I hear all the time “I’m not as in shape as (insert person’s name here) so I’m probably not in-shape enough yet to train.”
I also hear all the time, “I’ve been here as long as (insert person’s name here). Why can they lifting more than me?”
STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS PEOPLE!
No one is ever in the exact same place as another person or starts at the same point; therefore, you can never compare yourself to another person and their accomplishments.
We all come into the gym, we all start working out, at different starting spots – at different places in our fitness journey.
And no one place is the RIGHT place to begin.
No matter what your level, it is a good time to get started on your journey to a better, fitter, healthier lifestyle.
But what better, fitter or healthier will mean to you, won’t be the exact same thing it means to someone else.
When you start, you can’t look at someone else and compare yourself to them. You can’t compare your progress to theirs or even their current accomplishments to yours.
We each start at different points and are going to have different journeys to success.
Everyone progresses in different ways. And it doesn’t really matter where you are in comparison to anyone else.
All that TRULY MATTERS is that you are making progress toward your OWN individual goals.
So stop thinking about how you compare to someone else and start thinking about how your current situation compares to where you started.
Have you made progress from your starting point to your goals?
Have you learned? Have you grown from where YOU started?
That is what matters.
I mean…Do you truly care if you are better than someone else if it means you haven’t gotten any closer to your dreams?
If you want something to compare yourself to, compare it to where YOU started. Track your goals. Track your progress. Work to make yourself better in comparison to where you started and where you want to be!
There are two reasons why most people fail at hitting their goals:
A. They give up because they get impatient that they aren’t there yet and feel like they will never be there.
B. They never take a look at where they are at and end up going down with a sinking ship (AKA they stick with a program that doesn’t work because they are too afraid to make changes and someone else told them it worked).
These seem pretty obvious right? You wouldn’t do either of these…right?
Take a look at all the goals you’ve set over the last few years. How many of them have you really hit?
Looking back, you probably haven’t hit that many. And yes, some may not seem important now and you may not even remember why you wanted to set that goal in the first place, but the point is…YOU DIDN’T FOLLOW THROUGH. You didn’t COMPLETE the goal.
You didn’t reach your goal, your dream, for one of the two reasons above.
You didn’t reach your goal because you didn’t track your progress and you didn’t take time to ASSESS.
If you feel like you aren’t making progress or ever going to get there, don’t give up! Look at what you’ve tracked!
For one, when you look at what you’ve done, you may find you’ve actually have made more progress than you are giving yourself credit for even if you haven’t yet reached your goal.
And two, if you aren’t making progress than change what seems to be holding you back! Don’t just give up!
The problem is, most people don’t track. They don’t realize what they are doing day in and day out.
Most people only see where they are not.
We are obsessed with BEING THERE. (Yes…even those people who cling so hard to a failing program are truly so obsessed with being there that they can’t let go of something that is supposed to work.)
And rarely do we enjoy the process or even take chances to step back and assess.
Success doesn’t just happen. It is earned.
It takes hard work, dedication, and lots of failures.
Reaching your goal is going to have its ups…And a tons of downs.
You just can’t let the downs, the failures, derail you. But you also can’t ignore them.
Don’t put on blinders. Don’t rush in with no thought about the process.
Take a second today if you are struggling…Whether you are truly struggling to reach your goal or just struggling to feel like you are making progress…and assess the process.
Don’t put the blinders on and just tell yourself that everything is going ok when it isn’t. But don’t tell yourself everything is horrible just because you had a minor set-back!
Step back. Take a deep breath. And truly take a look at where you are and where you started.
I can’t say this enough, but tracking your progress is key. It motivates and allows us to honestly assess where we are and truly how hard we’ve worked and how dedicated we’ve been about getting to our goal.
Tracking allows us to look at what is working and what isn’t working.
Here are some other great articles with tips to help you reach success. These articles are focused on setting powerful GOALS. Because without SMART goals, motivational goals, you aren’t going to achieve success!
