Are you willing to go all the way to have the life you've Imagined?
It’s an interesting question… and an important one.
Your answer will determine the heights you will reach, the goals you will accomplish and the dreams you will bring into reality.
On first glance you may think “Yes, of course! Sign me up!” But on closer inspection you begin to realize that agreeing to go “all the way” may be asking a lot from you, perhaps more than you planned. It may push you to untold limits. It may even drastically alter your life.
With this in mind, I ask you, “ Is there something that you want for your life so much that you are willing to go all the way, even when you are not yet sure what ‘all the way’ means? Are you willing to declare your intention, to make a commitment and create that future NO MATTER WHAT?”
To be clear, I do not mean acting against your values or scratching and biting your way to the top no matter who get’s hurt – that is not the “all the way” I am talking about. I am talking about going beyond fear, beyond discomfort, beyond what you know, to have that thing, experience, or accomplishment you have imagined in your life.
As human beings, we are pretty remarkable. Almost anything we can dream up, we can create in our lives, but (and there’s a BIG BUT) it is going to take something. Great lives do not come from sitting around and numbing to the TV, and great change does not come from being comfortable and doing what you have always done.
You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however. ~Richard Bach
Going For It!
Let me give you an example about an “all the way” adventure I am taking on in my own life. It started in November as a clear desire to be thin, strong and healthy.
This is not a new desire. My entire life, I have wanted to be a narrow person ("hipped", not "minded".)
Four years ago I found the magic bullet, a food plan that took me into high school weight territory and it was awesome! I loved the way I felt, I loved the way I looked. I was in the zone, and excited to see where my continued diligence would take me.
And then I got complacent.
And then I got lazy.
And I started veering off the plan. And over these past 4 years, I found myself a long way from the lean person I had been.
So this fall, I hired my food coach again. I pulled out my worksheets and my food log and I started back on my plan. This time, I knew it was a lifestyle, a forever thing. I committed to getting thin and strong and healthy and staying there, WHATEVER IT TAKES!
Little did I know that it would take as much as it has.
Even with the coach and the plan, in the first months, for some reason, I toyed with the rules, grabbing a chocolate bar here and there, throwing in a little cheese for good measure. My dalliance lead to debacle as Christmas at my mom’s place went from 1 day off plan, to, ok 2 off plan days, to, ok, this can be an off plan week! which led to numerous instances of gross culinary negligence, including but not limited to, devouring a whole box of Turtles in one sitting. Not good!
So, with the wind of a new year beneath my wings, on January 1st I decided to up the ante, to take it to the next level. It was time to go hard core! I chose to totally cut out sweets of any kind, and to take myself seriously, I promised $50 to charity for every infraction (I’m pleased to say all current donations are all voluntary and not chocolate imposed.)
Next, Jeff and I added the gym, first 4 days a week, and then 5. This meant 5:15 am wakeup calls and an extra 1 hour of commute time.
Between “the plan”, the no sweets rule and 5 days a week at the gym, you would think I was doing pretty good. I WISH! March 1st came and went and the scale had only moved a few measly pounds. My body was firming up so maybe the whole, “muscle weighs more than fat” ,thing was at work, but regardless, I was feeling disappointed and defeated.
Persisting Beyond Failure
That Monday, when I met with my food coach I was near tears. “Am I ever going to get there?” I lamented. A sadness came over me as my darkest most hidden fears revealed themselves “maybe you won’t Joelle, maybe you will always dream of the body you want and you will never actually arrive.”
This is not uncommon when we put it all on the line only to find out that our "all" doesn't cut it. The doubt slips in and next thing you know we give up. We resign ourselves to the life we have, instead of the one we dream of.
It doesn’t have to be this way; even if you fall; even if what you thought was your best wasn’t good enough. If the dream still lives in you then know that the mountain in front of you is climbable, you just may need some new equipment, an extra Sherpa or climbing lessons.
In my case I had a good coach, a supportive husband and years of witnessing myself and others persevering to achieve the improbable. So I buckled down and asked myself, “What’s it really going to take?” and got back into action!
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
To the Next Level and BEYOND!
Oh Boy HERE WE GO!
The next level I could see, was cutting out alcohol ( bye bye yummy red win,e SIGH.), and anything sweet, even the 0 calorie stuff (Added sweetener-even sugar free- trains the taste buds to crave sweetness, setting me up for trouble down the road.)
I found out my heart rate zones through an assessment at the gym and invested in a monitor. I found out my resting metabolic rate ( which is ridiculously low which explains why I wasn’t seeing results when I was adding 100’s of calories of alcohol each week) and made some adjustments to my caloric intake.
This week I take the workout to 6 days a week, and I have no doubt that sometime in the next 3 months it will be time for a personal trainer.
Every day I learn more about my body, what makes it tick, how to shape it and what it will really take to get where I am going.
I am happy to say that while I still have a way to go, my “next level” work is paying off. I’m into my skinny jeans and I am feeling stronger and healthier every day. I am well on my way to being fabulous at 37 and gaining the habits and knowledge to be fabulous at 50, 70, 80 and beyond.
When I started this journey 5 months ago I had no idea I would be a regular at LifeTime Fitness, that I would be sipping Perrier at cocktail parties or that I would pass on birthday cake.
When I drew the line in the sand and started walking towards my goal, I had no idea it would be this challenging or that I would be making what to me, seem like extreme lifestyle choices.
That’s the intriguing thing. When you make a commitment (I mean really MAKE A COMMITMENT) it is like getting onto a rollercoaster – you can’t jump ship when you are upside down in a loop just because it gets scary or you feel like throwing up. You ride it out to the end, knowing that it’s unlikely to kill you, and eventually you will arrive, wide eyed and grinning, shouting “What a ride!”
I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday. ~Author Unknown
Are you ready to go all the way?
Perhaps you can relate to my quest for health, or maybe you are growing your income, seeking your mate or following your professional dreams. Whatever the task at hand, just remember, that while the road may be long and rocky, your perseverance and commitment can win the day. And just when you think you have tried everything and failed, if you hold the vision, keep the faith, and stay open, there will be a next step, a new opening, and a chance for you to ask yourself "Am I willing to go all the way?"
Follow your dreams…
Trust in your capacity to do what it takes…
Rise to the challenges (there are always challenges.)…
And if you dare… jump on the ride and buckle yourself in. It's time to declare to the world… “I will go all the way!”
Are you willing to draw a line in the sand and do whatever it takes to live the life you have imagined? Share with us (below) what life dream you will commit to no matter what it takes.
Do you have a story of perseverance in pursuit of your dream? Inspire us with how you went all the way!