I’ve been writing about weight loss this week. I’ve interviewed 9 women and am telling each person’s ‘How I did it’ story in a feature for Kit magazine. It’s been inspiring, has caused me to pause and think. Not about weight, not about health, and not about fitness. But about how to accomplish a goal; any goal.
Because we all have goals. Things we want to accomplish in this life. Lose weight. Quit smoking. Finish school. Write a book. We have ideas in our head of how we might improve ourselves, achieve our dreams or advance the quality of our lives in some concrete way.
So we decide to go for it. Do something. Devise a plan, and inch ourselves toward our goal.
It’s exciting. It feels good. We feel like we’re finally getting our lives in order. And then it happens: we come upon an obstacle. Or two. Or three. And obstacles change everything.
They cause us to stop in our tracks. They cause us to doubt. They lead us to places in our brains. Places which aren’t very comfortable, with demons and nasty naysayer gnomes who’ve stood on our shoulders for years mocking us. And if we aren’t careful, these obstacles cause us to give up.
I learned so much from the women I interviewed. I learned that everyone’s struggle is a little bit different. One woman struggled to eat healthy, while another struggled to get herself in the gym. One struggled with confidence in her ability to lose weight, while another struggled with the day-in/day-out commitment it takes to do so. But they all struggled.
I also learned the path to success is equally diverse. One woman took forever to commit to get healthy, but once the decision was made, quickly forged her way to success. Another took her time, progressing inch by inch until she gained her footing. It took her years to get healthy. One woman tried and tried again only to fail repeatedly. But one day, she picked herself up, found an inner strength she never knew she had, and she used it to achieve her goal.
I love hearing these stories.
And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from these women, it’s this:
The key to success, the key to reaching a goal, any goal, boils down to doing two things. You must:
2- and Finish.
Most of us know how to start. We know what we want, we know we have to make changes to get there. Then one day, we gather everything we have in us and say: This is the day.
That’s me, anyway. I know how to start. It’s the finishing I find to be a bit tricky.
Because finishing takes time. Effort. Commitment. Finishing takes finding your way through the stuff, the obstacles. It takes believing, even when there is no concrete evidence, that you’ll arrive, get there, achieve your goal. Finishing…is hard work.
But it can be done. People do it all the time. They look deep within themselves, and find whatever it is they need and use to push through the stuff. They pause before eating, they walk into the gym even when they don’t want to, they face doubt, fear, or laziness straight in the eye, consider it, and then…decide they’ll push forward instead. I want to be that person.
With my health.
With my writing.
With my personal relationships.
With my faith.
I want to get from A to B. I want to keep walking, keep trying, keep pushing forward. Even when there is no concrete evidence that I will succeed. In other words, I want to get to the finish line.
And on those days when the gnomes on my shoulder mock me, I’ll pull out this article and read my very own words and remember some really cool women who did it. Then I’ll thank God for allowing me to meet them, interview them and tell others of their success.