Why is it that we all want to take the easy way out? Working hard can be so unappealing. Too much time. Too much effort. Or maybe it’s the fear of failure…? Personally I think the last one can lead us to cheat more than the other two. We cheat to succeed and we also cheat ourselves out of opportunities for fun and adventure because we say to ourselves “I could never do that!”
However we cheat in life the result is always the same = disappointment. Not only do we dissapoint ourselves, but we also disappoint those whose lives we touch. And you’d be surprised how many lives you touch everyday without even realizing it!
Let me start by telling you why this topic became important to me recently. Through a running/endurance related group on Facebook I learned about an elite ultra-runner who was so inspiring to me. He was very successful in ultra-running and wrote a blog detailing his exploits in the running world. He often wrote about how difficult, yet rewarding these races were to him. Plus he often won these crazy races! He was such nice, supportive guy online that I felt privileged to be communicating with him. It was like talking to a superstar. HOWEVER, recently it came out online that he quite probably cheated to win these races…yes cheated!! WTF?!
I really don’t understand why anyone would cheat to win a race. How can you EVER feel good about a win if you only won because you cheated? There is no glory in that. No satisfaction that your hard work paid off. How can you walk away from a race and not feel like sh$t? I was so disappointed to learn that this guy had cheated. I felt personally deflated and my faith in the human spirit was a little dented. As I usually do, I sat down and tried to put myself in his shoes to figure out why he felt compelled to cheat and what I came up with was ‘fear of failure’ and ‘fear of disappointing others’ and ‘fear of __ you fill in the blank’.
Whatever the reason, I started to think about all the ways people try to cheat in life. Whether it’s to achieve a goal, lose weight, move up in the workplace, etc. etc. If you take the time to look online you see SO many ways that people are trying to help you ‘cheat’. The ‘easy’ way to lose weight, get toned, achieve success. BUT there is no easy way. It takes hard work, determination, and consistency. Not fun, not sexy, not appealing, not on-trend. Sure, I too would love to find an easier way to keep my weight in check — but then I couldn’t eat chips or drink wine and then my quality of life would go down;) So maybe I can just — drink a shake or take a pill and voila, weight loss achieve!
Bottom line is NO CHEATING. Not in life, and especially not when you try to achieve your goals. How do you get to your ‘finish line’ without cheating?
- Prioritize your goals and be specific! You need to be realistic when you set your goals. If you set a certain race time or a certain weight as a goal, but it is realistically far far out of reach, you probably won’t be able to reach it AT THIS TIME. If you’d like to qualify for Boston but have only run one marathon that is say a 4:30, and you need a 3:40 plan to spend time working toward your Boston goal. You probably won’t get there in in three months, but it might be within reach with consistent training over a year or so. If you have a weight goal, be realistic about what you can achieve given your lifestyle. Set yourself up for success, not failure.
- Be consistent. This may be the hardest part. You have to work toward your goals consistently. Running once a week is great, but certainly won’t get you to the Boston Marathon. You need to get a training plan and stick with the plan day after day, week after week, month after month. There are no shortcuts. Similarly there are not shortcuts in weight loss. You need to commit to eating healthy and exercising. No magic pills. No quick magic diets.
- Plan ahead. Don’t just wing it. If you can, write out a plan. For eating: 80/20 plan sound good? Eat well 80% of the time and cut yourself some slack 20%. In training: FOLLOW THE PLAN. Don’t get a plan and decide what workouts you want to do and what ones you’ll skip. If you get a plan follow it. Make it a priority.
- There is no magic pill. Please don’t believe what people tell you. Deep down you know what you need to do to lose weight or get stronger. You need to change your lifestyle. We’d all love to find the easy way out, but if there really was a “magic pill” don’t you think we’d all be doing it?
The bottom line is that we’re all a little lazy and like to look for the easy way out. It’s okay to own up to that and to be lazy sometimes, but if you really have a goal you want to achieve, sit down and make a plan, be consistent, and get on with it! You’ll feel so proud of yourself when you don’t cheat to get where you want to be!
Now go get after it! — Siobhan