It only took 2 years but the pandemic officially arrived at my doorstep. My partner is a paramedic and firefighter with our local department and we figured it was only a matter of time before he picked up COVID from one of his patients. Welp, the time came and with it, I learned an important lesson about goals, commitments, and my broken brain.
I felt very fortunate that throughout the entire pandemic my gym remained open. For many weeks, they only admitted 10 individuals and I happily sat on the curb outside waiting for my opportunity to get in and enjoy the limited 30 minute workout in the nearly empty gym. Over time, they adjusted to a limited capacity and eventually full capacity. About a year ago, I started working one-on-one with a personal trainer at my gym. Over several months, we started to set clearer and more challenging goals and increase the time we spent working together. With his help, I was able to check off my first round of goals: 225# squats and unassisted pullups. Having achieved that goal, we moved on to bigger and more challenging goals and started meeting three times each week for one hour with assignments to workout independently two additional days. Admittedly, the sessions are grueling and my body has been sore in new, unexpected ways and I’m starting to appreciate the “pains” of getting older (but that’s another story for another time).
When the virus finally reached our home, it was the first time during the pandemic that I legitimately quarantined and never left the house. This meant no personal training whatsoever. I found myself thoroughly enjoying my wide open calendar given that personal training was occupying more than 5 hours each week. Now that training was no longer an option, I was blissfully enjoying the added time in my calendar. I was able to stay up late without worrying about the next early morning workout, I was no longer concerned with my protein and carb intake, and my body was no longer sore everyday. It was heavenly and my primitive brain was loving it.
Eventually, our quarantine ended and it was time for me to get back to work. I found myself resisting reaching out to my trainer to get our session scheduled again. I didn’t want to do it. I enjoyed the free time that I had. I enjoyed not being sore. I enjoyed having wide open mornings where I could do my yoga and meditation unrushed. I just didn’t want to do it anymore! I knew that we had goals and things that I wanted to achieve but I was really enjoying this nice cozy space I was finding myself in and I just didn’t want to change that. I told myself I just didn’t care anymore.
My primitive brain had taken over–it wanted to bask in the pleasure and avoid the pain that came with pushing toward my goals. That’s when I realized, it wasn’t about wanting to go to the gym or not. The question was whether or not I was still committed to my goal.
Did I still want it?
If the answer to that question was yes, then reconnecting with my trainer was the next right step and what I wanted to do was irrelevant. If I was truly committed to the goal, it meant being willing to do things I didn’t want to do. It meant going to the gym even when I didn’t want to because I had committed the goal.
Want had no place in the conversation. It was simply–are you committed or not? And what’s the first test of commitment?
Being willing to do things you don’t want to because they are in furtherance of your goal.
In the end, that is truly what distinguishes those of us that achieve our goals from those that don’t. It’s not about having more time than anyone else, it’s not about having a drive that others don’t have. It’s simply about your willingness to show up even when you don’t want to.
It’s about your commitment to the goal and how you react when your desire to stay in place challenges that commitment.
The reason people don’t achieve their dreams and fulfill all of their goals is simply a matter of commitment. How committed are you to the goal? Committed enough to do it because you said you would even when you don’t want to?
If this resonates with you and you are struggling to take action on your goals, you are not alone. All of us struggle sometimes to take the actions that we know are necessary. Schedule a free consult with me and let’s get you back on track to create the life of your dreams.
I reached out to my trainer and got our sessions back on the calendar. It felt good to show up for myself even when I know that I didn’t want to and even though I was dreading it. It felt good to follow through and to challenge that part of my brain that wanted to stay safe and cozy. I gave my primitive brain the finger and I will continue to move toward my goals and honor the commitment I made to myself.
Today when you find yourself saying I just don’t want to….I just don’t feel like it consider what it would be like to say So freaking what? That doesn’t matter. I’m going to do it anyway.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto