Monday, August 13, 2012

what long term looks like

what long term looks like


Where were you on your journey a year ago? Where are you today? Where do you want to be a year from now?

The answer shouldn't be the same for all three.

A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.

the process of continuous improvement

Remember last year, when it was hard to walk up two flights of stairs without losing your breath. Today those stairs are easy, right? But you still can't jog more than a mile at a time. And you're hoping to run a 10K next year? Great - you're on the right path.

The process of continuous improvement is a long term process. It's a series of tiny improvements made over a long time period. Nobody is keeping score, and the calendar keeps turning pages.

A Penny a Day

Can we all agree that a penny is pretty much worthless? Yet put a penny into a jar each day, and within a couple-few months you'll have enough pennies to buy your morning cup of coffee. Keep saving them, and eventually you could buy a new pair of running shorts. That's turning something worthless into something you value - not bad!

Working Out
  • Day 1 you can't do a Fit-20 Workout. In fact, you can't even do one push-up and after about 30 seconds of trying you feel like you're going to explode. But you keep at it.
  • A week later you're able to do a push-up. (I know what you're thinking - "big deal - one measly push-up..") A couple more weeks go by and you're able to do a few push-ups, and you can get through the 20-minute routine (even though you spend more time on breaks than actually working out.)
  • A few months go by and you're still at it. There's never been a "break through", where suddenly the workouts seem easier, but you consistently are able to do more exercises at a faster pace. You're seeing the results, both in terms of the exercises getting easier and because your body is changing shape.
  • More time passes, and you're finally able to do the workouts in the way you imagined you could.

Losing Weight
  • You start losing a pound per month.
  • By the time the Holidays roll around, you've lost 4 pounds (and only a couple people have noticed), but you put 2 of them back on.
  • By next summer you've lost 10 pounds and have to buy new shorts in a smaller size. People are complimenting you regularly. Get used to it, because this will become the new normal until you reach the weight you want.
  • A couple-few years go by, and you have the body you weren't sure you would ever have. You look back at the journey, and there wasn't a single turning point - no magical event or "perfect week" when everything got better.
  • It just happened, a tiny bit at a time, over the course of a long time.

A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. That's the process of continuous improvement.

What steps are you taking today?

-Chris Butterworth

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