Chasing Your Values Or Chasing Your Goals?

When Amy first started training with me, weight loss was her primary goal. We talked about why it was important, we talked about how much she wanted to lose and we worked on a calorie plan to help her get there.

And since she’s been here, she’s lost twenty pounds to date.

I think the results are great because I know how much Amy has on her plate (pun intended).

Amy works part-time, she’s married and she has two young boys she’s raising. Like me, Amy is raising a child who is neuro-typical (Jack, pictured below) and Danny who is on the autism spectrum.

Since Danny was recently diagnosed with autism, Amy and her husband Don, have been navigating the world of additional therapies to help their son acclimate to the world the rest of us live in.

In addition, she’s also working through the health (and illness) of family members and the stress involved in being close by whenever something doesn’t go according to plan.

So, while Amy’s goal of weight loss is important for a host of reasons, the values she’s learning to get her to her goals is significantly more important.

For instance, wanting to lose 40 pounds is a goal. It has a finish line. And for certain people, they accomplish their goals so they can set others goals. It’s natural and we all do it to varying degrees.

In Amy’s case, little by little, she’s discovering how her values shape the way she trains, the way she sleeps, the way her mind is functioning and the way she eats.

We put a lot of emphasis on strength around here. Especially for our ladies and even more so for our Moms. We know what life is like because we train a lot of parents. They need their strength.

Amy is finding that when she puts an emphasis on showing up for her training sessions, even on less than optimal days, it’s her aligning with her values. She values being strong. As a result, we get her stronger. She can then use that strength to make better decisions on path to her goal (weight loss).

A few weeks ago, we were talking about her sleep habits. She and I discussed the important of turning off electronic devices 30-45 minutes before bed time so that the mind can start to calm down and not be stimulated before bed. Once she started to do that, she found that not only was she more rested but she had more control over her eating habits. Now, she values better, quality sleep.

As of last week, when I wrote this post, she circled back to me again and commented on how she needed a refresher on just how the brain and mindset can affect our progress. She told me some things she would be working on to make sure that mentally she was at her best. As a result, Amy is doing the due diligence to take care of that fascinating machinery between her ears. She values her thoughts and how they affect her actions.

Lastly, we continue to work on her food environment. When you have a goal of weight loss, the foods you have (and don’t have) access to can be the deciding factor in your success. Amy continues to navigate that world and she’s realized that when she’s been taking care of all the variables mentioned above, how she eats improves. She has found value in making healthier food choices.

It’s a long winded way of saying that goals are important. You have a target that you’re aiming for and you intend to hit it. Your values become the way you progress to that end goal. Values, by comparison, don’t end. You continue to refine and improve the way you implement them.

These were the things I thought about when Amy brought Jack in one day recently for her training session. Amy has had a lot of personal stress in her life and she makes every single attempt to be consistent with her training despite it.

She’s also been seeing some great momentum with her bench press lately, so on this particular day, she hit a new personal record of 115 pounds.

Jack was on hand to witness it.

Someday, when Jack is a little bit older and he has a better understanding and appreciation for what a strong body (forged by values) can do, maybe he’ll come across this picture and look at his mom and say “I’m so proud of you.”

As he should be, because we all know what it takes: to try and be a good parent and to model the values we have and achieve our goals because of them.

Amy…we’re proud of you too.

“We Make Great People Greater”