A Little Disapointed

Two weeks ago we launched a brand new goal setting system and goal recognition system for our members. We created a series of fitness challenges based on typical standards in the fitness industry and then created a series of badges to award our members who successfully complete the requirements of each standard.
We are extremely excited about this system as it is finally a way to focus our member’s fitness goals on something specific and achievable.
Overall we have been very happy with the results. Many members have already selected various challenges and we are designing training programs to make sure that each and every one of them are successful in their quest.
However, there is definitely a bit of a feeling of disappointment for Whitney and I when we hear the reaction of many members.
A few days after launching the new badge recognition system I began to hear the odd comment directed towards the list of requirements. Almost all of the comments were from women and from women over the age of 30.
“There is no way I could ever achieve any of those.”
“It would have been nice if there were some more realistic options from someone like me.”
“Is there some way to change the requirements to make them easier so I might have a chance.”
I was, and still am, dumbfounded.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I should be used to the way people undervalue what their capabilities are. I should have known that many people look at life as a series of things they would like to be able to do but are simply out of their grasp.
I thought our members were beyond this. I thought those of you who follow our writing were beyond this. I thought that the reason people listen to what we have to say is because we help motivated all of you to become what you are capable of, to surpass the limited expectations you have held for yourself in the past.
Apparently, I was mistaken.
There is not a single recognition badge we created that cannot be accomplished by any of our members. That’s right; each and every member has the physical capability to earn any of the badges we created.
Why would we create a recognition badge system and goal setting system that most of our members would be unable to accomplish? Seems like a waste of our time and effort. Not to mention ineffective at motivating people.
It might not happen in 6 weeks. If you have never done Olympic lifting before it might take a year or more of training to earn the clean and press, snatch, or power clean badge. They are a challenge. They are physical achievements that are going to take a lot of dedicated time and practice to accomplish. That’s the whole point.
You can do it. But only if you decide you are going to.
The single factor holding most people back from accomplishing their goals is their perception that they cannot accomplish those goals. As soon as you tell yourself the goal is unobtainable, I promise you, it will become unattainable.
The human body is an incredible machine. It can be trained to accomplish fantastic feats. Spend some time online, check out the seniors Olympics, or the Paralympics, and see what people are capable of accomplishing. And these remarkable athletes are dealing with declining fitness due to age or any host of physical challenges to overcome. Yet they persevere. They train. They believe.
What differentiates them from you? Physically, not much. In fact most of you reading this will still be young (under 55) and most likely have a perfectly healthy body when compared to the Paralympics athletes. What is it then? What is the difference? Why are you sitting there telling me that you cannot deadlift two times your body weight?
They believe.
Let me state it again.
They believe.
Belief that you can accomplish anything is the most important factor when it comes to setting goals. If you believe you can accomplish it you will.
We all sit and marvel at stories of people who overcome all sorts of obstacle to accomplish extraordinary things. But you sit on your couch and watch the story. The difference between those accomplishing extraordinary things is that those who accomplish are not sitting on their couch wishing they could, they are out making sure they do. They are doing something about it.
I tell people all the time that half marathons were created by marketers to get more people involved in charity running events. It worked. Because more people thought they could accomplish a half marathon than could accomplish a whole marathon. So the number of participants skyrocketed. Then they created the 10km events to get all those out that figure they can’t run a half marathon but they could probably do a 10km. And again, the registrants soared.
But here is the truth. You could run the entire marathon. If you can run a half you can run a full. Physiologically your body WILL do it. Ask people who have run both. Ask them what the difference is. They will all tell you the same thing. It isn’t that different from a physical standpoint. It is the belief in yourself and what you are able to accomplish that makes the difference. Success at the second half of the marathon is determined by the strength of your mind, not the strength of your limbs.
There was a man last year in Calgary who at 55 ran 250 marathons to raise money for charity. That’s almost one a day. And while I don’t agree with the aggressive tactics of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, the facts are that at the end of 12 weeks the remaining participants run a marathon. And some of them weigh over 400lbs and have never exercised in their lives.
You read those examples and what do you think? Most of you probably think that is quite an accomplishment and wonder why those people are so special.
They aren’t. They just have that special missing ingredient so many others leave out of their lives, which will cause you to miss so much opportunity.
You can accomplish anything you set your mind to. You just have to believe you can.

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