Back in the early 2000’s I applied to be a Police Officer.
The assessment had several elements including tests on vision, hearing, decision making etc.
Each step of the assessment acted as a filter, weeding out those unsuitable.
I made it to the last day, the fitness test.
I considered myself reasonably fit, although I had not played any team sports for a few years.
Leading up to the final day I had been out running and improving my fitness, but not taking it completely seriously. I was relying way too much on a memory of how I remembered my fitness, back in High School and College.
I quickly found out, during the fitness test, my memory had tricked me. I failed the test and went home feeling incredibly angry with myself.
The most frustrating thing, to this day, was how relatively simple the fitness test was. Don’t get me wrong, it was no walk in the park but I should have passed it.
Had I passed the test and been accepted my life would have been completely different. It is unlikely I would have met my wife in the way I did (outside a toilet, in a nightclub, in Marbella – another blog post, perhaps?) nor would I have my amazing three year old Daughter. Every cloud and all that.
Jump forward to 2016 and the hazy memory of my fitness is a fog so thick, you could knit jumpers with it.
At 36 I have started to notice my body grumble and complain a lot more. In the last six months I have made more visits to the GP or Hospital than the last 35 combined. It has been nothing serious(thankfully) but enough to completely re-think my lifestyle.
Ultimately it is down to the issue of weight.
I love food, I love wine and when I get stressed I eat.
Although I average around twenty five miles of walking a week, this is not enough to offset my calorie bonanza.
In ‘Why You Suck at Making Resolutions and How to Stop Sucking‘ I explained why telling someone your New Year Resolution was a bad idea. I want to make it clear, this piece is not about resolution – more revolution!
I started to think about lifestyle goals and what I wanted to achieve, not over the next year but over the next five to ten.
I have a number of things written down and how I will set about achieving them. I then started to think about why the goals were important to me.
When setting a goal it is important to understand how you are going to achieve it, but more importantly you have to know why you want to achieve it.
If there is no motive or sense of purpose then the goal becomes confused.
My single biggest fear is triggered when I see a news story, a TV programme or a film where the child’s father has passed away unexpectedly. I get all choked up when I think about the possibility of my Daughter having a distant memory of me, struggling to remember what I was like, due to pizza.
The recent visits to the GP have confirmed I need to make changes to my lifestyle, otherwise the issues are likely to develop into something more serious and irreversible.
I have started an eating plan to kick start some of the weight loss and help revive a sluggish metabolism.
Whilst the rapid descent of my weight loss is not sustainable (it is only the first week) I have lost 10lbs. If you are interested in the plan I will host it in the pages section, here.
When you are setting a goal it is never enough to just think about the result, you have to match this up with why you want to achieve it.
Think about your people at work. If you have any form of line responsibility then coaching/guiding/providing feedback (whatever you are most comfortable calling it) will be part of your daily/weekly activity.
It is easy to provide direction and show/explain to someone how they need to do something.
Giving them a reason why they should achieve the goal and continue to achieve the goal, makes it come alive and in most cases, will personalise it – making it even more powerful.
You don’t need something as dramatic as your own funeral, you just need a hook that means the goal is sustainable and won’t fizzle out after the first few days/weeks/months.
If you are struggling to achieve a goal then sit down and ask yourself why this goal is important and what it will mean to you, if you fail. This will help unlock whether the goal is something you truly want to work on, or it could shift the boundaries and a new goal may be formed.
Now, where’s the Gaviscon…
Believe and take action.