Have you ever thought about the parallels between strength training and pursuing our BIG (life) goals? 

I couldn’t help but explore how so often we have no problems understanding how we can reach a specific fitness related goal but struggle to see the same path outside of the gym in life.

Here’s what I mean.

Like life, some people are born with certain advantages or skills that make them more inclined to quicker success. All of us may walk into the gym at the same time on day one, but some are naturally stronger or more mobile. Others may pick up specific movements more quickly and more naturally.

But here’s the key: all of us have to earn our progress one rep at a time.

No one can just “give” you that PR. You aren’t handed “gains.” You simply don’t get stronger without doing the necessary work.

Which got me thinking about the three ways we KNOW how to get better running or in the gym that are the exact same three ways we can reach our bigger goals in life.

1. Focus on your workout, not theirs.

You have to focus on your own workout. Each person who walks into the gym has a different target – some want to lose weight, some want to simply lift heavy, and others only care about how they look naked. Everyone’s aiming at something different, which is all the more important reason you have to focus on your own workout and goals. If you’re trying to only lose weight and constantly comparing yourself to the person training for a competition, you’ll get off track.

Your workout is different than theirs because you have different goals. Don’t get distracted by someone else is doing, focus on what you are.

2. Have a plan. Follow the plan.

I used to waste a ton of time simply lifting weights at 24 Hour Fitness before I started tracking my workouts. I would “guestimate” what weight needed to go on the bar and never would remember what I lifted the time before. I felt like I was getting stronger but it wasn’t that quickly and I was never sure if I really was because I wasn’t measuring any of my workouts.

Without a plan, how will you ever get to where you’re wanting to go? You can walk into the gym and workout any time, but it’s much harder to make any progress if you don’t know what you need to workout, how heavy the weight needs to be, and what reps to do. A plan gives you a way to progress and grow – and just as important, gives you a record to look back at to see how far you’ve come.

Same goes in our life. Without a detailed plan of attack, how will we ever get to “success.” And on that note – without a clear, detailed picture of what “success” is for us, how can we ever expect to make a plan that will get us there? Simply put: we can’t.

3. Be where your feet are.

You can’t worry about next week’s workout when you haven’t even completed today’s. You can’t worry about next year’s business goals until you take care of this year’s. You’ve made a plan (#2), now focus on it. It’s easy to get distracted by what’s farther ahead of us or what we did last week, but it’s dangerous to pick up a heavy barbell and not be fully present with what you’re doing in the moment.

Same goes in your life. Focus on what you control – your actions today – and let tomorrow take care of itself when tomorrow arrives.

The formula isn’t difficult to know.

But knowing isn’t the same as doing. It’s a three-step formula:

  • Focus on your own work
  • Follow the plan to your specific goal
  • Stay present in the moment and locked in to what you control: what you do today.

The road to that next lift PR is the same to your life PR. Go get it.