Ah-Ha Moment

People say things to me a lot along the lines of “Well, you’re so skinny” or “You are in such great shape,” or “You can eat whatever you want” and I always find these comments funny.

I’ve now begun to follow them up with, “Well, I eat extremely healthy and work out for an hour a day at least five times a week.”  Yes, there are weeks that I don’t make it in to Crossfit or yoga five times a week and there are times that I eat sweets and high-calorie, low nutritional foods, but these times are few and far between the times that I am on track with my physical health.

In addition, I’ve been like this for most of my life.  I was previously a professional ballet dancer and my training started at a young age; I’ve had rigorous physical activity and an interest in nutrition and in living a healthy lifestyle since I was about nine.

I’m guessing that someone who is struggling with this area of their life may think I’ve somehow gotten an easier hand or that it is just plan old easier for me.  Who knows, maybe genetically I have gotten better genes, but I will tell you that while no one in my family including my parents and four older brothers are severely overweight, most could or at times could have benefited from loosing ten to twenty pounds or improved their diet or exercise regime in some aspect.

In fact, one brother who I considered fairly in shape and at a good weight recently lost over twenty pounds.  After that, he looked so much better I couldn’t believe it.  Love handles gone.

Anyway, I guess my point is that lifestyle, or more specifically our daily choices, make a difference.  It is what we do everyday over the long run that influences our lives the most.

I had this insight over the Christmas holiday.  Yes, the idea is simple and it is something that we would probably nod our heads at and say, “yeah, yeah, we know that,” but having this thought really seemed like a big “ah-ha moment” for me.

For years, I have been struggling to break through personal financial barriers and to grow my own business.  I’ve failed to maintain a career in real estate, multi-level marketing, non-profit fundraising and e-commerce as well as other dabbled-in online pursuits.

I’ve had the goal of making over a $100,000 a year for at least seven years now and I find it kind of funny that since creating this goal, my income has dropped below the $30,000 I was making as a professional ballet dancer.  Yikes!

Now, I’m sure for some people who already make a $100,000 or well over that through their own businesses, they would read this and think, “Come on now, making a $100,000 a year on your own terms is pretty easy, you just have to do is blank, blank and blank.”

After all, if someone had been struggling to loose weight and live a healthier lifestyle for years, I would say something to them along the same lines, “Really?  You can do this.  It’s not that hard.  You just need to go to the gym a few days a week, and eat better.  Simple.”

But why is it so hard to accomplish goals?

Again, I really had that “ah-ha moment” over Christmas when I realized people look at the end result of my good health and physical capabilities, but don’t really consider my everyday choices that go in to that outcome.

For example, I have recently decided that I would like to workout early in the morning to get it out of the way before going on with the rest of my day.  For the past two weeks, I have gotten out of bed a total of seven days at 5:15am in order do my WOD, the workout of the day, at my Crossfit box at 6am.

Yeah, so people would like to be in shape and loose weight, but are they willing to do things like that?  While it really isn’t that hard, a lot would think this decision is totally crazy.

This post really isn’t about you or them, though.  It’s about me.

Again, I’ve been struggling to break into a business I could call my own for years now.  There are times I get very disheartened about not reaching my goals and really feel like it is totally impossible even though I think of myself as a fairly hard worker, capable person and a go-getter, but here’s the catcher:  If I ask myself, “What have I done over the past few weeks to move in the direction of what I want to accomplish?”  the answer is a saddening, “Very little.” 

See, it wouldn’t surprise me if someone didn’t loose weight if they continued on the same poor diet and didn’t get any exercise in; however, I think I am somehow surprised by how I am in almost the exact same position with my career and finances I was seven years ago even though my activity level in the direction I want to go has not been consistent. 

Yes, there have been times I have worked very hard on the businesses I have started, but overall, if I’m being honest with myself, I have not had consistent effort in the direction of my goals.  I get caught up in, “I don’t know what to do” or “I’m not sure if this is going to work.”

So, my “ah-ha moment” was ultimately this:  “If I just pursued my financial and business goals the way I pursued good health, I can get there and maybe, fingers crossed, it wouldn’t take me another seven years.” 

This led me to, “If I want to one day make over $100,000 a year through my own business, what am I doing on a daily basis to get there?” 

And this is where I am now.

I know somewhere inside of me, if I can just stay focused, consistent, and disciplined; I can get there.

The trouble is, that is the hard part.

I’ve tried Stickk.com for some other goals of mine and this hasn’t really worked for me.  I also didn’t follow it exactly as it was designed so I’m sure that could be a reason why.

I did make a trip to Staples today though in an attempt to begin a system to keep me on track.  I purchased a small calendar book and a journal.  What I intend to do is write down in my calendar what exercise I performed that day and for how long, as well as what activity I did to grow my business and for how long.

My reasoning is that if I just worked on my business for as long as I worked on body, I could be really successful and it may take me even less time than I’ve imagined in my head; after all, I often only work out a total of five hours a week and still have great results.

I think the real key here is to be honest.  I don’t go to Crossfit and hang out for 45 minutes and work out for 15.  I need to keep myself accountable for the time that is truly spent on my business.

I’ll keep you posted.

On a final thought, it is like what Mark Mason from LateNightIM.com said on Pat Flynn’s podcast, “It’s a marathon.”

While I’ve heard repeatedly that Internet marketing and most other businesses aren’t “get rich quick,” it is often challenging because we crave to see results that our work is paying off.

After seven years, I think I am finally ready to accept that I’m in this for the 26.2 miles or whatever that means in actual business time. 

I’ve run two full marathons before and there were times during both that I certainly wanted to quit, but I somehow made it to the end.  I got to see this through.

Leave a Reply