We all have different reasons why we jog. Perhaps some of us do it in order to burn fat, lose weight and be healthy. While for others, jogging is their way of relieving stress. As for me, I jog, not primarily because I want to be healthy, but because it helps me free my mind from all the negativity and stress, and make way for new ideas.
But jogging can be a lot of work. Depending on the amount of work you put into it, the distance you allow yourself to cover and the time you spend doing it, jogging has the ability to stretch your limits. And I realized, jogging is not that different when we want to achieve any goal outside of fitness.
Here are the stages of success I learned through jogging:
Stage 1: The Plan
When I decline people's invitations to go out after work because I have to jog, I often hear them say something in the lines of “I want to jog, too,” or “I want really should start jogging.” And I'll tell you, I am more than happy to hear this from them, and I often invite them to jog with me.
Planning is good. But without execution, it's useless. It's good to say, “I want to jog,” but if your desire is really that intense, you may want to phrase it as, “I will jog now.”
This mindset is exactly what you need to employ when chasing your dreams. Perhaps many of us have said, “I want to be successful.” That's very positive. But what have we done to achieve that? It's better to say, “I will work hard to be successful,” or “I will start doing this and that to be successful.”
To dream big is good, but to act on your dream is better.
Stage 2: The Warm Up
Warm up is a very important part of any kind of exercise. If you skip this and go immediately to jogging or exercising, you'll end up hurting your muscles because they will be unprepared for the hard workout you're about to do. Warming up is a very important process that no one should ever skip.
Just like in starting your business or in chasing your dreams, preparation is critical. You should have your tools/resources ready before you start. Your goals and finances will serve as your foundation. Don't just jump in full-blast without readying yourself because you might fall hard on the ground.
Stage 3: The Jog
Aka the actual work. This is the exciting part. This is what everything else has been leading up to. Enjoy the jog. Or, if you're starting a business or career, enjoy building that. Let your enthusiasm push you to continue.
Don't stop working until you reach your goal.
Stage 4: The "I Can't Make it, I Want To Quit," Mentality
Jogging is fun, but if you're running for a while, you'll feel your body getting tired, and possibly experience some pain. You'll want to stop and quit, but don't. This is part of the journey. Endure the pain. If it's not hard, then it is not worth it. Every last bead sweat is worth it.
Just like in business or in your career, failure will demotivate you. But it doesn't mean you have to stop. You have a goal to reach. When you started, you committed yourself to finishing and reaching our goal, so do it.
Stage 5: The Cool Down
If you don't think you can make it any longer, you don't have to quit or stop. Just slow down. Slow down for a while, but keep jogging. Keep working, and don't lose your momentum. It will help you recharge, so you can go on full-blast again.
I have to admit, there are times when I want to stop. But I know, once I stop, I won't be able to forgive myself. So, instead of stopping, I slow down my pace myself until I gather enough strength to go fast again.
Stage 6: Don't Stop
When you stop, you'll lose the chance of seeing the “what is,” and you'll be forever haunted by the “what if." Just continue, even if it's hard. Continue jogging, continue reaching for what you want. Continue working until you reach your goal.
Stage 7: Savor Your Accomplishments
One of my favorite parts of jogging is the overwhelming heat that flows all over my body post-workout. The warm blood that flows inside you, while being wrapped by the cold air, is very satisfying.
And achieving what you've worked so hard for will be even more satisfying; it will be magical. So savor it, and don't ever forget that feeling. Because it will be your best reminder when you are feeling down and want to give up.