If curiosity killed the cat, then comparison killed the Gym-Goer (or anyone who tried to start a workout program and stopped because of "how far ahead everyone else was")
How old are you? Oh, you're older/younger than I am.
What was your GPA in college? Oh, mine was higher/lower.
At what age did you get married? Oh, I got married younger/older.
When did you have your first child? Oh, I had mine earlier/later.
How much do you make? Oh, I make more/less.
How fast are you? Oh, I'm faster/slower.
How quickly did you do that workout? Oh, I beat that/didn't beat that.
A couple months ago, I posed a question on my personal Facebook page:
"What's the number one thing holding you back from reaching your health and fitness goals?"
Here is one of the responses I'd like to tackle: comparison.
I'll start by being direct: You are no one else. No one else is you.
Example: I'm 26 years old. I wake up at 3:55am. I'm single with no kids. I workout at 9am because I train clients from 4:30-8:30 most mornings. I graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Communications and Entrepreneurial Management. I rarely eat my first meal before 11am (You could say I'm one of those #BasicBrunchGuys.) I used to have a full time job with Target Corp. and Victory Store, but now I run 1031 Fitness full time. I have personal training clients and I also coach the 4:45pm class on Mondays and Wednesdays. I schedule meetings with clients, other business owners and friends throughout the week. I clean the gym a few times a week. I have different stress levels than other people-some better, some worse. I have different obligations than other people-some better, some worse.
Why do I tell you all of that? Because, unless you can show me someone who does THE SAME EXACT THINGS AS ME DAY IN AND DAY OUT AND HAS THE SAME EXACT LIFE AS ME, I cannot (should not) compare myself to anyone. No one has the same stress levels as anyone else. No one has the same work obligations as anyone else. No one has the same relationships as anyone else. No one has the same body as anyone else. No one has the same past as anyone else.
Basically, no one has the same life capacity as anyone else.
A 22 year old female isn't the same as a 52 year old female. A 30 year old male isn't the same as a 60 year old male. Someone with a family and career isn't the same as a single college student. One isn't better than the other; they are just not the same, they are different. If you're starting your fitness journey today, you're 100% not at the same place as someone who is 3 months into their fitness journey nor someone 3 years into their fitness journey. You're just not. You're on your own journey. That's all you control-YOUR journey.
Make your only focus where you are today, where you want to be later and most importantly, what daily habits do you need to implement to improve your chances of getting there. No part of comparing yourself to others will help you reach your health and fitness goals. When you look at others, look for the characteristics they have that you can use to help you reach your goals. Look for things like dedication, discipline, patience, positivity and humility. Those characteristics that you see in others, you can start to implement into your journey. Do not look for those things that you do not control, such as how long they've been working out, how much weight they lift, how fast they move, or how well they move. You do not control any of those things that others do. Seeing someone move heavy weight quickly and efficiently might motivate you, but more often than not, we see that and think "I won't ever be able to do that." That's totally cool though because you're not that person.
What you CAN do is become dedicated to your journey, become disciplined in your journey, have patience in your journey, be positive through your journey and be humble as you grow in your journey.
If you compare yourself to others, your health journey will die a slow (or quick) death. Here's some quick tips from Coach Chase Hollmer on how to set goals specific to YOU.
- Sit down and think about your goal.
- No, really, sit down and think about it. No phone. No computer.
- Ask a coach/trainer what you could improve on.
- Still can't decide on goals for yourself? Ask your coach. With your best interest in mind, I can guarantee they can help you come up with 3 goals to attack over the next few months.
- Form a SMART goal.
- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely
- Develop processes and habits to meet your goal.
- Results are great, but fall in love with the process and everything else will fall into place.
- Be meaningful in your approach.
- Showing up to the gym is great, but were you really "present?" Did you put everything you have into that session?