January is the quintessential time to make changes in our lives - those all too-familiar New Year's Resolutions. For millions of people, that means working to achieve health and fitness goals throughout the following year. However, most well-intentioned resolutioners start with a bang and end with a fizzle. In fact, Time Magazine states that an estimated 80% of people quit their resolutions by February, and only 8% actually stick it out to the end of the year. And, well it's that time of year again (end of January) and statistically, many of you may have already fallen short of your goals.
Why is it so difficult to change? Why can't we just, well- simply DO IT?! As human beings we have the tendency to take the path of least resistance, which is usually the anthesis of change and the enemy of success. While there are many reasons we may fall back into our old ways we can boil it down –at least in part– to willpower. Or as is the case in most of us, the LACK thereof.
I’ve been thinking about gratitude over the past several weeks. After all, it is the time of year when we give thanks for the many blessings, privileges, and opportunities we’ve been given. I certainly have had my fair share. I’ve got my health, my faith, my wonderful family, and my business- no small thing in this time of pandemic.
I recently read a scripture that said, “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass”. Essentially the verse states that big changes are made by doing the little things consistently over time. A profound example of this principle is the Grand Canyon- carved ever so slowly over millions of years by a simple trickle of water.
This month’s performances were particularly challenging, and each of those athletes needed to not only call upon their training and fitness to compete, but they had to call on their mental toughness to finish their races. In fact, I was talking about the mental side of training with one client earlier in the month who was concerned about faltering in a race he’s competed in several times, but without achieving his goal of going sub 5:00 for the 70.3 distance triathlon.
Sometimes even though we are at the peak of our fitness, the mind can be a bigger part of why we struggle than the body. We start to think negatively, we doubt our training, and irrational thoughts do creep in. Especially when the workout or race is going poorly.