When you think about your state of fitness, do you tend to look back, look to the future, or focus on where you are right now?
How you answer that question goes a long way to determining how quickly and how effectively you can reach higher levels of health and fitness.
Those who look back usually have the least amount of success. They're the ones who say things like, "Back when I was in my 20s, I weighed such-and-such." Or, "Back when I played football, I was so much stronger and in much better shape." Or, "Before I had my kids, I had a flat stomach and I ran marathons."
Unfortunately, once we turn 30, we will never be in our 20s again. Also, we will probably never match the athletic prowess we possess when we're in our prime. Furthermore, a pregnancy changes a woman's body in many ways, and some of them are irreversible.
But none of those circumstances should lead a person to give up hope or stop trying to improve. Nor should they be used as an excuse for failure to set and achieve fitness goals.
Furthermore, do you really want to sound like person who always yearns for the "good old days" and bemoans the fact that "nothing is as good today as it used to be." Remember, if you're constantly looking back, you can't see where you're going.
Almost as bad as looking back, is focusing too much on the here and now. They're the people who get too caught up in their recent accomplishments. "I just lost 50 pounds. I feel great. I don't need to watch what I'm eating anymore." Or, "My pants are fitting much better now. I don't have to work out as hard anymore."
Meeting a fitness goal is an accomplishment that should be celebrated … for a moment. Pat yourself on the back and be proud of what you've done. But don't dwell on it. And don't let it stop you. Move on, and move on quickly.
The problem with focusing too much on what you've accomplished today is the fact that today is fleeting. It's gone almost as quickly as it arrives. And then, before you know it, it's yesterday and then last week and last month. And then you become the person who starts looking back: "I felt great when I lost that 50 pounds. Now I've put 10 back on."
To avoid that pitfall, and to live a life that has no limits, start looking to the future. The people who do that, no matter how many goals they've already accomplished, are always looking to the next challenge. "I just lost 20 pounds; now I want to lower my body fat percentage." Or, "I just ran my first 5K; now I want to train for a half marathon." Or, "I just got faster; now I want to be stronger."
Page 2 of 2 - These people don't let age or past accomplishments dictate what they can and can't do. These are the people who are constantly improving, not just in body, but in mind and spirit, too.
So, stop looking back and stop standing still. Open your eyes, look ahead and imagine the possibilities.
Frank Shelton is a certified fitness trainer and the owner of The Village Gym. He can be reached at 376-3060 or firstname.lastname@example.org.