I’m not sure how many of you noticed, but I set a personal goal of being able to do 100 push-ups. You know how much I like arbitrary, numeric goals. I had no idea at the time what a chore I was committing to, but I stand by my word. I could take the easy way out and say, “I did 100 push-ups… this year. Two each week.” That would be disingenuous, though.
This post isn’t about how amazing I am at doing push-ups. It’s not about some fancy tool I bought (or want to buy) to help me do push-ups, and it isn’t about the amazing health benefits of doing push-ups (are there any?). This post is a confession of sorts that this goal is one that I’m struggling with.
I write a lot about setting goals, taking baby steps toward those goals, and taking time each day to reflect on your work toward those goals. I know how do to this stuff very well. I’ve shown through weight loss, balancing my books, and in my education that I am more than capable of setting and reaching goals. Why, then, am I failing at this one?
Could it be because I have no “carrot” on the end of my “stick”? No “game” to “win” or “lose”? I know that by working on push-ups I’ll have stronger triceps, development of a variety of muscles in my chest, and I’ll be able to “drop and give twenty” at a moment’s notice. I know that this is an exercise that has lasting benefits in working off my “bat wings,” too. As an added bonus, the more lean muscle I have in my arms, the more calories I burn at rest. I know these facts. There are plenty of “carrots.”
Could it be because there are few consequences for not taking action? I know that if I don’t do my regular gym workouts that I’ll burn fewer calories and have poorer performance at the weight loss clinic on weigh-in days. I know that if I don’t stick to my meal plans, I’ll not eat the right proportions of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and calories, and I’ll also have poorer performance on weigh-in days. If I don’t do my push-ups, what’s my disincentive? Batwings? I’m already there.
Could it be because I don’t have the resources to learn how to do push-ups? I have the Internet. Could it be because I don’t have the resources necessary to do push-ups? I have arms and a floor. Could it be because I don’t have a suitable workout plan? There are plenty of push-up training schedules available online, and I’ve even purchased an iPhone app that can be used to track progress. The resources are in place.
What’s missing here? Time? One of the websites I consulted recommended doing as many push-ups as possible, resting two minutes, and repeating this five times. That’s an investment of at most 15 minutes.
What’s missing here? Why can’t (or won’t) I follow-up by taking action on this goal? I’ve set reminders for myself by moving my dumbbells into the hallway to remind me of my goal. I step over them at least twice a day, usually much more than that.
I know what I have to do to reach my goal. I have the resources necessary to reach my goal. I am the only thing stopping me from reaching my goal.