Yesterday I mentioned that one of the main reasons why people don’t accomplish their goals, like their goal of being able to do a pull up, is because they don’t track their progress.
And most people know they should keep track. But they don’t.
They don’t track their progress because it takes energy and time. Of course, in the end, it really takes way less time to outline and track a program than it does to flounder around for months with no clear idea of how to reach your goal, but whatever…right?
Just keep floundering and not tracking. Just keep wondering why you haven’t hit your goal even though you’ve been working hard trying all these diets and spending long hours in the gym.
Really is spending a few minutes each day keeping a food log or recording weights and reps really that awful? Is it really that big a pain in the butt?
Is it really harder/more time-consuming/more frustrating than not reaching your goal?
And I’m not saying it isn’t annoying. Because guess what? It kind of is…but it is also probably the single best thing you can do to keep yourself moving forward toward your goal.
If you don’t track your progress, you won’t know what worked and what didn’t work. There are so many different workout variables out there you need to consider when creating a program (intensity, duration of workout, rest periods, type of exercises, number of exercises, reps, sets, weights, body parts worked, movement patterns worked…). And if you don’t track which types of each thing you used, how can you possibly know what helped your or hindered your progress?
You won’t know.
You won’t know if you get better results with shorter workouts. You won’t know whether or not 5 or 15 reps works better for you. You won’t know what helped you finally do that pull up…or what kept you from even getting close!
You also won’t know if you’ve gotten closer to your goal until you’ve hit it.
And if you don’t hit it soon enough, you may give up because you don’t FEEL like you’ve gotten any closer.
I mean how many times have you started on a goal only to give up because you’ve spent time working toward your goal only to feel like you haven’t gotten any closer?
Probably more often than you’d care to admit.
BUT if you’d tracked your workouts and diet and TRACKED YOUR PROGRESS, you would have concrete evidence showing that you are closer to your goal now than when you started even if you don’t necessarily FEEL closer because you aren’t there yet.
Often we get down on ourselves and FEEL like we haven’t made progress just because we aren’t exactly where we would want to be.
But when we’ve tracked our progress, we can remind ourselves of all our hard work and show ourselves all of the victories we’ve had no matter how small. And even those small victories can be enough to keep us motivated.
No matter how we FEEL we can’t argue with concrete progress. And even when we feel down, seeing those results, seeing that progress toward our goal, will keep us moving forward.
It is way easier to give up when we don’t see any forward momentum.
Whether or not you admit it…seeing even the smallest victory can be motivating.
Heck, even the victory of TRACKING can be motivating. You want to give yourself small things each day that you can easily ACCOMPLISH and keeping a food log or recording your numbers is just such a task.
Tracking, while we complain that it is hard and time-consuming, really isn’t. It truly is a “low barrier to entry” task that you can do in a matter of minutes. It is a small, easy task that you can do each day which gets you moving in the right direction.
When we ACCOMPLISH things, even small, easy tasks, we feel successful. And when we feel successful, we feel MOTIVATED to continue working hard toward our goals.
And the final, and probably MOST IMPORTANT REASON, why you should track your diet and exercise programs is because you don’t see yourself, your habits and your daily activities clearly and you don’t hold yourself accountable for what you are actually doing.
I’m sorry…but you don’t.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone tell me they are eating well only to retract their statement when they actually keep a food log.
They aren’t aware of how often they take “just one bite.” They aren’t aware of how often they DON’T actually have fruits or vegetables with their meals. They aren’t aware of how quickly “handfuls,” “bites,” “pieces” added up.
They aren’t aware.
Tracking makes us aware and makes us hold ourselves accountable.
It makes us aware of what works and what doesn’t. It makes us aware of our progress, even the smallest of victories. It makes us aware that we are doing things each day that move us closer and closer to success.
So if you’ve been struggling to reach your goals, if you’ve given up on goals more than you’d care to remember, maybe you should start tracking your progress with food and workout logs….