It Doesn’t Matter How You Start – Just FINISH!

One of my favorite things to do is to watch Ironman triathlon events on YouTube. I can sit for hours watching old episodes of Ironman Kona, Ironman Xterra, Ironman Auckland, etc. Without doubt this is one of the hardest athletic competitions on the planet. These athletes complete a 2.4 mile swim in the ocean, a 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run over the course of 17 hours!! That is INSANE!

ironmanfinishI enjoy watching this sport because I get so captivated and inspired by the sheer determination of everyone out there. Of course the elite athletes start out first and they typically finish within 8-9 hours. But it’s the regular folk who inspire me the most.

They all start out motivated and are propelled by their excitement. But after a few hours in, it takes a lot more than that to get them to the finish line. Some sprint across the finish line, some jog, some walk, some crawl, and some just pass out at the finish line. But guess what? At that moment nobody cares that they barely finished or that they finished at the last second. They are not judged because they didn’t have a perfect, storybook finish.

Let’s not forget about the people who continue their race long after the clock has run out. There are many people who compete in Ironman who don’t make the midnight deadline. Nevertheless, they keep going – despite injury and fatigue- because they are determined to finish what they started. That is what really inspires me. Those are the people I remember, even more so than the elite athletes who finished in record time.

The moral of the story is – It doesn’t matter how you start. What matters is that you finish.

As 2014 continues to wind down there are many of us who have yet to achieve the health and weight loss goals we set when the year began. At the writing of this blog there are 70 days remaining in this year.

If you haven’t met your goals, I don’t want you to get discouraged or feel convicted. Forget about how many times you’ve fallen short this year in areas you wanted to see progress. Let all of that go and begin where you are. You can get back on track TODAY. Let’s commit to FINISH STRONG!

Here are some things you can do to finish strong:

  1. Make the decision to begin again. The great thing about life is that every day it gives us the opportunity to start over. Every 24 hours we get a second chance. Once you set your mind to do this it’s as good as done.
  2. Set some goals and make them plain. Be specific about your goals. Don’ make broad goals and just say you want to lose weight. Attach a number and a date to it. For example, “Lose 10 pounds by November 30th.” If you don’t like the scale, just say “Drop 1 dress size” or “Lose 2 inches from my waist.” Just be very clear about your goals.
  3. Devise a plan.  We’ve all heard it said – “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Plan your meals and your workouts. As you plan your meals, include when you will go shopping for your meals, what time you’re going to eat, what time you’re going to stop eating every evening, etc. When you plan your workouts, include what type activity you will do, how often, and for how long.  So, for example – “run for at least thirty minutes three times per week.” Get your plan in writing and keep it before you. Post it in plain sight so you see it every day.
  4. Schedule it on your calendar. What I put on my calendar tends to get done. Schedule your meals and your workouts on your calendar. You can put this in your phone and set a reminder to alert you of your appointments. You may not always make every appointment, but having it on your calendar increases the probability that it gets done.  Be a boss – bosses don’t cancel. Your time is valuable – treat it as such.
  5. Get an accountability partner.  Most people tend to do better on any plan when they know they have someone to answer to; someone to hold them accountable for their actions. Select someone who you know is a task master and will keep you on your toes. Select someone who won’t accept any excuses for not getting it done. Accountability partners are especially helpful if they are your workout partner. If you tend to skip workouts, get a buddy. You will go to the gym or run in the park if you know someone else is expecting you to show up.
  6. Don’t stop until you reach your goal. Successful people don’t stop when they’re tired; they stop when they’re done.  Be just as determined as the Ironman athletes. They don’t allow anything to come between them and their goal of completing the race.

So, no matter where you are with your goals, commit to get back on track and stay there. Be determined and committed to end 2014 with a bang…FINISH STRONG!

Question: Which of your goals do you need to recommit?

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