Struggling is part of the game. 

Today, I am struggling.

I am struggling with trying to stay healthy, with my vision and with not seeing as much progress as I would have liked to this week. I wanted to be a couple of steps closer this week and while I worked really hard, I didn’t see much progress from last Sunday to this Sunday.

That can be hard.

You get this sinking feeling in your stomach.

But, during times like these, I am reminded of two things…and that is what I want to share today. 

Sometimes you aren’t going to see the results you want, but as long as you didn’t take steps backwards, that’s progress. That’s the first thing.

See, my old habits would be of a person who wouldn’t see progress and then he would sabotage himself sending everything back 4 or 5 steps. I don’t do that anymore – huge learning lesson from the past and something I worked incredibly hard on.

The specific struggle I am talking about is with my fitness challenge and being officially 6 weeks out from my goal tomorrow.

Two weeks ago I started a carb cycle and saw great results the first week, and then this week, not as much of a change. 

Moments like today cause me to look at my past week and reflect on where I went wrong and what I could do better for this upcoming week. If you dwell on the negatives too long you end up staying there.

Instead, take a minute to see where you failed and then find out where you can succeed. For me, it’s going to be focusing down on food intake and planning – because I have nailed down the hard work in the gym.

I’m working almost twice to three times as hard as I ever have and I can see the results of strength gains. Now, if I can translate that into other facets of the plan I will succeed. 

The other concept is something I briefly just touched on…but it’s not slashing all of your other tires simply because you got a flat with one.

That’s insanity.

Taking your whole car out because you picked up a nail and had to pull over onto the side of the road. That insanity however was very very indicative of the type of person I was just over 6 months ago.

If one thing went wrong, well, I personally made sure that the whole thing would go wrong and try to start all over again. 

Perfection can be your enemy or it can be your best friend. It just comes down to how you look at it. You can chase perfection with the deep knowledge that you might never achieve it…and yet still try the best you can to create the best product possible. That’s one way.

Or, you can paralyze yourself and have your product never released into the world because you are always changing it and morphing it without any finality in sight. The truth is, perfection is often an advanced strategy that many of us aren’t even ready for. 

Now what do I mean by that?

I think embarking on trying to find your best stuff is a much more valuable and tangible than trying to be perfect all the time. I think you get a lot more and you learn a lot more.

For me, I know I’m not even close to being ready to focus on creating something that is “perfect.” When I have tried to do that with my body, I just created unrealistic expectations of myself that were never realized because it wasn’t even close to something that I could envision.

However, my best…and what I can expect of myself in finding my best…yes that’s where the magic is for me. That’s what has kept me on track with everything these past 6 months and that’s where I have been making significant amounts of progress. 

Time and time again I am challenged. 

Time and time again I answer the call. 

That part of my life hasn’t changed.

What has changed is my ability to stay the course…through the storms, the huge waves, the doldrums, the rocky shores and the land that needs to be explored. 

I have been able to stay the course no matter what is facing me. That’s where I am today.

Yes, I am disappointed that I didn’t take a great leap forward this week. But in this week, there were wins littered everywhere…and I am proud of those wins. 

I have to remind myself often that there was a time where I didn’t feel like I was winning at all.

I had nothing to be proud of.

Heck, I wasn’t even proud of what I was doing at the time at all. But I changed that…and no one can take that away. 

You see the farther and farther you sail away from the shore the less and less you remember what it was like to be on land.

I still have that feeling in my feet but I’m getting more use to that rocking feeling of the boat.

I left a while ago, and while my imagination brings me back to where I was at times, I am starting to look more and more forward to landing on that shore a new man ready for my new adventure. 

People say that fitness is just about the body and people’s egos…but that usually comes from the people who haven’t gone down this path.

I can personally tell you that this is the most mentally and emotionally challenging thing I have done.

I am a man without much shortage of motivation in my life, and I still find myself being tested…melted and reshaped every single day.

Forward we go…there’s no turning back now. 

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project