The pursuit of training your body to create an improved physique, more strength, better athleticism or any other goal is a long-term process. Although it is not a hard concept to understand, it can be hard to put into practice for some people. The one factor that we cannot overlook when it comes to reaching our goals is time. In today's society, the search for quick fixes seem to be the norm. The honest truth is that a quick fix is probably not the solution. The solution is more likely hard work over time. To get significantly stronger, more muscular or to really change your body you need to commit. Once you have dedicated yourself and are committed to making a change, there will be highs and lows.
Having the "big picture mentality" will help you through times of failure and slowed progress as well as keep you even-keeled during times of success and rapid progress. Maintaining steady emotional balance is a trait shared by many successful people. You have likely heard the saying that you never want to get too high or too low. Keeping the big picture in mind will help avoid knee-jerk reactions in the moment. Whether it's something good or something bad, filtering everything through the big picture lens will help maintain that balanced mindset needed for long-term success.
It may not seem like it in the moment, but the difficult workouts, missed reps and plateaus are very valuable. The times when training is tough are the times when you learn the most. You have to evaluate yourself honestly, and determine why progress has stalled. Honest evaluation of your current training and diet will, most times, reveal the answer to your question. Is it your training plan? Are you not getting the proper nutrients and supplementation? Are you not sleeping enough? When these rough spots inevitably pop up during your health and fitness journey, the key is to roll with them and continue to focus on your long-term goals. Every challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow. When you are able to work through a plateau, you have not only improved your potential physically, but you have gotten smarter. You have learned more valuable lessons to apply to your journey.
Just as it is important to stay even-keeled when a difficult challenge is presented or a setback occurs, we should strive to remain neutral during times of success. When you set a personal best or do well in a workout or competition, celebration is definitely in order. Celebrating your achievements is an important way to allow you to reflect on and be proud of your work. However, taking the celebration too far may have downsides. Getting too comfortable after reaching one goal may lead to stagnation. We should aim for continual improvement -- complacency breeds mediocrity. For example, in my own training, if I hit a new PR in a strongman event, that is great and I will be very happy! But, when I step back and look at the big picture, not only will I see that I have worked to achieve this goal, but I will also see the thousands of other competitors who are exceeding this mark. That big picture mentality will allow me to celebrate my achievement, and then put my head down and get back to work.
Setting, striving for and reaching goals is one of the most rewarding things we can do on our personal journeys. Staying consistent and dedicated over the long haul will bring the most success. If we stay balanced using the big picture mentality, these goals will be easier to reach. Good luck on your journey.
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