Stay in the Race

May 19, 2009

The hardest factor to continuously monitor in our lives is motivation. It requires consciously looking at short-range goals, process of actions, and ultimately, destiny.

Life is a race to me; we continually take one step after another. We may stumble, we may face hills, or even get chased by big dogs, but we continue to forge forward, taking it one mailbox at a time–never losing sight of the finish line.

Where is the finish line?

The finish line is the goal we set. If there is no goal, we run in a circle like gerbils in pet stores who run forever with no end in sight. Don’t be a gerbil! Get the spiral mentality out of our workouts. We will stay inspired longer and will experience less burnout.

When setting goals, they must be specific. For instance, it can’t be “get in shape.”

What does that mean? How does the mind read that and make it a clear vision?

A specific fitness goal would be deciding to run a 10K race in six months. That goal has a specific number and target date. It is then easy to create a “pamphlet” in the mind to make the goal real.

What do we do when we cannot see the finish line?

We must create one in the mind’s eye through visualization. By taking a quiet moment to focus on the goal, we can picture ourselves finishing the race. Let the physiology guide us through the journey. Feel the excitement, see the crowd cheering, feel the shirt drenched with perspiration, see the victory celebration. Internal pictures keep us inspired, motivated, and committed.

Motivation is the driving force behind all success–great and small.

We have to light a fire within ourselves to get the training process started because real motivation is internal. Once that visual picture has been created within, we have a compelling image in the mind’s eye that thrusts us into overdrive, allowing us to move forward without doubts or negative thoughts. Motivation is necessary to stay in the race. There will be peaks and valleys. It is essential to look ahead never back.

I travel across the globe, and frequently someone will ask me for advice about losing weight, becoming more flexible, eating better, or staying on an exercise program. I ask them what they are doing to achieve these desired goals. They usually respond with, “Nothing right now, but I have tried,” or “I use to.” I reply with, “Well then, you currently have what you are working toward. Just know that right now, you are where you have worked to be.” If a different result is desired, an action plan must be created.

Having a destination without an action plan is just the same as going on a road trip without a map.

It is too easy to jump right back into that spiral again. Lose five pounds, gain seven back, run Tuesday and Thursday this week but skip next week, lift weights on Monday, but skip the gym until Saturday when the effects of a late Friday night take their toll. To get out of the spiral and back into the race, a specific action plan needs to be in place. Go so far as to write it in the day planner, write what should be eaten and when to eat, and write what workout to do and when to do it. The nutrition plan combined with the workout plan is essential whether the finish line is running a 10K, competing in a biathlon, or scaling a rock wall. The body can only perform as effectively as the fuel it is given,

Finally, check points must be established along the way just as a race has water stations. We must psychologically refuel when we begin to slip or get off course. Restate the goals. Put beautiful, inspiring pictures around the work station or on the mirror at home. Cut out photos of people cycling, hiking, rafting, swimming, dancing, or doing whatever is the goal. Put up what it takes to inspire. I have gone so far as to insert my photo over a face in such a picture. It gave me an incredible amount of belief in myself, and I saw myself achieving my goal. Do whatever it takes–just don’t quit. Stay in the Race!

Helen Keller said,
“Keep your face to the sunshine, and you cannot see shadows.”

About the Author:

Victoria Johnson is the nation’s premier Health & Fitness and Wealth & Spirit “activist.” Victoria is the owner and president of Victoria Johnson Intl., a personal training, consulting, marketing and management company. She is not only a fitness guru, she’s a born and bred entrepreneur. She believes everyone should be healthy and prosperous. She has produced and starred in over 24 award-winning exercise and dance fitness DVD’s and videos, produced and starred in her own television show entitled “Victoria’s Body Shoppe” and most recently authored her third book, Body Revival, Lose Weight, Feel Great and Pump Up Your Faith! 

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