Do you intend to get into better shape? You intend to lose weight? Do you intend to eat healthier? Well, you know what they say, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” While you may intend to do all these things, your intentions alone will not get you very far. As a matter of fact, when it comes to your health, each day that you only think about getting better is actually a day of getting worse.
Don’t get me wrong, intentions are great but, only when they are followed by action. To truly reach any worthwhile goal, you need to commit. A true commitment is non-negotiable. It is something you just do.
Easier said than done, right? I hear ya! I have plenty of unfulfilled intentions. What if I could show you some techniques that will help you transform some of your intentions into commitments? That would be cool, right? This post is going to help you to do just that so that you can begin to commit to a better and more remarkable life!
The first step in the process is that you have a vision of what this commitment will do for you. If you want to lose weight, imagine what that will look and feel like. Create a picture in your mind of what life will be like when you achieve your goal. Then mentally run through a day in that life. The more compelling your vision, the more it will pull you toward it. Trust me, it is far better to be drawn to a goal than to be pushed to it. One caution though. You need to make the vision believable. The only way this process works is if you know with all your heart that you can achieve your vision.
Once you are connected to a compelling vision, you need to get down to business. This is where a lot of people get bogged down.
Over the past two weeks, I witnessed Karen go from a person that just talked about getting in shape to a person that rides her bike 10 miles a day, every day, before work. How did that happen? How was she able to put aside all those great excuses and “just do it.” I mean she had all the classic reasons NOT to do this. She has a demanding job, she has no time, it’s really hot, she has exercise induced asthma. . . you get the idea. Yet, somehow, she overcame all these excuses and has ridden over 100 miles since the 30th of June.
Her secret was a public challenge. When she rides, she uses an iPhone app called MapMyRide. The app tracks her speed and mileage. The app then saves them the MapMyRidewebsite under Karen’s profile. As an added bonus, with the touch of a button, Karen can also share her workout to Facebook. This way all of her friends can see how well she is doing. It also motivates her to get on her bike every morning because she does not want to look lazy on Facebook.
As an extra motivation, MapMyRide also sponsors challenges. On June 30th, Karen accepted the” Le Tour Challenge” to cycle 100 miles in 23 days. The challenge gives cyclists around the world the opportunity to compete against other cyclists during the 2012 Tour de France. When she started, she barely believed she could do it but she was committed. She cycled just a couple of miles for the first few days but, then slowly pushed herself and got up to OVER 10 miles! Not only is she is feeling and looking great, she also finished the entire 100 miles in only 17 days! Why was this so powerful? For one thing, she had a clear, measureable goal with absolute deadlines. There was no question that she was making awesome progress. She could literally see mileage climbing every day. When she realized that she could actually excced her expectations, she raised her personal standards and finished early. She also made her progress public. As it turns out, this is huge for most people. We like to share our accomplishments with other people and we hate to share our short falls. In other words, when you know people are watching, you behave differently. For the most part, you behave exactly as you want to world to see you. Since most people value how they are seen by the world, this behavior is generally pretty good for you. Think about it. How much better would you eat if you committed to post everything you ate to Facebook? There is no doubt that making your commitments public helps you to keep them. I am so proud of Karen. She has really grown from this experience!
So what does this have to do with my paddle around Long Island? Everything! This paddle is my challenge! I made it public so that I would train hard and not give up. I gave it deep meaning and purpose by making it a fundraiser. The reason I tell the story of Karen is because I want you to connect to the concept and use it for your own personal Betterness®!
Most people have a difficult time relating to a nut job like me who kayaks 25 miles on a Sunday morning to train for a 260 mile endurance trek. They don’t see how my journey can be useful to them. It’s just too radical. While I might seem radical, I started out as a 400 pound man. I was sick and tired and woefully out of shape. I can even remember the first day I committed to exercise. I did five minutes on a stationary bike. I did 5 minutes because I could not do 6. Now, I am thought of as amazing and radical. Not bad. The message here is that YOU, yes YOU, can do this. (Whatever your personal “this” is) No matter how bad you think you are, you can be radical or at least remarkable. If that is what you truly want.