There is no limit, no ceiling on your potential in regards to your physical self. Any ceiling that we sense containing us is one that we ourselves have created and, as such, we also possess the authority to tear it down. Being honest with ourselves, we are able to assess our current condition, establish where it is we want to be or what we want to accomplish, and then do all that is in our power to see the dream manifest as reality.

It’s easy to lie to ourselves. Have you ever kept a food journal? People on the path to fitness and personal wellbeing are often frustrated by a lack of results when they begin putting in real work. If you ask them about their diet most will say that they do pretty well (it’s astounding to me that everyone thinks they are doing great with their eating while the US continues to be the leader in obesity caused illness and death… something’s not adding up here!). They will tell you about their clean eating habits and how they don’t snack often, and about their healthy bedtime treat of a square of dark chocolate… then they keep a food journal. This revealing practice usually sheds light on the fact that people eat a lot more than they think, and not just a lot more food… a lot more bad food! Snacks and junk food and sodas… oh my! A food journal helps people (including myself) get honest with themselves. I only bring this up as an example. It’s important to accurately assess our current condition if we want to see progress in our strength and overall health. What’s your workout schedule? Why did you plan it that way? Are you really putting in the work required to see the changes you are desiring? How is your diet? Are you making any actual sacrifices in order to progress? After you have thoughtfully and honestly established where you are at, you can better decide where you going and want to be.

Goal setting is essential. I was working with a climbing coach recently and he asked me to share with him what my goals were. I voiced a giant aspiration of mine and he answered by saying, “Colt, that’s not a goal, that’s a dream.” Sometimes we have set our sights too high. This is not to discourage dreaming big, but it is important to set reasonable goals that we are able to reach within reasonable amounts of time. Think of each of these bite-sized goals as steps on the way to the dream. If we keep accomplishing short term goals one day we will wake up and realize that the next goal on our list was the “dream” when we first began the journey! Take some time to write down a few goals and give yourself time limits to reach them. If you can correspond the completion of a goal with an upcoming event that seems to work great. For example, I have had a training schedule set for myself in order to accomplish climbing goals for a European trip. Having an end date helps us see light at the end of the tunnel which can make all the difference when we are working hard! Give yourself enough time too. If you want lose ten pounds permit eight weeks to get it done. That’s enough time to lose weight in a healthy manner and will have the added benefit of creating some new, good habits over the course of your allotted time. It’s also a short enough period that you’ll have to work hard!

Most aspects of the journey toward wellness or fitness are completely within our power to control, although the vast majority of people permit themselves to be controlled by these external factors. You decide how good your diet is going, how hard you are training, and what internal voices are allowed to speak to and influence you. Take the necessary steps to ensure your goals are accomplished… do all that’s within your power! If it’s food, start a food journal, meal prep, and take pride in making good nutritional decisions. Not seeing breakthroughs in your training? Mix it up, buy a workout plan, hire a trainer… go the extra mile! I can’t stress those last words enough. Everyone is willing to do a little to get by but there are few who actually realize their major strength and fitness goals or dreams because few are willing to really work for it. Do you have goals? Do you really want to see them accomplished? Then live in a way that demonstrates your commitment to your vision and health. Lastly on this topic, the voices that I mentioned a few sentences ago. You don’t have room in your mind or life for negative self talk. Silence those voices. One great way to do this is by journaling. I keep a workout journal and record not only my sets and reps, etc. but also how I am feeling about the workout that day, in general, etc. When we have records of the past like this, when we get discouraged, we can look back objectively and see just how far we’ve come. Whenever I hear a voice of discouragement or doubt in my head it’s a signal for me to push even harder. Nothing is impossible and any voice in my head that tells me that I am not strong enough or too old or says that I’m dreaming to big is a liar, and I don’t have any time or tolerance for voices like that (whether they be internal or the voices of other people).

You are stronger than you think. Your potential is greater than you have ever fathomed. Decide today that you are going to do those things you’ve been waiting to do; that you’re going to accomplish the goals that you have been too scared to go after in the past. By assessing yourself honestly, creating goals and a plan, and doing all that is in your power to succeed, you set yourself up not only for hitting your fitness aims, but for living the life you’ve always dreamed of.