Health is a Marathon – Part Two

By Stefan Bratu

Setbacks are realities waiting to be conquered

The reality is that we all fall off the horse sometimes. We will all experience setbacks in life. It is about getting back on the horse, OVER and OVER and OVER again until your goals are within sight.

Commitment, time and perseverance will always be the foundation upon which changes happen. This includes all areas of your life, not only health.  Resilience lies at the core of success , great changes become success stories through cycles of setbacks and the ability to keep going despite those momentary lapses.

Winter “bulking” and summer “cutting”

In the fast paced world of instant gratification, fast food, speed dating, weekend plastic surgery, winter “bulking” and summer “cutting” my suggestions of resilience and patience sound almost prehistoric. I’m not proposing a quick fix, but something more solid, something permanent – the shaping of physical successes in the furnace of our mind.

My advice is to take your long term goals and break them down into smaller, more manageable ones. Always keep your eye on the final goal but tackle each stage one at a time. The acceptance that the road could be long and arduous, and that setbacks will occur is at the heart of it. Setbacks are realities waiting to be conquered, and not abstract concepts to be feared.

Many Ancient Greek philosophers argued that to allow for the full enjoyment of life one must first come to terms with its finality. Similarly to be successful in our goals we must come to terms with setbacks – ironically the key to success might be the acceptance of occasional failures.

Are my goals realistic in such a timeframe, really!!???

The goals I set myself just over a year ago have not been achieved. A combination of unrealistic goal-setting and a couple of setbacks have altered my outcomes. Yet overall progress has been made. I am now closer to my goals than when I started and sometimes that’s good enough.

The alternative would be to give up and fail in achieving my goals. This would bring me full circle to where I started. No thank you sir, I’d rather get there in twice the time, stuck together with Super Glue, held together by duct tape and fuelled by resilience and a never say die attitude.

Setting realistic goals play a big role – the basis of mine last year were researched externally. I now know that was an error – use yourself as a point of reference and not someone else telling you what you should, or must achieve.

Takeaway exercises – try these at home and we would love to hear your comments as always 🐝

  1. Breakdown long-term goals into smaller ones, map these out and even bullet-point them in a place you can visit daily.
  2. Write your GOALS IN CAPITAL LETTERS on your mirror (or a place you see often) and also write “setbacks are realities waiting to happen”
  3. Be flexible with the deadlines for your goals. Take time to reassess and self-reflect on how realistic the final deadlines of your goals really are. Make this a ritual at half way points or as the self-imposed deadlines approach- ask yourself “what actions can I take to make this goal more achievable and how does this affect my deadline?”
  4. Be prepared ask yourself when setting goals “are these goals really my own”? Be mindful not to be swept along with what someone else wants! Share your goals with a trusted friend who will give you honest feedback.
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