. It’s something so deceptively simple that most folks miss it altogether. It’s this: SHOW UP.
Whether you’re training for your first 5k Walk, your 10th Ironman Triathlon, or trying to lose 20 lbs before the class reunion, if you make the commitment to a fitness goal and than take the simple step of showing up consistently than you cannot do anything but succeed. It will be impossible to fail. You simply cannot exercise consistently and not see results; it’s impossible. I can look back at my own efforts over the years and draw a full correlation between showing up and success… and not showing up and failure. 100% correlation. Most of us, if we give an honest answer, know exactly what it is we need to do to achieve our fitness goals. It’s actually doing it that’s the tricky part.
Did you make a commitment to run 2 miles at 6am each morning? Don’t hit snooze. Don’t make excuses. I know the kids were up in the middle of the night and you’re exhausted, but drag yourself out of bed like you said you would and show up. Did you dedicate two evenings each week to do your favorite Fitness DVD once the kids finally go to bed? I know that glass of wine is calling your name along with the latest season of your favorite show that just hit Netflix, but suck it up and follow-through. Show up.
The same goes for your healthy eating goals, because “showing up” not only consists of our physical presence, but our mental attitude as well. You likely know exactly what it is that you need to do to eat healthier. But if you don’t show up mentally when it comes time to make those nutrition choices? Nothing will change.
It’s really quite profound, if you think about it, that the simple act of “showing up” can positively impact every area of our lives. Want quality time with the kids? Turn off the iPhone and give them your attention. Show up. Family dinner time? Turn off the TV and gather at the table together. Show up. Career achievement? Stop mindlessly checking emails and focus on actually getting that proposal finished. Show up.
Showing up is a habit. We are, after all, creatures of habit. Sure, bad habits die hard, but good habits can take root just as easily if we consistently put in the work. The best way to put in the work? Show up. If you show up you’ll start achieving. And achievement is addictive. Small achievements over time can do nothing but become successes. I do realize that each day throws us curve balls, but that’s a given. That shouldn’t come as a surprise; it’s called life. So, yes, you may need to bail on your plans from time-to-time, but if you consistently show up over the long haul than it will become habit and you can’t possibly fail. It was Aristotle, who was a pretty smart guy from what I’ve heard, who said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
So now, when that stupid, horrible, annoying alarm goes off early tomorrow morning, you know what that is? That’s the sound of guaranteed success. Go get it.
This is the latest installment (for the week of 4/7/2013) of my weekly syndicated column “THE PARENT ATHLETE” – a Health & Wellness Column for Busy Parents. You can read it in print and online in various locations. If you are interested in carrying my column in your own paper or website, please contact me at email@example.com.