2020 is here! Before you declare that this is the year that you finally lose 10 lbs and get a muscle up, maybe it’s time to reflect on why you still don’t have a muscle up or are still carrying those extra pounds after years of trying.

Say you want to lose 10 lbs, yet you still eat out every day and drink all weekend. Your actions are not in alignment with your goals.

Want a muscle up but spend little time developing the skills and still don’t have strict ring dips?  Your actions are again not aligned with your goals.

Many people want to be Olympians, but very few are willing to train like Olympians.

We re-watched two very inspiring movies over the Christmas break, “The Dawn Wall” and “Free Solo”.  If you haven’t seen either of these I would recommend them both whether you rock climb or not. One thing that stuck out to me watching them again is the amount work they both put in to achieve their goals.  We are talking hours and hours spanned across multiple years with a singular focus. Lots and lots of repeated failure. Very few people have that kind of dedication and perseverance.

In January everyone is gung-ho and motivation is high. Unfortunately, the reality of the work we need to put in sets in and many end up giving up too soon. Mastery requires practice. The more you practice something, the more boring and routine it becomes. Once the beginner gains have been made and we learn what to expect, our interest starts to fade. The greatest threat to success is not failure, but boredom. We get bored with our habits because they stop delighting us. Once you have done your muscle up drills for a few weeks and still don’t have an actual muscle up you get discouraged and seek novelty.

As soon as we experience the slightest dip in motivation, we begin seeking a new strategy, even if the old is still working. A new fad diet, a new training program…

We all have things we wish to achieve, but it won’t come true if we only do the work when it’s exciting, when we feel like it or when it’s convenient. Professionals stick to their schedules, amateurs let life get in the way. When something is truly important to you, you need to be willing to stick it out in any mood. (Adapted from “Atomic Habits”* by James Clear.)

Instead of making outcome based goals, it’s time to start making processed based goals. Figure out what you want to do and create a process to get there. Don’t know where to start? A good coach can help here. Remember to start small, build consistency first and then build on your success.

“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.”– Vern McLallan

Happy New Years!


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