Since my competition has been over, I’ve been laying plans for my next few steps in my fitness journey. Short-term, I want to compete again. Knowing I have a good coach who is going to take me through the necessary steps to both grow and build my physique while maintaining a new level of “normal” in terms of leanness gets me excited for how my body can change in the next year. I also have some strength goals, and am excited to focus on numbers other than waist measurements and the scale. However, most of these goals will not come to fruition for another 4, 6, 12 months. The last year has re-taught me about baby steps and how little changes and choices can add up to a completely new big picture.
This got me thinking about how financial and fitness goals are very similar in their planning and execution: you have to think in terms of months and years, but your daily decisions and actions are what truly determine your success. Whether it’s saying “no” to a new purse or “no” to an extra serving of ice cream, both choices take discipline and inner confidence that they will pay off in the long run. These choices are not always fun, and you may occasionally stray from the course, but consistency over time is what truly matters
I think these 5 tricks help when making daily decisions that affect long-term success:
- Make small goals in between achieving larger ones. For finance: “I will have “x” amount of dollars put towards debt by the end of the month.” Or “I will stick to my budgeted amount for groceries and toiletries this week”. For fitness: “I will stick to my macros today.” Or, ” I will make it to the gym every day this week”. Then keep repeating those successes. This is how new habits are formed, and before you know it one day turns into one week, and weeks turn into month.
- Keep track of your successes. Keaton and I have a whiteboard we track our financial success on. We have a column for debt, and a column to show how close we are to having his tuition saved. It’s silly how excited I get to update that little board. I also cheer us on with little tidbits like “We’ve put the total of 2 months’ income towards debt this year!” I was also most successful at increasing my lifts when I took a small notebook to the gym and recorded. My post-show goal is to get back at this. It’s a lot harder to justify slacking on weight when you have documented evidence that you can do better, just sayin’.
- Find a system that works for you. I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s envelope system, but it may not work for everyone. When we moved to a small town we didn’t have access to a bank to get our weekly cash withdrawals from, and I started traveling so we’ve had to switch to a Google sheet we can both access anywhere. For fitness, there are a million and one diet plans, workouts, classes, etc. I have seen people be successful in many different ways, and it has to be sustainable for you long-term.
- Take breaks or build in some wiggle room. Build some “blow” money into your budget. Plan a vacation reasonable for your situation. Just don’t use it as an excuse to throw all your goals to the wind and have it become a setback. You’ll enjoy it more if you’re not stressing about how far it set you back. Fitness-wise, plan rest days or deload weeks. Plan a meal around your macros that you normally wouldn’t eat. Take a break from your normal workouts and try a new class or activity. One of my favorite quotes is “You didn’t gain the weight in one day, one day won’t ruin all your hard work.” Just don’t let that one day turn into 3, or 4, or 5.
- Don’t beat yourself up over setbacks. If you missed something in your budget and had to do some maneuvering, or you overspent on something you shouldn’t have, deal with it, balance your budget, and move on. If you were lazy for a week, or ate like an a**hole (like we say on my teams page), pick yourself up and reset. Setbacks will happen, and we’re all human, but they are possible to overcome if we don’t let them become the defining moments of our journey.
All of these things combined help keep those big goals within reach. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, or a bangin’ bikini body. I decided what I wanted, and I went for it. Luckily, the discipline and dedication I learned from both ventures has affected me as a person, and given me confidence that my big dreams and goals are attainable, if I keep making small positive choices and sacrifices every day. Decide what you want, determine the steps you need to take to get there, and make the change. Who knows, your seemingly different goals may turn out to go together better than you thought.
With big goals and even bigger dreams,