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It has been my experience that doing things that make me happy in fact aren’t always the easiest things to do. “I’m busy”, “I don’t know where to start” and “I still don’t have the time” seem to be the most common reasons that crop up when committing, or recommitting, to something new or something that I enjoy. I’m not alone in this.

Usually with the start of the new year, new goals are set or recommitted – finding something that you can commit to and that brings you happiness is ingrained in our human evolution – but its more than just the will to do something that creates the change and routine. All things are easier said then done. Without structure and proper mindset it’s easy to get lost in the whirlwind of life again even if you’re not happy with where you’re at.

So before you get started on those goals, or even if you’ve already mapped them out, ask yourself “Why?” You may have a clear cut answer – you may not. But addressing that will help you map out your goals and your mindset. Your mindset is a key step in finding (or reminding you of) that purpose in your journey and help you accomplish your goals.

For those novice or beginner athletes, you may be thinking “Well, I’m not a pro. Why do I need to focus on this? I just want to get better at ‘X,Y, and Z’.” Focusing on mindset is not limited to professional, high-performance or elite athletes. Being conscious of your time and how you spend it will help lead to an outlook that sets you up for success. This becomes especially relevant when times are difficult, your training feels off, or you need to make a change. Just remember that change is growth. And your mindset is important because during the journey to your goals it can be easy to get caught up in your training, or on the other side of the spectrum just going through the motions, both of which can lead to negative emotions in your journey. Identifying triathlon as something you do and not your entire persona will help prevent burnout. Keeping a positive, focused mindset is key in this regard; also in keeping you motivated and finding your why if you have yet to identify it in your goals, thus preventing you from just going through the motions.

If you think you’ve failed – it’s OK! The trick is to fail forward. Learn from your mistake and let the experience move you into a direction that helps you move forward. I always think of Thomas Edison who unsuccessfully attempted the light-bulb 1,000 times. He later said “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light-bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

A major component to remember is that there are no overnight fixes. This is highlighted by understanding the differences between the journey and the outcome. There are no shortcuts in the journey. There will always be hardships – but often the greatest accomplishments hail from the most difficult adversities we face. The beautiful thing about the journey is it is yours and yours alone. People will see the end result, but it’s the journey that is truly inspiring.

Here are a few things I have learned in my travels around the sun that help my mindset and remind me of my purpose:

· Things could always be better, but that said, things could also always be worse! And….

· The only thing constant in this world is change itself.

So here are the key takeaways from this post:

· Going forward with a positive mindset is paramount in making sure that what you’re doing is right for you.

· Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who will help you keep your focus – be intentional with your community.

· Choose your mentors with resolve as they will help guide you through the uncomfortable aspects of your journey because it won’t always be smooth sailing – and if it is, you’re not growing.

Finally, know that with time you will cultivate your own happiness.

Author: Coach Chris Clark, Latitude Pure Coaching

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