At the start of everything there is a sense of newness. There is a sense of urgency. There is a sense excitement! However, like everything else, it fades. The feeling of new wears off and stagnation sets in. This is an inevitability that the health industry capitalizes on. I’m guilty of it myself of course. This is why we are always wanting the next best thing! But let me ask you a question. When you are always starting the next best thing, where does that leave the results? There should really be only one beginning. Now let me be clear. There are definitely seasons in our life that cause us to start over from time to time. There are also times where, yes, we have to go back to the basics. But we should have a CLEAR starting point and moving further away from it. The problem we face is that there is always something new right? It drives innovation and competition! But what happens if you pursue the same course over a long period of time? You begin to master it. How many things can you say you have mastered over the course of your life? It’s the old quote ‘jack of many trades master of none” thing. I want to master something. I want to master a few things! But I know if I’m always starting over I will never achieve what I set out on because there is simply not enough time.
To begin, you have to have the end in mind. This requires VISION. There is a great book called “Visioneering” where it lines out how to build a God led vision. Great read if you have time!
Take a moment and write down what your vision is for yourself. Write down some things that you would like to or have already mastered.
Now think outside the box a little and write down some areas that intrigue you and you would not mind putting some effort into. Think more fitness or health related items such as triathlon, mountain climbing, white water rafting, motocross, etc.... The sky is the limit any more with things to participate in. Think of some things you have “always wanted to do”. You might not want to master them as much as they are more a bucket list item. Now decide how far along in the process you are out of the listed items. How many things are you trying to accomplish right now? How many different directions are you being pulled? Is being a great spouse or parent in there somewhere? Everything that you go through in your day pulls at your time budget. Be clear about what you want and declare a starting point. Remember it’s never too late to start something, but just like I teach my kids, don’t quit!
Some of the things you start doing you will realize you have a natural gift for. This may be something you would want to spend a little more time on. For some, you may be a little behind the curve if you will but if you enjoy it who cares?? Just remember that there is a starting point in everything. If you find yourself “starting over” regularly you should probably choose a different path all together!
I use a ton of analogies because I like pictures in my head. The beginning of something reminds me of peewee sports. You are lucky if you can get them to stand in a circle much less do a dynamic warmup right? Now fast forward to professional level sports. They are the ones who have mastered the skill. They have to warmup for 90 minutes before the game even starts! Talk about stress! I think back when I was a collegiate swimmer. Right now, I know for a fact that I could not even do the warm up before a college practice. Have I gone backwards? I consider it changing seasons. This is the exception to the rule of “in the Beginning”. When you start a new job. When you have a new child. When you get married. These are all GREAT reasons to regroup and re prioritize. As much as I would love to, I just cannot justify working out 20+ hrs. per week while I have a full time job, am married and have 4 children under the age of 15. My wife needs me and I her. My children need me. Of course I want them to see me prioritizing my health above lots of things. But sacrificing quality time and/or energy with them to do so I consider selfish. Daddy wasn’t there is a real thing! So I spend a LOT of time trying my hardest to be the best father and husband I can be. I spend my money supporting them and what they want to do so they have a chance at being successful. You see, there is no one size fits all. But you have to start somewhere and move forward. Life moves forward with or without you.
What’s interesting is that we view progress only AS forward. Something I have learned through the fitness industry is that sometimes backward is forward meaning, regression can and will result in progression if given enough time, effort and priority. I will elaborate on this concept at another time but I just want that to sink in for a moment. Sometimes you have to go back to the basics. Have you ever taken some time off work only to come back and feel like you cannot get right back up to the speed or intensity you were maintaining before you left? That’s how our body works. How many “breaks” have you taken in regards to your body let’s say over the last 10 years? It’s probably quite a few. You cannot perform at the same level you left off at. I struggle with this myself having been an athlete for the better part of my life, now being a Father, husband and more than full time employee in a job that encompasses health and wellbeing. Even though I work in a gym, I find it hard to workout sometimes. I mean, how many of you want to stay at your job after your shift for enjoyment and relaxation purposes while your spouse and young children whom you have not seen all day are waiting for you at the house? It comes down to priorities which God lists out for us in His word. God, Family, Work. What are your priorities? This is what drives behavior and what usually needs to change.