The single most important piece of information you can have in relation to your goals is understanding where you are now.
Maybe you know where you want to go. Your destination can be literal or metaphorical, but for now let’s treat it as literal. You want to go to Los Angeles. As valuable as it is to know where you want to go, you have to know where you are right now. The directions to L.A. are very different if you’re in New York than if you’re in Miami.
It works similarly when it comes to fitness. You probably have an idea what your fitness goals are. Take an honest evaluation of where you are right now. It’s not the most comfortable thing but it’s necessary.
It’s not about blame or shame here. Returning to the travel metaphor, you’re lost right now and you’re only trying to orient yourself so you know which way to head. There’s no value in beating yourself up about how you got lost or how long you’ve been lost. That’s just wasting time and making you feel bad.
Once you know both where you are and where you want to go, the only thing left to do is figure out a path and start moving.
No matter what fitness goal you’re after, there’s a really high chance someone has accomplished it. In fact, many people have done it. That’s good. First off, if they could do it, so can you. Second, the path is already made, so you don’t have to wander around in the dark.
Ask. Research. Google. Do a little digging to learn what paths they took.
This part shouldn’t take you too long (hint: if they’re in great shape, they probably ate and trained consistently). Many people get stuck here because there’s just so much information out there.
Search a handful and you’ll see they have certain things in common. Trust your BS detector. If something promises instant results or bare minimum effort, that’s not the one. Put another way, there are no shortcuts.
You don’t have to know the exact path before you start moving. If you can lay it out, that’s great. But whether you’re in South Beach or Manhattan, to get to L.A. you’re going to have start moving west.
So get going.
A general direction is enough to start. So start.
As you go, you can adjust your route as needed.
A few last things to truly beat this metaphor into the dirt:
- Obey the speed limit. Trying to get there as fast as possible is dangerous.
- Avoid unnecessary detours. Sometimes you’ll have to adjust your route to get there. That’s okay. But getting distracted and deviating too much from the plan will get you lost again.
- If you get lost, that’s not the end of the world. Now you know, just figure out where you are.
- Enjoy the ride. Appreciate the journey as you go.