Woman climbs wall during obstacle race.

Pick up your trash.  Drink water instead of pop.  Get to class early. Leave class late.  Get your homework done. Go to bed on time.  Get up early. Pay attention to who you hangout with.  Don’t be out hooting with the owls if you want to soar with the eagles.   

These statements still ring in my head on a daily basis. My high school basketball coach ingrained them into my brain.  

He did it through the daily circle up sessions during my High School basketball practices.  After our rigorous jump rope and stretching routine we would discuss daily habits, daily empowerments, and daily focuses.  

Our coach’s theme each and every day usually centered around the tradeoffs and sacrifices it takes to be part of a great team. I was very lucky to be coached by someone like that. He not only told us about tradeoffs and sacrifices, but he showed us what they truly are, how to recognize them, and how to prioritize them.

Be Honest – Know Where Your Feet Are

Man takes a break during outdoor training in winter.

Whether we are talking fitness, coaching, career, family, religion, or anything else – we all have goals and visions of where we want to end up. It is great to envision where you want to end up because that means you have set a lofty goal for you to achieve.

What is hard, though, is operating where your feet are. In other words, it is difficult to be honest about where you stand in your journey of achieving your goal or getting to the next level.  

For some, you set your goal, set your standards, map out the journey it will take and just hope a magical wind picks you up and pushes you right where you need to go.  It takes honesty from yourself and sometimes a friend, colleague, or coach to truly know what it will require to hit your journey in stride. We all need someone who will tell us things we need to hear and not what we want to hear.

Do the Things You Don’t Want to Do First

image of the balance we must strike in making food choices.

Honestly, when you have a list of things to do, what do you do first?  The things you want to do first, right? Of course, that’s natural and easy.  

Well, I am an advocate for doing the things you DON’T want to do first. The tradeoff for doing the things you don’t want to do first is simple, it’s easier in the end.  Nobody wants to knock out squats or power cleans or 3 miles or even laundry as their first task achieved.  

Especially early on in committing to a workout plan, it can be scary at what you actually have to sacrifice and do to accomplish your goal.  I am here to tell you that prioritizing the difficult hurdles you recognize will help you in the process.

For most people when it comes to committing to a goal it is hardest to sacrifice their time.  I get it, time is one of our most valuable assets. I am not here to tell you to commit 2 hours a day once you start your process.  That is a difficult task and most people don’t have 2 hours a day to devote their time to. 

I am here to tell you to start small.  If your goal is to start working out, then start with 20-30 minutes. In the grand scheme of things, you just sacrificed one show on Netflix.  As you start building on this time it will turn into 40-50 minutes. Before you know it you are carving out time of your day, week, and month to devote to achieving your goals.  

Trade-Offs Become Payoffs

Woman runs on a cold, rainy day.

It is no lie, in any facet of our life we must find things to tradeoff and sacrifice that are in our way of becoming successful.  Whether we want to become a writer, a tri-athlete, or a better business person, there are plenty of enticing “wants” we must push away. 

I always try to recognize 2 roadblocks in my way each week.  This allows me to then prioritize my days around what might alter my progress towards success.  This might change weekly but it allows me to put it in perspective of what I am truly trying to accomplish.  

I try not to use the term “sacrifice” as much in my daily verbiage.  If you look at it as a “re-focus your energy towards” something else, it just sounds better to your brain.  In my coaching career I became a firm believer in “little things become big things.”  

My advice isn’t to be scared of what the process is of attaining your goal or getting to the next level. Embrace it, recognize how you will need to re-focus, prioritize your time, start small and end up big.  Your trade offs will become payoffs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *