Own Your Own Outcomes
—In the Spirit of Fitness—
If there’s one obvious lesson I’ve learned from decades of ups and downs with my own bodyweight & fitness—and from about a decade of professionally supporting others—it’s this: No one else can drive your results. Yes, excellent coaches, doctors, and other supporters sure can help. But we can’t allow others to want our goals more than we do or, worse, to subtly blame them when we falter. Ultimately, taking personal ownership opens the door to change.
I know, this premise can sound overly simple or like we should "dis" ourselves when we fail to reach goals, but that’s NOT at all what I’m suggesting. In fact, truthfully facing obstacles allows us to see situations more clearly and to DROP pointless self-judgment. When we do this, we can more readily admit that there are times when circumstances or conditions are barring our ability to move forward toward goals. That admission actually often leads to creative solutions. We can also own up to our tendencies, like negative self-talk or numbing feelings with food, head-on, and do the work needed to alter them. When we choose to own outcomes and trace them back to their origins, we’re exponentially more likely to achieve the ones we want.
I’m in the unusual position to have many, many conversations about goal-setting & obstacles. Here are some basic truths that seem to propel people (including me!) toward the results they daydream about gaining. Warning—These realizations may spur work and dogged effort. But that's exactly what leads to positive change.
Once we know something, we can’t magically “un-know” it.
Ummm, sounds so obvious. Think about this, though. How often do we push realizations to the back burner? Maybe the scale at the doctor’s office sets off alarm bells, but you figure you won’t have to face it for another year. Maybe you remember feeling better when you got some daily exercise, but you procrastinate anyway. Every single one of us takes this head-in-the-sand plunge now and then. Facing reality, though, allows us to shift the factors that are within our control.
We won’t succeed if we allow others to care more about our goals than we do.
As mentioned above, if you expect someone else to produce YOUR results, then expect to be frustrated. While others can certainly inspire and cheer us on, we’re each responsible for the thoughts we entertain, the outlook we’d like to live by, and the goals we’ve chosen.
There will be times when we have to “tread water.”
Again, some life situations will leave us temporarily stalled. It doesn’t mean we’re failures. It means we’re human. Sometimes, we’ll find creative solutions. Regardless, a little honesty goes a long way during these periods.
We absolutely need support, but only WE can do the actual work.
This sounds like the second statement above but refers more to the tasks, the daily grind, and the constant assessment of progress that are needed when we’re trying to change in some major way. It’s not glamorous, but we really only reach goals through daily repetition of choices and actions.
If you do that work, you become an example whether you wanted to or not.
Even in the current era of social distancing, we live in community. Though sadly we may sometimes feel like it, none of us is invisible. Our partners, our kids, our friends, even neighbors witness our habits. You may not plan to be a role model, but when you live a life that others respect, that’s just how it will go.
Be accountable to you. Be honest with yourself. Be well. And know that I support you 100%.