Taking the Long View

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Long Tree LookI’ve had a couple of frustrating conversations with prospects lately who didn’t turn out to be good fits for Relentless, which is why we interview.  The direction of the conversation that turned me off is, unfortunately one that is way too common in today’s culture, and especially fitness culture.

There’s this sense of everything being a “quick fix”, or 30-60-90 Day Challenge.  I don’t think those things are totally worthless as they get people started or break some staleness, which is why we have successfully run several at Relentless.  However, I do feel that for many this has become the expectation for fitness results.

Both of the prospects I spoke to came to me with very lofty goals, which I love.  These goals were honestly going to take probably in the one to two-year range to accomplish and quite possibly three years.  By that I mean one to three strong, consistent years of work.  We’re talking total transformations.  When I explained this and even laid out a loose plan for them they both looked at me like I had three heads and said that they were thinking more along the lines of three to six months.

So basically I told them that their goal would take one to three years, they looked at me like I was crazy, and all but bolted out of my office.  That’s cool, they’ll find someone who’ll promise those results in three months… and then be disappointed when it doesn’t happen.

My frustration is why is that time frame such a huge deal?  I mean, God willing, they’re going to be alive for the next one to three years, anyway.  Three years from now they’re still going to be going through daily life, pretty much like they do now.  So why not take a long view, put some work in, and then live the entire rest of their life afterward with that amazing success and a phenomenal physique and the athletic ability to go with it?  This thinking could apply to any achievement, be it business, playing the piano, or whatever.

It’s not like they were going to be miserable and exactly the way they are now for all that time and then suddenly *POOF* wake up at their end goal.  No, they were going to get leaner, fitter, and stronger while feeling better all along the way.  Life would have been getting better the whole time.

Look Through BinocularsAt Relentless we certainly use short-term goals to stay on track, but we do it with longer-term, multi-year programming in mind.  Our young athletes who have the greatest success start in middle or early high school and spend months and years developing until they’re unleashed their junior or senior years and on into college.  Our adults start at foundational levels and progress to greater and greater heights.

Nobody bats an eye when they talk about a M.D. or Ph.D taking 8-10 years of school or an Olympic athlete building their training in 4-8 year blocks.  So why would you think that building your personal ultimate body and performance machine would happen in 90 days?

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