Let’s say that you were at a vehicle dealership, and you said, ‘I’d like a vehicle please’. Imagine that they just went and got some keys, your bank info, and you walked outside to whatever they brought out however much it was.
What if you went to a sandwich shop and said, ‘I would like a sandwich please’.
Do you think you would get what you wanted? I have my doubts.
How about if you said you wanted a Ford F150 Lariat 4×4 truck with a fuel efficient Turbo V-6, automatic transmission, black paint with beige interior including power heated leather seats.
Or if you ordered that sandwich and said, ‘I would like a sandwich on sprouted grain bread, chicken breast, avocado, mustard, pickles, lettuce, tomato, salt, pepper and could you toast the bread first?’
What are the chances that you would get exactly what you wanted? Pretty good I would say!
Life is the same.
I cannot tell you how many times I have blown this myself. I want to have more money, more time off and to be more fit. You would think after the thousands of people that have come to me in the gym and said they wanted to be ‘more fit’ and I worked with them to get to specifics that it would make sense that I would be better at this myself.
Yet I still need a reminder here and there, too.
I often joke with clients when making goals, and they say, ‘I want to be more fit’.
‘Great! Do five push-ups…. congratulations! You are more fit than you were 30 seconds ago.’
It’s funny, and it also serves to illustrate a point. We have to be specific about what we want, because the universe is listening. If we say we want ‘more money’ you might walk out the door, find a quarter and the universe is like ‘there you go!’
In 2015 after I crashed at the Ultraman World Championships, I remember being reminded by a friend about a video blog I had posted before the race. In it, I was talking about how hard I had trained all year, and how focused I was on doing really well.
I said it is my intention for this race, to come as close to dying as possible without actually dying. I plan on suffering more than I have ever suffered and to push myself to my limits.
Now, I meant that I wanted to try really hard. The universe heard ‘come close to dying’.
So that’s what happened. I nearly died.
Of course, I was trying to talk about the effort I was going to put out there. It is fairly useless to set goals about things you cannot actually control – like placing top five.
That is silly, because you cannot control all the other athletes or all of the external forces that exist during a race.
When it comes to our fitness and health, we do need to be specific though, otherwise we will just wander around getting whatever comes along.
My goal is to be 16 per cent body fat by April 15th. I will do this by doing one hour of strength training five times a week, plus four hours of cardio. I will eat only the foods on the meal plan my trainer has given me, entering all of my food into the fitness app on my phone and drinking 2.5 litres of water per day, more on heavy training days. I will get a minimum of 7.5 hours of sleep per night.
Those goals will get you the exact sandwich you are looking for!
So why don’t we do that? Fear. Fear that if we are that specific and fail, it is now dead obvious. You know what? Do it anyway. If you fail, you will fail a LOT closer to your goals!
Then you can set new goals, learn and keep moving ahead! Scott
Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and the owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.