December 30


Be unreasonable and go far in 2021

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Break with tradition and set an unreasonable goal this year. Think BIG! This is the time to decide what you intend to do fitness-wise for the next twelve months. Just more training? Will that be just more events? Or do you have a specific goal in mind, a target that you want to hit?

However, I want you to consider something more than a target that just revolves around improvement. I want you to do something in 2021 that will transform you.

It won’t be easy, it will involve sacrifice – but what transformation doesn’t?

How do I transform myself? By setting an unreasonable goal

George Bernard Shaw once said, “Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.”

This isn’t something you’ll normally find coaches suggesting.

Goals are supposed to be achievable and realistic.

But a point I’ve been making for more than a decade now – who’s to say what’s achievable?

When Nelson Mandela was locked up all those years. Would anyone have thought it was achievable for him to become President of South Africa one day? Well it was.

Mainly, it’s you who determines what’s achievable.

Setting an unreasonable goal that is at the very limits of your potential is a way to stretch beyond limiting beliefs.

It’s a chance to create a situation that forces you beyond your boundaries. You might need to reset your training regime.

It might cause you to wake each day and ask yourself, “How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I’m committed to?”

Tell yourself “If I want to change, things have got to change”

When people talk about goals, they tend to focus on what they want that they don’t currently have.

However, it’s beneficial to audit what you already have.

Think about what you do that works. What resources you have available and what you’ve learnt about yourself. That’s your foundation, the sum of your journey so far.

If you don’t know what you have, how will you know what you need?

Conducting a training audit

So, carry out a training audit. Write a list of everything you do in relation to your training:

  • where you train
  • when you train
  • what you do when you train
  • how often you train
  • what equipment you use
  • what you eat (including supplements)

Then look at each item and consider, for example, how long have you been doing it?

Do you remember why? How long was it since you questioned it as the best way of doing it?

I have loads of training advice on my site, but how long has it been since you incorporated any of it into your training?

Much of your training audit will withstand scrutiny and remain a proven part of your approach. However, some will reveal itself to be the product of habit and limited thinking.

Overcoming resistance to change so you can smash your unreasonable goal

Our brain loves routine.

However, our bodies might yearn for something else if we want it to develop.

Here’s an interesting concept to have a go at: Consider the opposite of what you believe to be true and examine your beliefs about training and diet.

Ask yourself, “Is what I believe true?”

Is there an opposite perspective and what evidence supports it? You might be surprised at what emerges and takes your training in a new direction.

By the end of your training audit you may have recovered time in your schedule that you can use for other purposes. Perhaps even more productive training.

You may also resolve to cut back on some things, like the time spent in front of your TV or laptop.

Or the money you spend on takeaways.

You may have refined your training, brought in new elements, changed your gym or found ways to do more of it somewhere else.

What matters is that your sport and fitness training is something you organise your life around more than you did in 2020..

You’re an athlete. The more you integrate that idea into yourself, the more your life will reflect it.

You can’t negotiate with success

The pursuit of an unreasonable goal means that you have to look at your training/work/life balance.

After all, it’s one of the reasons for setting your goal in the first place.

Very often people use the word can’t. For example, “I’d like to train more but I can’t find the time.”

But the one thing you can’t do with success is haggle.

You’ll either do what it demands or it will go to someone else.

So set your sights higher than you’ve ever done. This will cause you to change the ranking of your sport/fitness training in the hierarchy of your life.

That is what it takes to get extraordinary results.

Become one of the unreasonables and join a select group with a purpose that has meaning to them.

This is also one of the secrets of life that positive psychology has revealed.

People who have a purpose in their life are happier and healthier. Irrespective of what that purpose is.

So, commit to an ‘unreasonable’ target and adjust your life to make it possible. You can truly change the way you feel about your life and become different from the drones around you.

You’re an athlete. The more you integrate that idea into yourself, the more your life will reflect it.

About the author

Paul Stokes

Paul Stokes BSc (Hons) is a Certified Personal Trainer, Accredited Sports Nutritionist, qualified Exercise to Music Instructor, Precision Nutrition coach, Massage Therapist and teaches 8 of the Les Mills Group Exercise programs.

He currently works in the Oil & Gas industry as a Wellness Coach, imparting his vast knowledge and experience to improve the quality of life of several hundred offshore workers.

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