Everyone has them around, and they will all have an impact on what you do. How do you identify them when you’re training or when you’re trying to accomplish something? The hardest hurdle anyone faces while reaching their goals is negativity. It can be in the form of work, friends, family, significant other. They are always trying to derail you from accomplishing your goal and sometimes it’s hard to avoid them and it’s even harder to overcome them.
I hear from people all the time that I can’t possibly have any negative factors cause I’m single and that I don’t have the burdens of a family, or that my job isn’t demanding amongst other things. Well, first and foremost those are excuses for them not do do what they want to do. I know and see many people who have a family with 2-4 kids who are out doing triathlons, 13.1’s, and full IM’s so that can be a factor but it can be overcome. Work is a little harder but again it’s an excuse to not go do something, and we rationalize skipping a workout because we have to work late, but it too can be overcome. Yes, I am single so I don’t have the burden of not having a non-supportive significant other, and thankfully my family is very supportive. So then what negative factors do I have to overcome? Well, I do have friends who are Debbie Downers on my choice to stop going out drinking all the time and grow tired of my Facebook check-in’s at the gym’s or races, or even they get tired of me talking about eating healthy.
How do I deal with my negative factors? Well, I try to avoid them as much as possible through planning. I used to workout in the evenings after work, but during my consulting years I would end up missing workouts cause I’d work late and I used the excuse that I wasn’t a morning person because I’d wake up at 8AM to be to work by 9AM, but I was also going to bed at midnight or 1AM. So I adjusted by going to the gym in the morning cause I couldn’t use the excuse of work made me miss a workout cause I got it done in the morning. So with that adjustment I couldn’t be staying up till midnight if I was getting up at 5AM to workout before going to work at 8AM. So I started going to bed around 9PM/10PM to give me a good 7-8 hours of sleep. Sure, I couldn’t watch TV or play on the internet like I used to but what what is my priority, health or TV/Internet? Took about 3-4 weeks to adjust to the new schedule and to this day I have not missed a workout cause I had to work late!
How do I deal with the friends who are upset at me for deciding to put my health above their friendship or expectations of me. Well, I simply ignore them. It is my life, it is my money that would have to be used to pay my medical bills, it’s my body, it’s my time, and it’s my failure if I don’t achieve what I want to. See the trend? Some people will call that being selfish to your needs, and frankly it is because after all is said and done they are your needs not theirs! If they do not like the changes you are making in your life then that is their problem that they need to deal with and adjust to. They will make a couple of choices in their life, and that’s either to support you, or to forget you. You have to accept that choice and work to your goals, sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it is very very hard but you have to remember that if they are going to stay a negative factor on your road to change they will only bring you down and make it even harder.
So in closing you just have to remember that it isn’t easy and sometimes you need to prioritize your life and stay focused on your goals. There is nothing wrong being called selfish when your health is at stake.