Why Raise the bar? If you think about it, anytime you perform an activity (achieve a goal) you put forth the minimal amount of effort to complete that activity (achieve that goal) as illustrated in the above image. In the illustration it is clear I would not have cleared the highest bar with the effort I used to clear the lowest bar. Your goal usually is to achieve that goal with minimal effort. This really isn’t a problem and it makes perfect sense.
So why raise the bar? Raising the bar will motivate you to achieve more than you currently are achieving. I remember an episode of the sitcom Taxi where Jim Ignatowski, played by Christopher Lloyd, remembered that someone once told him it doesn’t matter what you do in life as long as you’re the best at it as you can be. Jim Ignatowski went on to provide services above and beyond the minimal services of a New York City taxi driver. The results were amazing tips.
So how does this apply to your health and fitness? To achieve better health and fitness you set goals. If your ultimate goal is to run a 5 K, or lose weight you start with a low bar such as running a block or losing 1.5 to 2 pounds the first week, which is the recommended weekly weight loss. You then come up with a plan that systematically raises the bar. Each time you get over one bar, you raise that bar. But set achievable early goals. Success is important.
As you continue to raise the bar remember, each time you raise the bar, it will require more effort to get over the new bar. If you set each bar just a little higher, success is achievable. Each time you get over the bar, you will have new confidence. If you knock the bar off, don’t give up. Success often come after putting the bar back up and trying again. Think about why you knocked the bar off and learn. Getting over the next bar may require help. Don’t be afraid to seek out the appropriate resources. Following these steps will bring results and success.
So you have gotten over that last bar of your goal. Now what? We need to continue to find new bars. They may be a different bar, but we need to have challenges. Our body needs to be active to maintain our strength or become stronger. If we don’t stay active, our muscles will atrophy, we will lose strength or we will gain back that weight.
As humans we have to have challenges to grow. After I turned fifty I decided I needed a new bar. I enrolled in Karate. It has been a challenge and at times I have wondered if I will be able to achieve my Blackbelt status. However, when I started, even though becoming a Blackbelt was my ultimate bar, that was not my first bar. My first bar was to fulfill the requirements needed to receive my Yellowbelt status. Next I worked towards and achieved my Orangebelt status. Well, you get the picture. I am now roughly two months away from my Blackbelt test. I am confident that getting over the earlier bars have prepared me for this bar. I am excited about getting over this bar. In fact after two months I will be looking for a new bar. Suggestions?
One last thought. Remember your bar should be to become the best you can be. Be defined by your the bars you overcome and not by comparing yourself to the bars other people overcome.