This weekend had several lessons (the value of family, friends, fun, and taking time off were among many). But there is one I specifically want to address today. When people decide to be successful in life, health, and fitness, tactics are usually the main focus. Specific workouts, diet plans, or technical skills come to mind.
This is a common mistake that often leads to failure.
That’s because tactics can change frequently. I prefer to focus on strategy and personal traits. Another way to say this is that “Mindset and Habits are the best places to start before implementing specific tactics”.
The one aspect of these areas that I feel matters most for success in fitness and health in general…it’s probably not what you think.
In fact, I would argue that this trait is the #1 key to success with almost anything (work, relationships, health, finances, etc.). It’s not your skill at your job (or doing a particular task). It’s not how smart you are or some innate talent you have. And it’s not experience, and it’s not even your ability to network or communicate effectively
No, it’s something completely different. And it’s one of the primary factors that differentiate those who are successful and those who aren’t.
It’s the willingness to take personal responsibility.
This may be common sense for some people, but many miss this fact in life…everything leads back to you. If you aren’t as fit as you want…you have the power to exercise more.
Maybe you’ve gained a lot of weight…you are in control of your food, schedule, and lifestyle. If anything in your life isn’t where you want…it’s your responsibility to find a solution.
Now it would be naive to think that 100% of what happens if life is completely within your control. But you are the first piece of the puzzle.
The people I know who enjoy the greatest success are far more likely to take responsibility for things that fall beyond their control than they are to blame others for anything.
The bottom line is this:
If you want to succeed in health, fitness, and life, it’s important to accept that you’re going to take on more responsibility than the average person.
This is in exchange for achieving greater things than the average person.
You can either embrace that…or you can deny it while continuing to make excuses. This may sound harsh, but part of taking personal responsibility is accepting that the truth isn’t always easy, palatable, or what you expected.
It’s also important to understand that the level of responsibility we are taking may vary substantially between various areas of our life.
The interesting thing is that when we take a moment to look at the bigger picture, it’s often the areas we struggle most where we are making the most excuses and failing to take responsibility for our actions and outcomes.
I can personally attest to this in several areas of my life and see it in many of my clients. People can be highly successful in one area of life and struggle in others.
This weekend provided a great opportunity for me to take responsibility for an important area I had been neglecting recently.
For the past several months, I’ve been less active than I wanted. In the past week particularly, I had failed to do my normal mobility routines and had been sitting for much longer than normal each day. Combined with my long drive to central BC and a pre-ride of the racecourse with no warm-up, I ended up injuring my back by doing a simple activity.
Now, I could have railed about how “unfair” life was or resigned myself to the fact that “I’m just getting old” and “these things are a normal part of life”. However, it was clear that I had simply neglected key aspects of my daily “self-care” and my body reminded me of this fact with a painful and uncomfortable weekend.
I take full responsibility for my neglect in this area and know what I must do to fix it.
The great news is that to achieve big things, the path really isn’t that complicated.
- Simply decide where you want to go.
- Determine what sacrifices and efforts you are willing to make to get there (we only have a set amount of time each day)
- Take full responsibility for putting in the necessary work.
Again, the path is pretty simple. The journey itself is a bit more challenging. Obstacles always come up. It’s your big picture strategy, purpose, and success traits (habits) that help keep you on track and able to overcome those obstacles.
If this sounds daunting, please remember that you don’t need to do everything on your own. Outsourcing some expertise and support is normal.
It’s why the most successful people have invested in coaching in multiple areas of life (health, business, marketing, relationships, finances, etc.).
If you also want to learn a better approach to fitness, fat loss, and living a fabulous life, just book now your FREE Success Coaching Session.
Even motivation and inspiration can be found externally (particularly in the beginning).
But the ultimate responsibility for our daily actions and the outcomes of those actions rests squarely on our shoulders.