One of my favorite scenes from Rocky III is when Rocky and Apollo are out in LA sparing. Rocky had just lost his title defense against Clubber Lang (Mr. T) and was training with Apollo to prepare for the rematch. For those of you too young to remember, Apollo was working with Rocky to totally change his fighting style.
As the scene unfolds, Apollo is just pounding on Rocky who is putting up little defense. Finally in frustration, Apollo screams “What’s the matter with you!!?” Rocky, beaten and exhausted said “I’ll get it tomorrow.” Apollo fires back, “There is no tomorrow!!”
The truth is that Rocky was afraid. He had just been badly beaten by Clubber and his manager Mick had died from a heart attack. He had lost his self confidence and for a fighter, confidence is everything.
Most people in life take the path of least resistance. Procrastination is a killer. An ounce of discipline and effort not taken today equals a ton of regret later in life. People are under the mistaken belief that action follows feeling. When you’re talking about changing your life and stretching your comfort zones, waiting until you feel like it is not an option. For most of us, the feeling never gets strong enough to create the needed action to change.
“There are two types of pain you will go through in life, the pain of discipline and he pain of regret. Discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tonnes.”
There was on old man sitting on his front porch with his neighbor and his hound dog.
The dog was just lying there kind of moaning but not moving. The neighbor asked “what’s wrong with your dog?” The man replied “he’s lying on a nail.” The neighbor asked “well why doesn’t he get up? The man said, “well, I guess it doesn’t hurt that bad.”
There are so many people hurting in life for one reason or another. They know they need to change but they don’t know how or the fear of change has them feeling trapped. Again, waiting until you feel like doing anything is not a winning strategy.
Challenge yourself to live life on principle and commitment and not pure emotion. Set a goal in a particular area and formulate a step by step action plan to reach that goal. Then turn off your brain and act. The fears that have been holding you back are often times only imagined and you will be surprised how easy the steps come once you move into action.
Act your way into feeling instead of waiting to feel like acting. If you will stick to your guns long enough to see positive results, then it becomes far easier to stay with your plan. The hardest part for someone who’s trying to lose weight and start a new fitness program or anything for that matter is just starting.
Procrastination is too high a price to pay for fear of failure. To conquer fear, you have to feel the fear, and take action anyway. Forget motivation, just do it. Act your way into feeling, not wait for positive emotions to carry you forward.
Don’t worry about what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. For example, to improve your health, set a goal tomorrow to have a good breakfast, lunch, and dinner with one or two healthy snacks in between. Further, commit to some form of exercise for 30 minutes before or after work. You will be so proud of yourself for moving into action and the next day will be so much easier.
Then once you start seeing progress and changes in your body, you will look forward to eating better and exercising. I promise there will come a day when you will look forward to working out. You will reach a point where you only want to eat healthy foods because it makes no sense to put garbage in the very body you’ve been working so hard to change.
I wake up every morning with no alarm clock…fired up about starting my day. After 30 minutes of coffee and bible study, I’m off to the gym. I consider this a blessing and a privilege and it’s truly one of the high points of my day. Working out can be the same for you as well….no matter what time of day best fits your personality and schedule.
If you need to make a change with your body, get some help from a qualified professional trainer, formulate a game plan, and act. What you put off today will only be harder in the future. Remember, there is no tomorrow. Life is too short and when it comes to your health, you can’t afford to wait.
Action Step for My Readers:
If you struggle with setting goals, determine the one thing in your life that you most want to accomplish or that you would like to change verses where you are now. Now create an action plan for the next 90 days that will move you towards this goal. Break these steps down by month, week, and day. And remember, for a goal to be valid, it must be “SMART”:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attractive (the real why behind the goal)
R – Realistic
T – Timely
Be willing to get counsel and or any additional education needed depending on your goal. Then for the next 90 days, take action! Sales expert Todd Duncan teaches a concept called the “90 Day Burn”. Regardless of what you’re trying to accomplish, 90 days of consistent activity is a long enough period of time to develop new habits and create the initial momentum that can propel you on to great heights of achievement.
At the end of your first “burn”, evaluate your progress and reset your goals for the next 90 days. Make any changes needed and move forward. Goal setting is “war”. Your tactics and battle plans may change along the way but the goal of winning the war is a constant never changing focus where you direct your heart and soul.
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
John Wolfgang von Goethe