Tag Archives: commitment

The Follow Through

In sports, the follow through is the complete execution of a movement. (i.e. a golf swing, basketball shot, etc.). In the business world, the follow through is the series of events from concept to completion. So what do the both have in common? An action which is dependent on a clear series of events leading up to a specific outcome. In the world of health and fitness, the one thing generally escaping most is the follow through, no matter what the goal. Any goal, no matter big or small, doesn’t happen by chance. It requires a focused attention to what’s most important at that moment, and that’s where the follow through falls apart.

But???

Excuses – the bane of our existence. Everyone makes them and they’re all bad. The only person the excuse means anything to is the one making the excuse.”But I can’t.” “ But I have to…” But I have to see…” “But I don’t.” On and on. Fill in the blanks with whatever you want but in the end they represent nothing but an unwillingness to commit to the process, to follow through. Things in life happen BUT if you’re in a constant behavior of making excuses, making “buts”, you’ll never achieve what you had originally set out to do. There’s no magic there and luck is not something that happens by chance. It’s your mindset, your work, your focus, and your dedication that makes it all happen.

The Process

Let’s say you want to lose a few pounds. You might start by deciding to exercise and eat better. Good start. Then it happens. There’s little to no change on the scale. Exercise all of the sudden becomes a burden. The best eating habits only exist may be 3-4 days a week. Pretty soon you’re back to square one except square one is now heavier than before. Where did it go wrong? First, eating better is more than just substituting salads for meals or skipping whole meals or eliminating macronutrients. Secondly, exercise, or physical movement, is great but it’s also not the magic elixir that most assume it to be. Both require a conscientious commitment to change, doing things differently than you’ve done before. They are not to be compartmentalized and treated as something you do short term. They are both individual processes themselves that require the respect they each deserve. Do anything short term or “cheat” the process, and you will fail 100% of the time, and that’s a big no ifs, ands, or buts!

Change It All Now

A concept most people can’t or don’t come to terms with is that they are 100% in charge of their lives. Again the doubters emerge and will say “Yes, but”, or “You don’t understand.” Actually, I know all I need to know. The phrase “you are what you eat” is true on so many levels. Only you can make the change. Only you can make the laser focus. Only you can commit to what you deem as important. Anything short of that and you’ll never escape. The really good news is that it all can change right now. It doesn’t have to move mountains or be an ultimatum. It just needs to begin with the belief that it can change. Right there and you’re already ahead in the follow through.

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

It’s Time to Start Rethinking Your Goals

100-Ways-to-Burn-100-Calories-FASTHard to believe but we’re already a month and a half into 2016. And if you’re like me, you’re checking off the days until spring finally arrives. It was about that same amount of time ago when many set their sights and aspirations on goals for the New Year, whether they were physical, financial, emotional, etc. As a fitness professional I’m really only qualified to coach/comment on physical goals, whether they be exercise, training, or nutritional. The good news however is that no matter what goals you make in life, the methods and attributes are the same. Or at least, they should be.

What is a Goal?

Sort of an obvious question but really, what is a goal? In this context, Webster’s defines a goal as “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.” Goal setting then becomes the act of establishing a specific, desired aim or result. People set goals all the time but very few ever achieve them. Why is that? Are they too generic? Probably. Are they not specific enough? Usually.  Are they too lofty? May be. There’s always a reason or excuse for one not achieving a goal but it goes much deeper and is a little more complex than just simply stating a goal; that’s understanding and committing to the process.

Lesson Learned From a Young Builder

My son loves LEGOs! He builds and comes up with all sorts of creations on his own but he’s of the age now where he doesn’t need daddy as much to help him build the more specific sets, like a fire truck or dump truck. He takes the individual bricks out of their bags and follows the picture directions step by step until he arrives at the finished product. Sometimes he asks for a little help but mostly it’s just guidance to the next step – making sure he’s followed the directions correctly up to this point. In the end, he arrives with a new creation that he proudly built himself and will often deconstruct other LEGO toys to put them back together himself. Why? Because it brought him great joy; a sense of “I can do it.” He not only achieved his goal, he committed to the process, asked help if necessary, and except for perhaps a bathroom or snack break, never made an excuse as to why he didn’t see the new (or old) LEGO creation to fruition. And the excitement and joy on his face when he reached the goal? Priceless.

