fitness is a PART of my life, not my life in its entirety. it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) define me. i came to the realization recently that if my happiness is dictated by the size of my jeans or the number of the scale, i’m severely limiting my moments of joy in this lifetime. someday i will marry the love of my life and that may bring little babies (someday). will i miss out on one of life’s joys because i’m obsessed with the inevitable enlarging of my derriere and complete obliteration of what once were called abs? this realization doesn’t mean i’ve overcome or mastered this. it means i’m aware. aware that my life has completely revolved around health/fitness/nutrition/body-image for the past 5 years since starting fitlosophy. don’t get me wrong, i LOVE what i do. and yet part of my occupation is to maintain this physical appearance that at least partly communicates that i practice what i preach. and i do, but i’m human. i stumble. and then i get back up again. but what i’ve realized is in the process of focusing intently on this one area of my life, i’ve partly lost touch with who i am. what makes me me. [pardon me as i toot my own horn in an attempt to make this point].
i am a smart cookie. i have a big heart. i’m really creative and a bit crafty. i can be funny, or at least i crack myself up. i love intensely. i love to laugh. i have ideas out the wazoo. i am witty. i love to read. i love writing. i am most me on a horse or with my family. i am loyal. i love coffee, wine, chocolate & froyo. i am softhearted. and i am feisty. i love God. and my family. i am extremely driven. i have crazy-big goals. i work hard. i love learning. i really do love working out. i surround myself with positive people. i love helping others. i am learning to love myself.
yes, i am MORE than a # on the scale.
and with that i’m revisiting me. my goals that make me who i am. and yes that includes, but isn’t limited to, fitness. see if i just talk about goal setting in your fitbook and completely look past all the other areas that make YOU wonderful, i’m doing you a disservice. there’s a time and a place to get hard core about your health goals. but there’s also a time and a place to realize that a myopic approach doesn’t always result in reaching your goals. sometimes it just becomes your obsession. day-in and day-out defining yourself by your physical appearance may just be what is standing between me/us and reaching our true potential. can focusing too intently on one area of your life be the problem in itself? i think of it like this: i have all these other (6 to be exact) extremely pivotal parts of my life that truly bring me joy. and if i’m only focusing on setting goals in ONE area, i’m missing out on maximizing my happiness. if i was setting and reaching goals in my personal growth and putting more energy into my faith, could that inadvertently positively affect my health? absolutely. so it’s with this enlightened mindset that i’m going beyond just health + fitness and setting LIFE goals for the new year. i don’t do resolutions – those were made to be broken. i use the fresh start of a new year to reflect on where i’ve come over the past year, revisit my 5 year plans, and then reset goals in each of these areas of my well-rounded little life. and regardless of which aspect of your life, here are my 4 guidelines for effective goal-setting
whether it’s your fitness or your finances, your faith or your family, no goal can be met without carving out precious time to give it priority in your life. i can say my faith is important to me, but then say i don’t have time to go to church. i might say that i’m trying to save money, but i don’t take the time to make a budget and revisit it often. time is our most valuable asset – it’s that which we give to those we love. so if something is important enough to set a goal, shouldn’t we give it a little (time) love?
BREAK IT DOWN
any goal, especially a big 1-year or 5-year goal, can be intimidating. the most important part of setting a goal is to think big, then be more specific as to how it will change your life daily, weekly, and monthly. yes, this is a fitbook concept, but it applies across all areas of life. if i’m wanting to save for a house and i know that i can save $6000 per year, i break that down into $500/month (which is only $16/day) and it becomes a bit less intimidating. then i take the action of setting up the auto-withdrawal (monthly will suffice!) so i put action to my plan.
not all goals require an investment, but i’ve found that where my money goes, my heart follows (matthew 6:21). so whether if it’s my faith, i may need to revisit my tithing. if i’m serious about reaching a fitness goal, that might mean paying out the money to lock in a commitment to a marathon. often times with my health goals, i’ll use these “investments” as a reward for reaching a goal – it’s a motivating way to earn something that will further you toward your goals. regardless of the type of goal, you’ll find that when you put money into something you value the outcome and will be more committed to its success.
never underestimate the power of people. those positive people who will always push you to be your best version of yourself. spend time and energy to bring those people into your life and even MORE time and energy to keep them there. whether it’s a workout buddy who you can get on board to kick off a 12-week program, a friend to go with to a weekly bible study, or a group of business colleagues to get together monthly for a mastermind meeting, surrounding yourself with like-minded, goal-oriented individuals might just be the one element that gets you where you’re going. operating individually, often times we get frustrated or distracted; get a team or even just one person in place that knows your goal(s) in one or all areas of you life. encourage them to share their goals, ask them to be ruthless in holding you accountable, and ask for permission to do the same. then (see point 1 above) make time monthly to revisit your progress!
so what are the 6 areas of focus? so glad you asked: here are ones that i’ve identified as necessary for me being the well-rounded individual i want to be. i’ve shared (some) of my goals below partly to give you an idea of how to set your own goals, but partly (selfishly) to hold me accountable!
- buy and read dave ramsey’s “total money makeover” by the end of january
- save 10% of my income on the 1st of the month via auto-withdrawal, every month this year
- contribute 10% of my income to my 401k every month
- spend 1 hour per month re-evaluating and adjusting my budget on the 1st of each month
- identify 3-4 likeminded entrepreneurs and establish a mastermind group by the end of january that meets once per month
- double fitlosophy’s revenue and triple net income with the majority of incremental revenue split 70/30 between services/licensing and new products, respectively
- commit to writing 1 hour per day (blog/book) and pitch book proposal to 2-3 agents in Q1; publish book by 2014
- identify home church by end of january to attend regularly (while also seeking/attending others!)
- tithe first 10% of my income to my home church
- serve once per quarter at a faith-based community event to give back
- find a weekly bible-based small group (by the end of january) that meets at least every other week
- read jesus calling devotional app daily
fitness + health
- identify and sign-up for a half-marathon in january; then train for and complete my first half-marathon in 2013
- try 1 new fitness activity per month that i’ve never done before (bikram yoga?) and cook/create 1 new healthy recipe every week (and blog about it!)
- complete a 12-week hard-core workout program to get my body fat (back) down to a maintainable 15-18% to regain my commitment and self-confidence
- read 1 book per month
- complete 1 course through uc irvine’s MBA program (audit as an alumni)
- go horseback riding once per month and find local reining instructor to complete a series of lessons
- take 1 spontaneous trip; un-planned adventure
family + relationships
- plan 3 trips home to colorado to see family and coordinate 1 family trip either in california or somewhere fun
- meet girl friend(s) for dinner/drinks/workout once per month to maintain important relationships
- go on a double-date once a month, alternating each month between him/me planning so it happens!
so there are my goals. notice that they’re s.m.a.r.t. (no i’m not saying i am, my goals are!). they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely (which i won’t go into in detail now but here are some resources for you to set effective goals if you’re so inclined).
so, now that you know my goals, what are yours? take this week/weekend to think about where you are now and where you want to go. write ‘em down. make it purty and print it out so they’re top-of-mind. (then make ‘em happen). but more importantly, recognize that you are SO MUCH MORE than what you look like. so much MORE than a # on the scale. so fill-in-the-blank. what’s your “i am” statement?
comment…share…commit to be MORE.