I thought I would share something that I know helped me: going for something big. Big is certainly relative. For some, Big is a 5k run, for others, Big is a 100 mile ultra marathon. The cool part is, when you accomplish your relative Big thing, your new relative Big thing expands to something bigger.
I started my 29th year way out of shape and emotionally in a dark place. I was operating my technology sales company from home, and given I didn't know many people in Orange County, that meant I spent a lot of time alone at home in my apartment. One of my buddies was running marathons (some of you know him, Coach Zummo), and another of my buddies had done an ironman triathlon, so I figured I would start with a marathon and hopefully prove to myself that I could do more (the Ironman was a super secret goal of mine but I didn't know if I was capable of it). It helped having friends show me what was possible.
The beauty of the goal was that it was measurable and required a training plan. The training plan started with, what in my mind was huge, a 2 mile "Accomplish the distance somehow" run/jog/walk. I ran/jogged/walked that first mile in basketball shoes, shorts and a cotton t-shirt, that was drenched in sweat after 2 miles. Every run from then on got a little bigger and my relative BIG expanded.
The other beauty of the goal was that it was Big; it excited me and helped me to stay focused. Small stuff you might postpone, but for me, Big stuff gets me out of bed in the morning.
When you are up to something big you will certainly let others know about it. It's hard not to. The process of letting others know I was training for my marathon really helped me stay accountable to my training so I could be sure to complete the Big end goal. Small and unmeasurable goals ("I want to exercise more") are uninspiring, so they fade into the background because they usually aren't even worth mentioning. But Big goals are exciting. Your friends, family, and coworkers become unintentional accountability partners, asking you about your Big goal as a way to show interest in your life. This is why all small goals must be tied to something big and lofty to garner the energy, community of support, and prioritization required to achieve them.
Doing something BIG has had a ripple effect into other related areas of my life. As I got into the marathon training, I figured I should probably dial in my nutrition. As the miles got longer, my body started to feel the stress. Enter yoga. As I wanted my performance to increase, I heard I should also be doing some weight training, enter 24 hour fitness and the weight room. As the weight room wasn't doing it for me, I watched CrossFit videos and taught myself how to Olympic lift and implemented that training into my days. All things that just a couple months prior were not anywhere near my radar and far outside of my comfort zone. And remember that technology sales company that kept me in my apartment all day? I bought the book "4-hour work week," hired a full-time sales representative, and carved out the time to combine my business skills and newfound interest in fitness to build a successful CrossFit gym and yoga studio.
After I crossed the finish line of my marathon, I turned my sights to something bigger: The Ironman. One year after turning 29, I had accomplished my super secret goal of completing my first Ironman. Another fun note, I met Sandy at the finish line of that first marathon. I just don't think that was a coincidence. People who are up to Big things like to be around people doing the same thing.
The Forest is a place where I have seen members experience incredible transformation due to thinking Big. I know there are a lot of folks in our gym who have super secret goals to participate in the TFL, compete at a local public competition, and make it to the CrossFit games, but wouldn't dare tell anyone. Others super secretly want to quit their miserable jobs and start a new business doing something they love, but are too scared to admit it. Well, guess what-- it is time to speak up. Declare your Big goal. The one thing I can guarantee is that in no time you will find yourself like me, wondering why I wasted even one extra day in that dark and insecure place secretly knowing there has to be more.