This is the third in a three-part blog series on finding motivation and goal-setting as an individual with limb loss.
In the last article, we discussed some steps to setting and executing on your goals – getting your mind “right” and ready to accept that you’re re worthy of the goals you want to achieve, being unrealistic when it comes to goal-setting, reverse engineering your goals from the top-down, and finding community with others who have similar goals. Today we’re going to discuss the actual execution on your goals, calling “audibles” in the face of adversity, measuring success and setting new goals!
Take That Leap
Having spent the last six years working to help others achieve their health- and fitness- related goals, I’ve gathered a pretty solid idea of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to success in those areas. One thing that consistently separates those who are successful in their endeavors from those who are not, is a certain level of binary behavior. What I mean here is that these people do not set a date or preconceived timeline of exactly when they’re going to do something, or how exactly they’re going to do it. They flat out JUST. START. DOING. IT. Whatever that task is, just get to work on it. Don’t set a date or a time, don’t “Start on Monday” – start now! If you’ve been wanting to start working out; finish reading this article and then GO DO IT! If you cannot actively execute on your goal right now (e.g. you want to walk but you’re still waiting on your prosthesis to be shipped), find out what you can be doing to help be prepared for when that moment arrives (given the example above, focusing on therapy exercises to build muscular strength and endurance, etc)
For those that are unacquainted with American football, “calling an audible” refers to the Quarterback changing the play at the last minute based on how the defending team lines up. In fitness coaching, I encourage clients to always be open and accessible to “calling audibles” when it comes to their training. If they usually work out in the morning but have an early-morning meeting lined up, they should be willing to call an audible and train at a different time of day. As an amputee or individual with limb difference, you should always be open to calling audibles when things don’t go as planned. This could apply to a willingness to try new and different types of prosthetic technology, or being open to trying out a different approach with physical therapy. Obviously, life doesn’t always happen on your terms, so you’ve got to be willing to make adjustments as you go!
If you take one single thing fro m this entire article series, make it this: Clearly defining your desired outcome and then focusing on the behaviors to get there, are the two most important steps to success. If you’re in reading this from a wheelchair right now, and your goal Is to run a half marathon on prostheses, and you don’t focus on the individual steps that lead you to that half-marathon distance, you’re going to be invariably disappointed. But, if you focus instead on taking 5 steps today, 10 steps tomorrow, 15 the day after that.. THAT’s where progress is made. Direct your time and attention to the behaviors that will lead to your goal. Another example would be weight loss – far too often, I see people disappointed when they don’t lose weight on a recurring basis; often times, they’ll have shifted the focus away from the very basic behaviors that lead to their goal (eating well and the behaviors that go with that, working out a certain number of times per week, and so on) and instead purely on the result of losing weight.
Setting New Goals (or Trying New Routes)
At this point, the pure focus on behaviors rather than outcomes will hopefully have lead us to success – but let’s check out the flip side first. What if we weren’t successful in achieving our goal just yet? Well, first off, DO NOT GIVE UP. It is only once one has given up, that they are truly defeated. Keep trying! If you want to keep your original goal, focus on finding other behaviors to get to that goal (Did you say you were going to work out 6 times a week, but it turned out 3 was much more practical? Adjust your course accordingly). If your efforts have been successful, it’s time to start setting new goals! Whether this next goal is a continuance on your previous goal (say, graduating from walking a 5k to running it, or increasing distance) or something entirely different is entirely up to you. At this point, hopefully you’ve rediscovered your “why” along with learning a new system for successful goal setting and approaching your goals. Push the limits, don’t take “No” for an answer, and get better every day!
That’s all for this series of “Finding Your Why” I truly hope you enjoyed this and that it helps you on the road to your best life with amputation/limb difference. I’d love to hear more about the successes (and even the unsuccessful endeavors) you encounter with this article series’ help! Feel free to shoot me an email at Trevor@FitBunch.net to let me know your thoughts, challenges, or even just to say hello!
About the Author:
Trevor Bunch is a bilateral above knee amputee, personal fitness coach, and athlete. Physical activity has always been a passion of his, and he has put that passion to use by helping coach other amputees at all stages of their journey. Whether it’s motivation/mindset coaching, exercise or nutrition instruction, Trevor is always happy to help those who reach out to him maximize their physical potential!