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Saturday morning found me faced with two of my favourite things.
Food and books.
I was at a cafe with the family munching my way through a club sandwich (chicken, chorizo, fried egg, tomato and lettuce in a baguette....I have no idea what the macro's were, but there were definitely some).
The cafe had a pile of random books and on the top was a massive tome about Muhammad Ali.
Filled with big glossy pictures of the man himself.
Even a glance at the book gave truly magic tales.
Like being in the ring with Sonny Liston before the biggest fight of his life, looking down at the man who had terrified other heavyweights and whispering "I got you now sucker".
But one quote really hit home to me.
"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion."
It's easy to think that people who have achieved something remarkable have somehow found it easier than most people.
That they're lucky cos they have a natural capacity....if we had that then obviously I could have done that.
Then comes a well rehearsed story as to why it's just not that simple for us.
I know the urge for instant gratification has got the better of me too many times.
(Hmmmm, write a blog post in the evening or watch Netflix?)
When it comes to training for a change in body shape, another quote jumps to mind.
"Everybody wants to be a body builder but nobody wants to lift heavy ass weights"
Ronny Coleman, (a multi world champion body builder.)
Ok, chances you may not want to be a body builder and perhaps the idea of "suffering" like The Greatest doesn't float your boat.
But making a positive change in your life demands an up front payment.
You can't get the result first.
The effort comes first.
For most of us it only requires a few months of effort.
By effort, I don't mean living like a monk (or nun), hating life and eating nothing tastier than a celery stick.
But prioritising yourself and what you value.
Then doing the actions necessary to get there.
After all what's the alternative?
We only get one chance to do this life right.
How are you going to spend your time?
Wishing, day dreaming and being envious of those who put the effort in?
Or chase what you want.
Personally, I've been a wishes and a day dreamer for too long.
It never makes me happy.
But when I put the work in, do the things and look back and say "fuck me,I did it", then that's exciting.
But when you're standing at the start line it can all seem so daunting.
It's almost enough to put you of before you've even started.
So what to do?
I've recently met a number of people who swear by the "12 Week Year".
This is a book that in all honesty I haven't read yet....but it is a system I've started using.
The basic premise is trying to do a years worth of work in 12 weeks....kinda.
You've probably come across the well known fact that work expands to fill the time available in which to do it.
If ever you've been a student cramming for an exam at 2am the night before you'll know exactly what I mean.
So instead of focusing on what you want to achieve in a year, you focus on what you want to achieve in 12 weeks.
It's a long enough period to see real results and improvements to your life.
But not such a long period that you feel there is no urgency (such as happens with year long goals).
For 12 weeks you go for it.
You prioritise you and what you need to achieve.
You stumble, fall and keep pressing forwards.
After 12 weeks you back of.
Have a slight bask in the glow of achievement.
Then figure out what you want to do in your next 12 week block.
^^^ Can't believe I just wrote "simples"...shame on me.
We have a choice.
Choose today to take a step towards being who we want to be.
Or hide and keep on hoping, wishing and dreaming without ever being.