That idea applies to many things. It certainly applies to how I chose to face my cancer, and it applies to just about any goal - including fitness.
I've written before about how I don't believe in relying on positive thinking. I don't believe that "having a good attitude" will keep me alive. I chose to make a completely honest assessment of my situation, no matter how scary. It was only in that way that I could make the best choices about my treatment.
I'm not the only one to think and write about this. A couple of recent posts on the subject come from my friend Nancy, from Nancy's Point; and Beth, from Calling the Shots. Beth writes about the possible perils of relying on attitude. Both are well worth reading.
We know that people are well-meaning when they encourage us to keep a good attitude. There may be emotional benefits to keeping a good attitude, but thinking positively does not save our lives. Facing our disease head on, honestly; and making a good plan with our doctors and families just might, though.
This same level of honesty is also the best way to make real progress in fitness, whatever your goal. It's the same principal: you have to know your current situation in order to make a reasonable, well-thought-out plan. That will give you the best chance for real success.
Over the years, I've heard people say I'm being negative or too hard on myself when I make an assessment of my current strengths and weaknesses. I disagree. Whether it's learning a piece of music or the skills to climb a mountain, I must know what I need to improve if I want to progress.
I'm not talking about beating myself up or belittling my skills. I'm talking about honesty. If I think that in certain music, my rhythm could be better, that takes nothing away from my good intonation or beautiful sound. But if I don't recognize that, how will I know to work on rhythm and improve? If I say I'm not a fast runner, that takes nothing away from the tremendous endurance I have to run a 50-mile race. But if I don't recognize that I could be faster, how will I improve?
And once I know what I want to improve, I can figure out the best way to do it.
What do you want to improve? Be specific. Your overall health? What specifically? - Your energy levels (especially if you're in treatment or recently finished)? Do you want to lose a few pounds? Or a lot? Do you want to be strong enough to play basketball with your son? Do you want to run a marathon?
With regard to that goal, where are you right now? What needs improvement?....honestly.
You've made the first step toward that goal. Now you can make the best plan to get there.
- BY Julie Goodale | 07.18.2011
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