We have all heard the saying, 'when there is a will, there is a way'. This speaks no truer than when you set out on the mazed path to health and fitness glory. It's fair to say everyone would like to better themselves in this department of their lives to some extent, because let’s face it nobody is perfect, but how much do you really want it? Putting it bluntly, this will determine how successful you are.


 As in all walks of life, it is those who 'stick at it' and work hardest to achieve excellence that tend to have the most success. Gary Player famously phrased, 'the more I practice, the luckier I get'. It is easy to observe people who are successful and assume they have natural talent or genes that are god given, but this depreciates and trivialises the hours of practice, the sheer determination and drive it takes to achieve excellence. It is fair to say that the less 'naturally' gifted and the further away from whatever it is you want to achieve you are, the more 'will' you will need. Not everyone's journey is the same and some find it easier than others, but with enough will nothing can hold you back. 


Despite being a simple mind set, having a strong will is an incredibly difficult character trait to nail. It separates those who are strong minded from those who have the right intentions. We all set out on the health and fitness journey hoping to achieve something, but if you set out with the will and determination to make sure you achieve something, success will be inevitable. A strong will is born from a desire to succeed and not accept failure. It is often easier to give up in the face of adversity than to plough through it. With a strong enough will you can plough through anything whether it be that last mile of a marathon or resisting that last 'Rolo' so to speak. It is will that will get you out of bed to hit the gym on that dark December morning, and it's will that will ensure you don't skip that session even though your favourite show is on the box.


So how much do you want it? Is this just a resolution that will fizzle out to nothing in a matter of weeks, or are you willing to grind out success no matter what obstacles stand in your way? There will be friends, family members, your partner even, who might not understand why you are doing this and may try to hold you back with a suggestion of after work drinks or perhaps a meal out, to deflect you from your training. There will be days where all you will be able to think about is a bar of chocolate or whatever your 'vice' may be. Along the journey there are many distractions that can put you off course, but it's your will that carries you through on the straight and narrow. Now, the odd indulgence is important, and success doesn't come simply from torturing yourself day-in-day-out, but having control over cravings and being able to push forward when you are at the end of your tether are essential tools when building success in health and fitness, and this all comes in conjunction with having a strong will.


It can be a lonely road, and support and motivation doesn't always come from others. Others can in fact be destructive. You need to ask yourself why are you doing this? It’s a personal journey and internal motivation can always be found, you just need will to find it. There are other psychological traits that are immensely important and shouldn't be overlooked like focus, commitment and determination, but these cannot be obtained until you establish a strong will. Your will is what stands between you and success. You better make sure you want it enough.

For more information or guidance on achieving your health and fitness goals, feel free to contact me via my contact page. 

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Ray Buckton

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