Lunden Souza: Fitness

December 27, 2013

Lunden Souza: New year means new chance to reach health, fitness goals

The new year brings new challenges but the key to success when it comes to reaching your health and fitness goals is to keep moving forward despite the challenges. And don’t be afraid to fail. That just keeps people from trying. Learning from failure – real or perceived – makes people stronger and better able to meet new challenges that come their way.

Here we are – the last weekend of 2013. How does it feel?

Is there a sense of accomplishment, relief, frustration, disbelief, anxiety or anticipation — maybe all of those? As I get older, I really feel like time is an Olympic sprinter. I also have realized how important “right now” actually is.

If today was your last day, which could be a reality, what would you do? Probably put off all of the unimportant stuff, see the small stressors for what they really are and just go for it, right?

I found this awesome quote from author and speaker Brian Vaszily: “Falling down is how we grow. Staying down is how we die.” How many times have you failed to do something because you were afraid of failure? If today were your last day, I have no doubt that failure would not be a concern or an option.

When it comes to health and fitness, failure to try because of the fear of failure is very common:

• “I already have so much weight to lose why even try?”
• “I will never be as strong as I want to be, so what is the use?”

The reason I love the Vaszily quote is because the focus is not on physical growth and physical death, but the growth and well-being of your mind. And it’s really that state of mind that is the vital force we can all use to reach our goals.

If you do not believe in yourself and your capabilities (however small or grand they may be), you don’t even give yourself the opportunity to fail and grow.

It is impossible to always be the best, and it is impossible to start out on top. But it is always possible to try your best, and show up with the mindset that no matter what the outcome – failure or success – you tried.

My biggest motivation comes from my own personal failures and hearing about how others have risen above theirs, as well.

We are human. We are not perfect. We all fail. The real difference between us whether we learn from our failures and how do we use what we learn to get to that next level.

We have 365 days to make 2014 our most successful year yet. Go for whatever goal you have been saying you want to reach for your personal health and fitness. Be aware that failure is always possible, but learning from your mistakes is invaluable.

And, remember, just by trying you are already one ahead of the person who didn’t even give it a shot.

Don’t be afraid to fail. Learn from those life experiences, as challenging as they may be, and be a motivational model to others. When you fail, get back up, create a step stool out of your failures, using it to climb up a little bit higher the next time.

As I tell my clients when they are struggling, “Come on, get up and step on it (the failure).” I even have some who will literally stomp on the ground to wipe out those imaged failures.

In 2014, do whatever it takes to keep moving toward your health and fitness goals, no matter what the setbacks are – real or perceived. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to “do” this year.

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