I am not a fan of going to the gym. I mean, I love the feeling afterwards. I love the way I look when I do it regularly. I love the burst of energy. It’s just the physical act of working out that I could do without. In fact, I know that even if I joined a gym I wouldn’t actually go. I know because I have had countless gym memberships. I may have had more gym memberships than consecutive days working out in the past. The problem is that even though I hate going to the gym, my health is important to me. I have exercise and health goals. Being around for my kids is important. Having the energy to take them on adventures is important. Being alive and full of energy is important to me.
As important as those things are, I knew that they still wouldn’t inspire me. They still were not going to make me wake up and want to get to the gym. I knew that I needed to do something drastic.
Inspiration vs Desperation
I had a conversation in an interview with one of my mentors, Rock Thomas, the other day. Rock is the author of Your Epic Life Blueprint: Quit the Rat Race and Create a Happier Life! We were discussing that there are really two opportunities for motivation, and they are desperation and inspiration. Typically I find that I have the ability to get inspired by setting goals in alignment with my values and beliefs. I can find outside inspiration through other leaders who have gone before me. I can set a reward that inspires me. However, when it comes to the gym, inspiration does not quite seem to work for me. I need desperation.
So, I had to ask myself what level of desperation would make me get to the gym? I came up with different answers. Like if I knew I was going to die in 6 months if I didn’t lose 25 pounds that would probably work. Or if I was not going to be able to walk again if I didn’t get in better shape, I would likely value my mobility enough to make the decision to exercise. As I thought about it though, thankfully these dire situations do not exist for me and hopefully never will. Instead I needed something that would pull desperation close. What could I do to put my back against the wall?
So, here it is. On May 20, I will be running a half-marathon, 13.1 miles. The event pulls the deadline close enough to inspire action. The real kicker though would be my next step. I registered for the event and then invited some friends to run with me. Those friends are in far better shape than me. I knew that once I made the commitment to someone else, I would not allow myself to fail. I would not let them down. Often I find that people are better at having integrity for the things they promise others than they are for commitments they make to themselves. I put myself in a position of desperation to inspire action in a positive way.
For some of my friends who have done Ultra-Marathons and Ironman Competitions, a half-marathon may seem like a small feat. However, I am not them, and I only need to compare myself to me. In order to become healthier, I simply need to get a little better each day. Committing to this training will get me there.
My Last Half-Marathon
Ten years ago, I ran a half-marathon, and it changed everything. I could barely run a mile when I started. I remember that first run all too well. I decided to lace up my sneakers and run as far as I could and then walk back to my house. After what seemed like an eternity I remember gasping for air, trying not to vomit, hunched over on the sidewalk. With each shallow breath in an attempt to quickly fill my lungs as sweat poured off my face I began to gain a little composure. After a few minutes of recovery I started the walk back home. By the time I reached my house I was excited to drive the route and find out just how far I had made it on my first attempt. As I rounded the final corner in the last stretch of my route I looked down at the trip odometer in shocking disbelief. More like astonishing disappointment. .9 miles (yep, not a typo, less than 1 mile). I was partying too much with friends, and I was not a runner. I am still not a runner. I doubted whether I could actually complete the race. However, I had already committed in front of other people. I couldn’t back down now.
After 13 weeks of training, I was in the best shape of my life. I followed a training program that had worked for thousands of other runners to prepare, and it’s no real surprise that it worked for me as well. I completed 13 straight 10-minute miles and ran the half-marathon in a little over 2 hours and 10 minutes. That single accomplishment created all sorts of momentum in other areas of my life. I met my wife a few months later. I started looking for ways to build on my career. I kicked my personal development journey into high gear. I worked closely with Hal Elrod, with whom I would later co-author the best-seller, The Miracle Morning for Salespeople: The Fastest Way to Take Your SELF and Your SALES to the Next Level.
Why am I telling you all this? How will this help your business? Stick with me. I am getting there.
This year I quit my job as the Team Leader of a large real estate brokerage. The job paid well, but it didn’t support my long-term goals of freedom and the ability to travel in order to speak and train salespeople. In order to turn 2018 into the launching pad for reaching my personal and business goals, I knew that I needed to start with something tangible that would create a ripple affect in all areas of my life. Therefore, I decided it was time to run the half-marathon again. And, I wanted to share the 5 ways I believe this will carry over into my business goals as well.
5 Ways Hitting this One Goal Will Impact My Business Goals
1.) Goal Achievement Creates the Pattern for Hitting Other Goals
Goal-Setting and Goal Achievement doesn’t change much across all arenas. It works much like a GPS which most of us have all come to know and love. We love the GPS because we know that with just a couple pieces of information and by following the directions (the plan) it will take us exactly where we want to go, and it will typically even be able to tell us when we will get there. In order to move from couch to half-marathon, marathon to ironman, or five-figure earner to six or seven-figure earner we need the same pieces of information.
