I’ve been doing Crossfit for 3 years now. It has gotten me in the best shape of my life in every aspect of fitness: strength, speed, endurance, coordination, etc. It has taught me toughness, consistency, and that even a 12-hour-per-day desk jockey can occasionally feel like superman.

495lb deadlift

Several months ago, things at work got busy. Very busy. I was taking on “side projects” like crazy (see my programming lessons blog post to see why) and given that there are only 24 hours in a day, some of the ones normally dedicated to working out, were instead spent in the office. It was at this point I decided to drop my fitness goals for the year and instead focus on just staying in shape.

It turned out to be a big mistake.

Fitness is all about consistency. Consistency is all about motivation. And nothing kills motivation like merely trying to “stay” in shape. You know why? Because the best possible outcome is that nothing changes.

That’s right: if you are spectacularly successful at staying in shape, you quite literally accomplish nothing. You’re running in place, spinning your wheels and in the absolute best of circumstances, you go nowhere. Of course, many people fall short of their fitness goals, which means they actually go backwards. Take a moment to absorb that: by setting “staying in shape” as your goal, you are at best accepting “no progress” and at worst, end up weaker than you started. What kind of workout plan is that? I lost some of my drive, passion and working out just wasn’t the same.


Goals and PR’s matterSo screw that. No more hamster on a wheel. I’m back to my goals for this year. If I have less time to workout, then I’ll just need to cut the scope down a bit: fewer goals, more focus. And the best part: with this approach, the worst case scenario is that I stay exactly where I am; in the best case, I actually hit my goals. No matter what, I’ll have something real to aim for and PR’s along the way to keep me going.