What makes a good action star? Is it their ability to wield weapons? Be heroic amidst danger? Heroes, or action stars, come in a wide variety of forms. But, one thing they all have in common is that they take ACTION.
A lot of us have these general ideas, aspirations and goals. We can go on and on about all the things we want to do, where we want to go or what type of person we want to be. The problem is not in a lack of dreams, but an inability to follow through and take action. The most common road block is fear. Often times it is an internal struggle; what will people think? What if I fail? What if, what if, what if. The laundry list of reasons why we shouldn’t do something will never not exist, but we need to be able to rationally filter out the excuses.
But let’s take a step back. What is it that you want to do? Since this is meant to be a fitness related blog, let’s refine our search; what fitness goals do you have? Do you want to get stronger? Run a marathon? Participate in a competition? Not sure? Stop reading now, take a few minutes and write down some of your aspirations. Keep in mind these goals are for you. There is no right or wrong answers. Got them? Onward. Establishing a goal or set of goals is step 1. That’s usually the easy part anyways.
Now we can turn our attention to taking action. I mean, the title of the blog is “So, you wanna be an action star?”. But, how do we do that? This is the part that can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. I like to work backwards; what is that I want? From there we can develop a plan to help navigate us to that point. Just like your goal, your plan might not look like someone else’s, even if they have the same goal as you. Each of us is unique and our approach needs to match that. Trying to follow someone else’s path is likely to leave you confused and you’ll be missing out on the journey of learning for yourself.
This last piece is less of a formal step and is more of a recommendation when setting your goals and plans to conquer them. In most action films, how often is there a definite plan? Or is it something more along the lines of going in guns blazing? This is where I see a lot of people who have the best of intentions and know what they want, but their plan is simply too ambitious. Now, I am not saying you can’t or shouldn’t aim for the stars, but we do need to find a balance between going full tilt and striking a balance. In beginners especially, the enthusiasm to workout everyday, revamp their diet and commit their life to fitness is off the charts! For some, this is how they are, all in or nothing. But, I see a lot of people who’s eagerness to do everything all at once (guns blazing) being their own kryptonite. The first week or two go great; WOD 5 times per week and eating 100% paleo and keto. After 2-3 weeks, you start getting tired. It’s too much to do and it’s overwhelming; the meal prepping for carb cycling days and vegan days, WOD’ing 5 days a week no matter how your body feels and running on 4-5 hours of sleep per night. There has to be a better way.
When developing your plan to reach your goals, don’t think of it as a one and done. Our pursuit of becoming the best version of ourselves is a never ending process. If your goal is to get in shape, what happens when you do? Is that it? Do you say “I got in shape, but I’m going back to being out of shape now”? Probably not, your goal was to get in shape and stay that way, changing your life and focusing on your health. Our goals need to be approached the same way. Start out with small changes and master those first. As those smaller changes become routine, start implementing bigger changes. Not only will this help you reach your goals, but these are now sustainable changes! Not fads or a 30 day challenge that comes and goes.
So, the moral of the story, do you want to be an action star? Yes, but one with clearly defined goals and a well thought out plan. We don’t want to simply go in guns blazing, we need to create steps and checkpoints in order to arrive at our destination. We also don’t want to take on too much too quick, starting out small and keep your focus narrow. As you conquer the smaller steps and they become routine, you can broaden your scope and start taking strides. In the end, there is no right or wrong. There are ways that will work for some people and ways that won’t. The more time you put into reflecting on what your goals are and how you’re going to get there, the better off you’ll be and the more likely that your plan won’t leave you floundering after a few weeks. Don’t let the list of what if’s derail you; that internal fear is normal, change can be scary, but it’s also a necessity for growth. Identify your goal, develop a plan and make sure you’re not setting yourself up to fail by doing too much too quick. Never underestimate the power of focusing on the little things.