A friend of mine is reading my book and wrote me: “Greg, the stories in your book about people struggling with their goals are good, but it can still be hard to focus on and attack goals that you didn’t meet even after very diligent efforts. Sometimes you feel your doing everything right, but its still not working. It makes you rethink if your goals are even legitimate or worthwhile to pursue.”
Hey, when we put in great effort and don’t get the results we want, that’s frustrating. If this has ever happened to you, have you looked at what you did achieve with your efforts? Listen to what my friend did achieve.
“My goal is to get to ten percent body fat. I have been working on it for ten years. In that time, I have gone from an extremely overweight guy who was afraid of my car breaking down in the middle of summer (because I might die walking to get help), to having hiked the Grand Canyon with my wife in the middle of summer with a 50lb pack. My body fat percentage was 45% and I was able to get it to around 18%.
I went from a weakling who got tired carrying groceries from the car to the house, to a fairly strong man that can bench press over 300lbs, squat over 400, and deadlift 495. I went from a lazy undisciplined gamer who sat on the couch, to a guy who earned two black belts in martial arts.”
“I also met my wife during this time. But, the ten percent body fat goal evades me no matter what I try.”
OK, wait. You achieved all that and that’s failing at your goal? I’d like to fail like that!
I’d rather be partly great than entirely useless.
– Neal Shusterman
He has already achieved some great goals. He has transformed his body, and his life. To a great deal, he’s transformed his mindset as well.
But, I get how we can all still be frustrated when we don’t meet the exact goal we set for ourselves. We can see this as a block to other goals.
I want to encourage you. Don’t miss the great stuff. My friend should feel amazing at all he accomplished by pursuing his goal. Why do we focus so much on the negative? Why are we so hard on ourselves?
I asked my friend, “If your son or daughter achieved what you have, would you be disappointed in them for not making the body fat percentage goal? Would you tell them that they are failures? Of course not. Then why do this to yourself? Give yourself some Grace.”
Then decide if you still need to reach your original goal. If the answer is yes, start over with finding new ways to reach it. If you’ve been trying something for ten years, then it’s time to try something else.
Maybe check with your doctor to make sure this is a goal you can physically reach. Research the best meal and workout plans to get to your ideal body fat percentage.
Interview personal trainers who have had success getting their clients where you want to be.
Ask yourself, “If you knew what step you needed to take right now to decrease your body fat, what would it be?” (Do that!)
Regardless, you have proven to yourself that you have what it takes to change your life. Don’t let this stop you from changing other areas as well.
Imagine what your life would be like if you had never tried to achieve this goal. You have succeeded in so many ways because you created a goal and took consistent action. Great job. Don’t give what you see as a failure the power to stop you from achieving even greater things in the future.
Questions for comments: Have you ever fallen short of a goal? How did it make you feel? How did you keep moving forward?