Indirect goals...the best kept secret of super healthy people.
I’ve undertaken a personal twenty year observation of people who are super healthy vs very unhealthy. In particular I love to find out peoples rationale for their excellent health or lack of. The thing that fascinates me most is I see people blame and justify their condition, then when circumstances change so does the excuse; the sad bit is when people actually believe their own excuses, and can’t see past that. I’ve been there, done that too, at times.
In my experience most unhealthy people write themselves off as having poor will power, bad genetics, long work hours (sound familiar), can’t get access to healthy food, too addicted to give up smoking and drink, or denial statements like “I’m not as bad as lots of people, so why change”.
Here is the deal breaker on that line of thinking. Super healthy people are no different to very unhealthy people in my experience. They still work ridiculous hours, have equally bad genetics, poor will power, and little access to healthy food selection etc. So what is the difference? What makes an unhealthy person turn into a super healthy person? The difference is indirect goals.
Let me explain. You ask most professional sports people how much time they plan to spend at the gym and watching their diet once they retire and they will tell you they never want to go to another gym and they can’t wait to be able to eat and drink whatever, whenever they feel like it. Their health status is an indirect result of their goal to be a world class athlete. Put another way they have a MUST reason why they need to be super healthy.
A classic example of this is Geoff Huegill (better known as Skippy) who recently made an amazing comeback (after really letting himself go) to win a Commonwealth gold medal. Do you think Geoff would have lost all that weight and got back to peak fitness without that indirect goal and huge motivation he had to win another Commonwealth gold medal? I for one highly doubt it.
I know of another guy who runs his own business, has about 90 staff and puts in huge hours to manage that. The surprising thing is he is ranked as one of the top cyclists in the state (Qld) and gets up at 4:00am every morning to put in a 100 km training session before starting work at 6:15am. If he wasn’t so competitive on the cycling circuit do you think he would be up at 4:00 every morning exercising? I really don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to be at an Olympic level. You might strive to be district champion in a new sport or an old sport you used to enjoy. You might become a volunteer life saver, strive to win a gardening competition or trek the Incas.
Many who have survived a heart attack now live extra healthy lives because they want to see their children grow up...another indirect goal.
The indirect goal gives you a must reason outside of just wanting or wishing to be healthy, and you achieve a far better result than the hard slog and guilt approach “I must get healthy”. Some great examples of fun indirect goals that have turned people’s lives around are training for trekking holidays, cycling holidays and adventure tours. Another great way is taking up a new or old sport that gets you having fun training hard for your next event like outrigger canoeing. The key here is there always needs to be a new challenge looming on the horizon. I recently got back into competition windsurfing after a 16 year break and am now in the best shape of my life. This really is a secret that super healthy people don’t realize they should share. Please share your success with others.