8 Business Lessons I Learned from My Fitness Goals
Early in the year, after the New Year celebrations were over, I did something that I have done for many, many years. I set my goals. I took some time to think about it—I reviewed where I wanted to go, my successes and failures, lessons learned from last year, and then set to write down my goals.
I tend to set my goals in several areas of my life—personal, familial, intellectual, professional, physical, spiritual, financial, etc. Since I am an avid runner, I contemplated my physical goals from the past, and realized that they’ve taught me some invaluable lessons that have impacted the way I set the rest of my life goals, especially my professional ones.
Here are eight business lessons I’ve learned from my fitness goals:
Put it on the Calendar: Selecting an area of improvement in my life several years ago led to the development of a habit. I set the goal on paper, and then translate that to my calendar. If it is on my calendar, it is a hard date, and I am committed to it. Such was the case with several of the events I completed last year—running several half-marathons, cycling during the summer and running a relay race with friends and family. Once I set goals like these on the calendar, I look for these events and then I register for them. It is like having some skin in the game. This is the same approach I follow with many other aspects of my professional life. I set a stake in the ground and drive toward it.
Celebrate Victories … Together: You got to have some fun along the way. Such was the case last spring when my wife and kids and some friends enrolled in the Pocahontas Ragnar Relay Race. One of the lessons learned here is that you can have fun in the process if you do things with the support of a team. You can lead and inspire others, overcome challenges and motivate each other to stay focused on the goal. The same is true for the professional arena, find a support group that endorses your goals, and celebrate your victories together.
Work Towards Those Goals Each Day: Setting a goal is one thing. Working each day and getting ready for a physically challenging event is a different thing. This is where we apply motivation, discipline and commitment. Each day doing something small in order to work towards bigger goals makes the journey a lot more manageable. This is the same approach I take when working with clients when I present them a road-map toward revenue attainment or pipeline. We capture the vision, identify a plan, set goals around it and focus on execution.
Measure Your Progress: I leverage data to measure my training progress. My Garmin GPS watch downloads the data to a dashboard, so I can see my progress toward my big goal by measuring the time I spend training, the mileage, pace, cadence, steps per minute and other data points. Likewise, it is good to measure your goals and benchmarks and improve based on data sets. You can’t improve what you can’t measure.
Achieve and Stretch: This is one of my favorite lessons learned: there is joy in reaching a goal, completing a goal, and in going the extra mile. Whether I put additional time on my workouts, an extra mile on my training runs, it is always fun to stretch and achieve the extra-mile. I like to do the same with clients to help them reach their goals, their road to success is achieved via small achievements that lead to bigger goals.
Find a Support Team: It said that a journey of a thousand miles is better with someone. Finding a mentor, a training partner, or a coach to help you achieve your goals is always better than trying to do it alone. If you have someone there to support your efforts, whether it be in fitness or in business, it makes the journey better and the goal more achievable.
Motivation: The dictionary defines motivation as “the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.” Having a goal and driving toward it requires motivation. I find motivation when I cross the finish line. It moves me forward to set another goal, finish another race. So when I train, I envision that finish line, and I give myself small “finish lines” to work towards and accomplish. The sweat running down my forehead each time is a reflection of my work and training, and is rewarding as I cross over a finish line. The same is true in the business world. We need “finish lines” to cross over in order to motivate us onward, milestones if you will. Then the sweat and hard work will feel all the more rewarding.
It’s Not A Race, It’s a Long Distance Run: Actor, former wrestler, and football player Dwayne Johnson once said, “Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”
As you get ready to finish the first half of the year, take a closer look at your goals and think about the lessons you’ve learned. What can you do to maintain your performance or improve on areas where you can do better? Put your goals on your calendar, find others to work with, celebrate victories, stretch yourself further, cross some finish lines, and don’t be afraid to sweat. Onward!