Commit to the Process

I imagine if you’ve ever achieved a goal that the “moment” in which you did lit you up inside and out. But if you’ve never achieved a goal, I’m sure the feeling of disappointment and frustration clouded any thoughts of excitement that might have been. There all are sorts of goal setting strategies, like working backwards from your goal; breaking things into small steps; setting time frames for achieving, etc. While they’re all good and effective, the common denominator in all of them is that there is a process towards achieving that goal and that you must commit to that process. It’s not about just writing it down, breaking it down, or speaking it out loud! It’s about committing to what actually has to be done, and for many, that can be the most daunting task of all. One of my favorite sayings is “to achieve something you’ve never achieved, you must do what you’ve never done.” To simply say. “I want lose 10 lbs.”, or “I want to be more toned” is nothing more than a statement. An example of a goal more succinctly stated would sound more like this. “I’m going to lose 10 lbs. by exercising regularly and making no excuse for skipping a workout. I’m going to be smarter with my nutrition and consistently be aware of my choices.” In the end, your choices are yours to make. But you cannot take those choices back so if a goal is that important to you, you will make more correct choices and less excuses. Excuses are the number one killer of goals because they are the admittance that you did not respect the process.

Some winning goal strategies:

  • Identify the “why”. Why is the goal important to you? What changes if you achieve it? What changes if you don’t?
  • Identify the things that are the most uncomfortable for you and attack them. They are the things that will continue to hold you back.
  • If you can come up with an excuse, know that it is an admittance of guilt to what you already know is wrong.
  • Ask for help. You success is dependent on you and you alone but it’s not beneath you to ask for assistance or guidance.
  • Follow the paths of others but do not copy. Everyone is unique in so many ways but to compare yourself to others is a recipe for disaster.
  • Take it a day at a time but always moving forward. There is no “holding” pattern.
  • Don’t simply focus on the goal; focus on the lessons in pursuit of that goal.

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Commitment to Excellence

ambrose-commitmentCommitment. Dedication. Excellence. These three words can be heard and found everywhere from corporate mission statements to picturesque motivational prints to slogans for a company’s promise to their customers. Unfortunately,  these three buzz words are also thrown around in today’s business world like each one represents something purely special and unique. In reality, these three words are inseparable.  Can you really be committed without being dedicated?  Can you really be dedicated without being committed? Can you really achieve excellence without commitment and dedication?

Commitment, dedication, and excellence are something most of us are all striving to achieve, whether individually or as part of a business.  We believe in their value and importance, yet seldom do we see them all the way through.  Why is that? Is it just bad luck, circumstances beyond our control, or is it just always easier to start over again?  Most likely, it is our lack of understanding and appreciation that you simply can not have one without the other two.

Consider two of the best examples of commitment, dedication, and excellence in the world today: Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods.  Both athletes have not only achieved excellence in their respective sports, but they have raised the level of awareness of what commitment and dedication are all about.  Lance’s seven straight wins in the Tour de France while monumental, were more the result of a commitment and dedication to win the largest bike race in the world.  A commitment to anything else most likely would have not yielded the same result.  Tiger Woods has committed and dedicated his training to become quite possibly the greatest golfer that has ever lived, and he is still in his twenties.  There are those who would say that both athletes have talents and gifts that others do not.  Conversely, there are those that would say that the real difference between Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, and their competitors is their dedication and commitment to be the best.  No matter what the opinion, what no one will ever question is their unflappable work ethic  After all, why bother winning another race or tournament when you have already proven you can? It is something only a commitment and dedication to excellence can achieve.

Regardless of whether you are talking about business or fitness, it is exactly the same thing.  All too often we spend a lot of time dreaming about excellence and pretending we are dedicated or committed just by simply stating the words.  Fitness is a commitment to a lifestyle; a lifestyle that requires dedication to exercising regularly and eating healthy consistently.  Exercising and eating healthy in moderation will never lead to success. NEVER. The same is true in business.  The most successful people in business are those who have cultivated the habit of staying committed and dedicated to their goals in all that they do. They know their profession, their competition, their market, etc. and they never lose their focus on their desired outcome, or goal.

Goal setting is another one of those cliché buzz phrases.  Without commitment and dedication, goals seldom if ever become reality.  While identifying goals is important, a plan of commitment and dedication to that goal must be put into action.  Then and only then can excellence be achieved. If it is excellence you want to achieve, then plan to truly commit and dedicate yourself towards that excellence.  When there is a great gap between where you are and where you want to be, the only reasonable way to bridge that gap is by being exceptionally committed and dedicated to achieving your goals.

Give it all you have got and understand that mediocrity, complacency, and moderation will not lead you to excellence. What can you do today? Promise to yourself that in 2007, you will commit and dedicate yourself to excellence because you deserve it.

Featured in Deccember 2006 Issue of 422 Business Advisor