I’ve been having some trouble meeting one of my fitness, weight loss & health goals this week.
In particular, it’s my daily “walk 10,000 steps” goal that I provide a plan for in my Kindle ebook, “Walking to Lose Weight”.
You see, here in Upstate NY it’s just stinkin’ cold as hell right now.
In the last week we haven’t had daytime temps above 9 degrees F and night time lows have been in the negatives with wind chills.
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time going out to the mailbox in that, let alone spending any length of time out in it.
As a result, I barely left the house except to let the dog out to do his business, and even he was standing on 3 legs half the time.
I wanted to share this with you for two reasons:
1. First, I want you to know that, even though I’ve got a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition, certifications in strength and conditioning, and I study and write about this stuff all the time, even I struggle to meet some of my goals.
I’m human too!
2. Second, I wanted to take this opportunity to demonstrate how I overcame an obstacle to one of my fitness goals.
A Personal Story on Overcoming Obstacles
You see, the majority of people have a ton of excuses for why they aren’t reaching their goals, or even why they fail to take the necessary steps to succeed.
In short, they let everyday obstacles get in the way of achieving their dreams. To make things worse, they make excuses about it.
For example, if you were to ask me how I did this past week walking 10,000 steps each day I *could* tell you:
“Well, not that great. It was really, really cold outside – too cold to spend any length of time out there, especially with my puppy’s delicate paws walking on the ice – and so we just stayed in where it was warm. I spent the time watching movies with my new puppy. He is such a good cuddler!”
In that hypothetical answer, I let an obstacle (the frigid weather) stand in the way of reaching my daily step goal.
I let it become an excuse.
But I live in Upstate NY – every January brings this arctic blast of air that makes us all want to stay inside until spring.
So what I did was be prepared with a plan to overcome that obstacle when I needed to.
That said, if you were to ask me how I did this past week walking 10,000 steps each day I can now tell you:
“Better than I thought I would with this freezing cold weather! I wasn’t perfect everyday but on days when I didn’t reach my goal I was super close. On days when it was just too cold for the puppy and I to walk outside together, I made a point of doing three things: First, so we both got exercise, we played several bouts of “chase” throughout the house with the puppy’s kong. Second, I ran up and down the stairs for several minutes twice, and third, I went to the gym and used the elliptical trainer – the numbers really rack up quickly on that!”.
I was prepared to overcome this particular obstacle because I thought ahead and planned for it.
It isn’t enough to just set goals for yourself. You have to be prepared with different strategies to overcome any obstacles that stand in your way of achieving them.
Set goals => Predict your obstacles & make a plan to overcome them => Reach your goals.
Easy, right? ;-p
Further Reading: 5 Fast Weight Loss Tips to Overcome Obstacles
My 3-Step Process to Overcoming Obstacles
Simply follow this 3 step process and you’ll never miss a chance to achieve your goals.
1. Sit down for about 30 minutes, or longer if necessary, with the fitness, weight loss, and health goals you set for yourself for 2015 (you did set goals for yourself, didn’t you?)
In case you missed it, you can check out my personal goals here.
1A. Set goals for yourself if you haven’t done so yet!
2. For each goal, make a list of all the potential obstacles that might get in your way of achieving that goal.
There are a dozen different things that prevent you from taking action on your goals.
Here’s 10 psychological hurdles that might effect you.
Make sure you list all of them out, don’t skip any!
3. For each obstacle, develop 3 strategies for overcoming it.
If you are prepared with several possible strategies for when obstacles get in your way they’ll be no excuses for not taking action!
For example, using my personal story above it would look like this:
Goal = Walk 10,000 steps each day.
Potential Obstacle = Arctic winter blasts make it too cold to walk outside.
Strategy for Overcoming Obstacle = I will go to the gym and do a workout on the elliptical to rack up my steps.
Because I took the time to set up this strategy, there wasn’t many days where I failed to meet my goal. But when I didn’t quite make 10,000 steps I was still reasonably close.
What obstacles get in your way? What are you going to do to make sure that never happens again? Share them with us in the comments below!