A.) We need a very clear picture of where we currently stand. We must be honest with ourselves.
B.) We need a clear destination that is measurable and has a timeline.
C.) We need a plan that is proven to work, and that we believe in.
Learning to find these three pieces of information and follow the plan will create the belief and discipline required to achieve any of these goals. Here is the link to the half-marathon plan I will follow for my training.
D.) The last and most vital component of the GPS is that it lets us know as soon as we go off track. One wrong turn and you will inevitably see the word ‘Recalculating’. We must constantly measure our progress and determine the next step to get back on track as soon as we fall behind. The more frequently we measure, the easier it is to get back on track.
2.) Positive Daily Habits Will Form
By training for this half-marathon I will be doing some form of training 5-6 days a week. That level of commitment creates a habit. After a few weeks, I barely even need to think about my training calendar. About six weeks in, and I know I will be craving the exercise. The endorphins released will far outweigh the pain of the exercise when will-power is no longer required.
Consider how many areas where this applies in your business. How many times have you been held back because you did not consistently do the things you knew you needed to do to hit your goals? How many calls didn’t you make? How many times did you drop the ball on follow-up? What would happen if you had a consistent system and set of habits to ensure these behaviors happened regularly?
Imagine the energy and momentum that would be created through those consistent actions. That positive energy will attract things into your life. It will attract clients, mentors, capital etc. We attract what we become.
To learn more about forming habits and focusing on the activities that knock down the first domino, I highly recommend checking out The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papason.
3.) Physical Energy Increases
The last time I trained for a half-marathon I finished at a weight of around 155 lbs. I currently weigh in at 185 lbs. While I may never hit 155 lbs again (I have little desire to), I will likely lose 10-15 lbs during my training. Shedding this unneeded weight will likely lower my blood pressure, increase my oxygen levels, and create several other physical changes that will impact my overall level of physical energy. Strengthening my core through the training improves posture. All of these combined will allow me to apply more energy and focused effort to my business goals.
Since many of my readers and followers either fall into some sales role, small business, or entrepreneurship we know that our physical energy shows up in our interactions with team members, prospects, and clients alike. Positive energy creates attraction and ‘Yes’ responses. People want to work with people they like, and people tend to like positive people who raise their vibration not people who bring them down whenever they talk.
4.) Improved Mental Fortitude
This is the one area that I wonder if it will have the same effect on the second time around. The first time I trained for this run, I remember thinking that there was nothing I was incapable of conquering. No goal I couldn’t accomplish. Remember that I started by barely completing a one mile run on my first attempt. Then, over only a few months, I completed 13 ten-minute miles. I learned that my body was seldom what was holding me back. It was almost always my mind telling me that I was tired, or that I can’t do it, or I’m not in good enough shape, or I am not strong enough.
These limiting beliefs creep up in our businesses all the time and stop us from achieving our goals. By training our minds to overcome adversity in one area it overflows into other areas where the subconscious mind has roamed free and thwarted our plans to achieve great things. Once we change the pattern, those subconscious thoughts start to shift. It’s hard to believe you can’t do something, when you’re sub-conscious is shouting, “You can do anything you set your mind to. You just ran 13 miles. You didn’t think you could run a mile, and you ran 13. What else can you do that you don’t think you can?” Affirmations can help you reprogram this subconscious thought as well.
5.) Unintentional Overlap
For some reason when I make good decisions about exercise, I automatically make better decisions in other areas of my life as well. Maybe I don’t want to sabotage my efforts. Maybe it’s just the endorphins from the exercise, but I notice that I eat better, drink less, sleep better, and a whole list of other things that are impacted by my training. All of these decisions build on one another. They create a domino effect. Each of them has a bigger and bigger impact as they all start to work together.
In business, when we make a commitment to improve in one area, it will often impact other areas as well. For instance, when we commit to a plan of lead generation, adding new clients, and growing revenue we cannot help but affect other areas. When done well the new business growth will force us to make our systems more efficient, hire quality people or add technology that creates leverage. Each new positive habit we build creates an avalanche effect.
So for 2018, I have committed to my training calendar, knowing that it will infuse my body, mind, and spirit with the mental, physical, and emotional energy I need to crush my business and personal goals this year. It may not be a Half-Marathon for you, but consider what one thing you could commit to that will create tremendous momentum for the rest of your life this year. Here’s to building off that momentum.