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How to successfully get in great shape, shhhh it’s a secret.

Motivation is the least important aspect of any successful change. In fact most of the successes I’ve achieved in my life have occurred in periods where I was not motivated. At all. Most of the years I went to Regionals I was not motivated to train. I wanted to do any number of other things, including sleep, significantly more than I wanted to do the training I had set for myself each day. Here’s the secret that helped me through those times, I did it anyway.

The times motivation is your enemy what, if anything, can you do to still reach your goals? Recognizing the problem is the first step to overcoming it, so in our case the problem is that most people will only do things they want to in that moment. That’s a major problem.

Doing only what you want to do it is how we lose in our own race. You want to accomplish things? What are you waiting for? Do it.

Motivational speeches may help make up your mind that it’s time to make a change, but action will make the change. Habits are the building blocks of success or failure. If you make it a habit to eat dessert as your main course, you probably won’t get in great shape. So what can we do to build successful habits. Here again, the key to success is understanding the problem.

Simply getting started with good intentions is sufficient to “get the ball rolling” and keep it rolling. An object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by external forces which compel it to change. The external forces which slow down our rolling ball are actually internal motivations to do the multitude of things we could do, that we may even want to do more, right now instead of the actions we need to take to be successful. So, what can we do? Keep actively pushing the ball forward by nurturing habits for success.

Building habits to be successful
   Start – Motivation usually gets the ball rolling, what we do after that keeps it rolling.
   Fight to win – The fight against all the things that could make us not take an action towards our goal. Losing a battle once makes it more likely we will lose again and fail to make a successful habit, winning a battle makes it more likely we will win the next. You won’t be perfect, but that doesn’t mean you stop fighting.
   Make a plan – Plan habits to help you be successful. The plan will not be perfect, you will still face battles. That is not failure, that is life. Adjust the plan as necessary.
   Look ahead – Be emotionally invested in your success. It’s more than a fleeting want, it’s a goal. Achieving goals will give you a great sense of fulfillment. Imagine living your life having achieved most of your goals, now imagine you achieved none of your goals.
   Keep pushing – Understand the ball only keeps rolling, when you keep pushing it forward. Neglect it and it will stop, and might even roll back.

Fights and failures are inevitable in reaching any goal, recognize them to overcome them. Anything that might start to break your habit towards your goal, even once, is a battle. Knowing that will help you know that to win you must fight for it. Planning steps towards success is critically important, otherwise procrastination will lead us to reach the next step “sometime” or “when I’m ready” which are not to be found on any watch or calendar. Think long term, but focus on the present. You can only affect what is happening now, don’t waste any energy on what has already happened. Successful habits are nurtured, constantly. Keep pushing the ball forward, even if you’re crawling.

The goals you set for yourself are worth the effort it will require to reach them. Understand the process, and remain invested in your own success. Failure is not permanent, success is not a destination.

Keep pushing forward.

Jeff Edwards

- National Coach USA Weightlifting - Crossfit Coach of individual and team competitors - Outdoorsy nerd - Owner and Head Coach at BR Fit Club