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Price tag: Know the true cost of your goal

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When I shop for bacon, aside from quality, I look at the price. When I take my bacon to the register, I know how much it is. There is no surprise because I’ve considered the cost and am willing to pay it.

But rarely do we look at our health and fitness goals the way we look at bacon (or any monetary transaction). We want to lose the weight, gain strength, get six-pack abs — and maybe set a plan in motion. But, often, after our excitement wears off, after the cheering squad has left, we fall off the path and our goal is abandoned. Why?

We don’t consider the cost.

Cost #1: You will be uncomfortable.
After Army bootcamp, my brother once told me, “if you want to have an extraordinary life, you have to do extra-ordinary things.” It is easy to flow with the mediocrity of society. But when we choose to focus on a goal, we must consider doing what other people don’t. And that means getting outside our comfort zone to do it — working out in a different class, training at especially early or late hours, following a new program, talking with new coaches, learning new movements.

Cost #2: You will sacrifice your wants for needs.
Hand in hand with the uncomfortable is trading wants (what I’d like to do) for needs (what I need to do). I may want to sleep in when my 4 am alarm goes off, but I need to get to the gym. I may want to sit in front of the TV after a long day at work but I need to go for that run. I may want to go through the drive-through because I’m starving but I need to wait until I get home to better make and track my food. It’s giving up what may feel good in the moment for what is good later on.

Cost #3: You will lose friends.
Suddenly, your goals say stay home when your friends go out. Your goals say drink water when your friends say drink wine. Your goals say get to bed early when your friends say stay out late. Changing your priorities can mean a change in your friend dynamic. That’s why it’s important to be around friends who help — not hinder — your journey.

Cost #4: You will be awkward around food.
When you start watching your intake, food starts to look different. Maybe you see meals in terms of “good food, bad food” or divided into macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat). You start tracking, measuring and weighing. You have special requests at restaurants or maybe bring a scale with you. Food will take on new meaning, which may take time to get used to.

Want to learn more about the cost of your health goals? Take a look at Precision Nutrition’s full infographic here to best gauge your plan and set yourself up for success.