Think about how you achieved the goal. Did you wake up and it was done? I doubt it. If it was really something awesome, it took time, it took effort, and it had a lot of moving parts, plans to consider, decisions to make, and obligations to keep. I think when we see people achieve a goal, or when we achieve one ourselves, we forget about all the work that went into it and just see then final outcome. It feels great to succeed, and we immediately want to do it again. Cross a finish line and you immediately start thinking about the next mountain to climb, goal to achieve. And that’s awesome.
But what about all that went into our achievements? Why do we forget about that? I think it’s because it’s hard, it’s exhausting, it requires sacrifice, and it seems overwhelming at the beginning. All that planning. All those decisions. All that work. And we get bogged down and forget how sweet it feels to succeed, forget all that went into that success.
I see this in triathletes all the time. People say yes to me every year and then somewhere along the way fall off the wagon. They say, “Yes I want to do a triathlon.” And I try to make them see what it entails, but it’s hard to wrap your head around it at the beginning. The end seems so great, but the months in between are a blur. And that’s because there’s so much to do, a million little pieces.
Whew… so many decisions to make. Should I eat before or after? Drink this or that? Swimming, biking, or running? How far, how often, how fast? What should I wear? Sleep in or get up and train? Go to bed early or spend more time on stretching? It’s overwhelming.
I’m going to make it simpler for you. This week you are going to do some planning. One of your training sessions this week is going to be planning. You are going to devote an hour to reading, thinking, and making some decisions. We are 15 weeks from race day and there are plenty of training plans on this web site to consider. Some start from scratch. Others assume you work out regularly. You need to read them and start thinking about how you want to train. And then you are going to answer the following questions.
· Training: How will you train? What days? What activities? For how long?
· Eating: Choose one thing you will do this week to improve your eating.
· Hydration: Choose one thing you will do this week to improve your hydration.
· Stretching: Choose one thing you will do this week to improve your stretching.
· Sleeping: Choose one thing you will do this week to improve your sleeping.
Every person’s plan will be different. Let’s use these next couple of weeks to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Let’s actually make some decisions and then follow through with them. Maybe we’ll find it’s too much. Maybe we’ll find we did too little. Maybe we’ll find out something about how great it feels to keep our promises to ourselves.
Here’s my plan. I will update you on how it worked.
· This week I will train 6 days. On Sunday I will spend time planning this week and making decisions. (BOOM… DONE!!) On Monday and Thursday I will do physical therapy for an hour. On Tuesday and Friday I will go to the gym to lift and work on core for an hour and I will ride the training bike for at least 15 minutes. On Saturday I will ride with the team.
· This week I will add one serving of fruit to each day’s intake of food.
· This week I will drink a glass of water in the morning before I leave the house.
· This week I will do my stretching exercises and ice my knee daily.
· This week I will go to bed no later than 10pm.
OK. That’s my plan. It is a promise I have made to myself. It is dozens of decisions already made. There’s no consideration, no wondering. Just doing. And at the end of the week I will evaluate. What worked? What didn’t? Why not? And then I will begin again.
You see what I did there. I told you my plan. Now I know I answer to you. If I fail, you’ll ask me why and I’d better have good reasons, right? Your turn. Want some accountability? Send me your plan or share yours with a friend or a spouse, someone that will ask you about it at the end of the week. Build a plan with someone else and do it together. Post your plan right here for the world to see. Accountability is the key to your success.
OK… before you go, here’s a couple of motivational blog posts that helped me keep going this week. Maybe they will help you too.
And here’s a little pep talk from an awesome kid that’s been making the rounds! Have a great week!