There’s nothing more frustrating than setting expectations for yourself and then feeling like you’ve let yourself down when you haven’t met those expectations. I’ve always been the type to follow through, but it isn’t always that simple. Daily life can get in the way or slow us down and make it hard to follow through on the goals we have set for ourselves. When I started a new health and fitness journey eight weeks ago, I made a promise to myself that I would follow through and meet my health and fitness goals. Little did I know, health and fitness would teach me a great deal about setting goals and following through in my professional life as well.
Exercise Has Taught Me Mental Strength
When I first started my health and fitness program I was mentally weak. Just the thought of going to the gym after an eight hour workday, or at 6 a.m. before an eight hour day, was enough to make me want to throw in the towel on this whole getting in shape thing. Getting over that mental block was not easy. The hardest part, however, was simply getting to the gym. Once I was there, I would knock out my workout and oftentimes, end up feeling pretty accomplished and ready to crush the rest of my day. As the workouts have begun to intensify over the last eight weeks, it’s taught me that I am tough. I mean really tough. These workouts are not easy. This feeling has automatically translated to my business. Getting stronger in the gym has made me stronger in life. Throw anything at me and I will rise to the challenge, both physically and mentally. One more set of pushups isn’t too different from pushing yourself to finish one more project at work – both require mental stamina and the will to just get started.
Exercise Has Taught Me Not to Give Up
Everyone has their bad days, the days when they just don’t want to do it anymore. It is okay to lean into those days and accept those days as “bad days.” What matters most is that you get up and get back to work. Exercise has taught me that self-care and emotions are important, but hard work and perseverance are just as important. Building a business is not easy, it requires a lot of bad days and a lot of perseverance. When you’re setting your goals, make sure they are big and then, don’t give up. It might not happen overnight and it might not even happen next year, but progress is progress and if you can chip away at your goals little by little, you will make it happen. Your original goals will turn into achievements and your dreams will become your next set of goals. Keep going and make it happen. You’ll thank me later!
Here’s an old article I like by Phil La Duke for Entrepreneur. La Duke’s wisdom still holds true four years later. Scroll down to tip number three. La Duke takes a fairly unconventional stance for setting goals. He believes your goals should be big and maybe a little out of reach. That way, when you don’t quite reach them, you’ll fall somewhere on middle ground – somewhere better than you initially thought you would.
Exercise Has Taught Me Flexibility and Patience
No one is perfect and no one meets 100% of their goals 100% of the time. Failing is part of life, but so is shifting your goals and being flexible. When I started my health and fitness journey, I wanted to lose forty pounds. I still want to lose that much weight, but I’m starting to realize it is going to take me much longer than I thought and that is okay. Just like our health and fitness goals, our business goals must be flexible and we must be able to adapt when things don’t go our way. Don’t make excuses for yourself, but do adapt and make changes to your goals as needed. Unable to finish a project you said you’d finish by the end of the week because you were distracted with other work responsibilities? Reset, reevaluate and keep moving forward. Hiccups happen, it is how you react to them that will set you and your work apart. Be patient and give yourself room to be flexible.
Worried about setting and meeting your goals during the Coronavirus? Check out this article by Stephanie Burns for Forbes on how to stay productive during Covid-19.
In addition to the three points above, exercise is extremely helpful for your level of productivity, your overall health and wellbeing, and easily establishes a routine for day to day life. Do you workout? Do you find it helps you in your business? Let me know in the comments!