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Is Hard Work Overrated? A Better Way To Achieve Your Fitness Goals

It’s January, you’re motivated and ready to go. You’re enthusiastic about how this year is going to be your year. It can be. Just don’t make this mistake.

This time of year I talk to a lot of people about their goals and what they want to achieve for themselves. Maybe you have some goals for this year too?

If you’re like most people I’ve spoken to this week then you have a rough idea of your destination, you know what you want but you’re not 100% sure how to get there yet.

When do you want it? As soon as possible right? You’re ready to achieve your goals and want to give 110% to get there. Good, you’re on the right track but you’re about to make a mistake. You’re about to sprint towards the horizon.

Hard Work IS Overrated

Here’s the thing, it really is a marathon and not a sprint. You don’t get to your goals with raw power, you get there with endurance and efficiency. Everything you do in life takes work, but does it have to be hard work? Do you really need to turn work into hard work? Nope. You choose to. And it costs you in the long run.

You don’t just have your body to think about, you’ve got your job, you’ve got your spouse and perhaps kids, you’ve got financial obligations, you may have hobbies. One piece of advice I’ve given over and over already this year is this, don’t make things difficult. The harder you make it for you to fit healthy habits into your life, the less likely you are to keep them up.

Sure, it can be seen as lazy to look for the easy way, but it’s stupid to look for the hard way. Why try to train six times per week and go on a ridiculously restrictive diet if you know full well that you won’t keep it up?

is hard work overrated for fitness goals?

Consistency is Key

Consistent work beats hard work every day of the week, every week of the month, every month of the year, and every year of your life. So why make it hard? Learn what you need to do to achieve your goals and do that. Nothing more.

You don’t need to train six times per week to have a great body, you don’t need to starve yourself to get in great shape, and let’s be honest, you don’t need to have your dream body by March.

I’ll sometimes share some fast transformations, or large strength increases that occur over a short space of time. This is ONLY to get your attention. Someone may drop quite a bit of body fat, but without the skills and habits needed to maintain it, they’ll just gain it back. Someone lifts 50kg more because they’ve got bad form and I teach them to do it right, it’s good, but they need a lot more practice to become proficient. The real change takes time and that change isn’t just superficial, over half of it happens between your ears.

The goal is (and if it isn’t it should be) to make big, positive changes to your body, and then maintain or improve upon them as time goes on. You can’t achieve any of your goals in a week, no matter how hard you work. I’d bet that you could achieve all (or at least most) of them in a year with an easy and often approach. So which is better?

“But It Is Hard!”

There is always a learning curve, you’ve got to learn how to exercise smart, shop healthy and cook well but that becomes easy very quickly.

The Point of Diminishing Returns

There is always a point of diminishing returns with anything, so if you aren’t planning to become an Olympic athlete, why are you training like one?

In anything, there is a usually a small difference between poor and average, a small difference between average and good, a slightly larger difference between good and very good, but a massive difference between very good and elite. If you want to be elite then you’ll have to work hard and consistently for years or decades but if you just want to look good and be healthy then honestly, it’s not that hard. You just have to be consistent and keep going until you get there.

If you want to achieve your goals right now, here’s the trick. Start a year ago.

Since you can’t do that, you best start now with the intent to go the distance at a sustainable pace.

Until next time,

Theo

Theo Whittington