A few weeks back, I had a eureka moment. I realized my fitness wasn’t where I wanted it to be and that was impacting the kind of lifestyle I craved. I didn’t feel fulfilled at a deep, personal level, or that I was using my body to its fullest.
That’s when I joined Steve Nash Fitness World and started working out with personal trainers twice per week. The fact that I hadn’t been active for more than two months while I focused my attention on building my career (apparently, I didn’t think I could do both at once) meant we had to approach each workout slowly. I never felt pushed to do more than I was capable of, but I always felt challenged within the realm of possibility. Those first few weeks – where the future I wanted and my current reality collided – were extremely rewarding.
There have been a lot of challenges along the way. There were times when doubt cast a gloomy shadow over my goals. There were days when my body was so sore that I wondered whether I would ever get off the floor. Sometimes I thought it would be a lot easier to give up and go back to jogging once a week and calling it a routine. But that would also mean going back to that feeling of emptiness and wasted potential. I vowed that with the help of my trainers, strategically and over time, I would push my body as far as it would go.
Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t give up on a fitness goal that is important to you.
When you are trying to integrate a new routine into your life, there will be setbacks, failures, and disappointments. These teach you to adapt and face the truth about whether you really want what you say you do. I’ve found that having a personal trainer has held me accountable because I have someone waiting for me to show up at Steve Nash Fitness World at our designated time. I can’t push my fitness commitments further into the day until it falls off the other end. Working out becomes a meeting I can’t miss.
At first, it feels like you are making huge strides every time you hit the gym. But once the novelty wears off, the real work begins. If you give up on the things that matter most to you as soon as it starts to get tough, you will likely establish a pattern of comfortably living a life of ‘almosts’ and half-completed goals. You will never learn the importance of persistence — and anything worthwhile requires a lot of it.
Doggedly persisting with your goals is one thing, but knowing why they are important to you in the first place keeps you hungry when it starts to hurt.
Making the jump from setting goals to living goals starts with figuring out what is truly important to you in life. The goals you forget about are usually the ones you didn’t really care about in the first place. It feels weird because we as humans feel out of integrity with ourselves when the way we spend our time is not aligned with what we say we want to spend it on. Figuring out what matters is the pre-work to setting goals you can truly live.
As bestselling author Jon Gordon says, “Talk to yourself more than you listen to yourself.” Some days, it feels more natural to believe that we are ‘not good enough.’ We often wait to be motivated and encouraged by others to pursue excellence. If that is your truth for the day, embrace it and move with it, instead of letting it weigh you down. Building confidence sometimes requires momentum. Repeating positive affirmations before you walk into the gym, or making a list of changes you’ve noticed since starting to exercise again, can have a dramatic effect on how much you believe in your abilities long-term.
So what does never giving up really mean? It means committing to the process. It means establishing a willingness to accept setbacks and push through them so you can learn the critical skill of adaptation. It means not compromising on your “why.” If you’re not being challenged, you will never unleash your best self.