Thursday, August 6, 2015

Failing My Way To Success

Everyone loves a good quote, right? Of course, we do. And who better than Winston Churchill?


First, "success is not final." I'm proof of that. In 2011, I was happily and proudly a Success Story, sharing my Before-and-After photo and showing off what running and a healthy diet had done for me.

Success is definitely not final. It's an ongoing journey. Which brings me to the second and more important part.

"Failure is not fatal."

I love this idea. It acknowledges that failure is real, and it's significant, but it isn't the end. Every failure can be a chance to review what went wrong, make adjustments and improvements, and try again.

And I am Exhibit A. I failed at my own 30-60-90 Challenge. I failed the 100 PushUp Challenge. I failed at Awesome August. I failed at Perfect Month. I even failed at my first attempt to prepare for the Revel marathon. And so what? I kept going, kept trying, and refused to accept failure as the end of anything.

The first half of 2015 has been terrible for me. I made poor choices and I have the results I deserved. But I came across a challenge for July that seemed perfect for me. It was the Run Selfie Challenge, and I blogged about how excited I was to do it and that I considered it my Comeback Challenge.

I started strong, running at least a mile every single day and taking my daily selfies. Week One was awesome. But running every day after not running for months was asking for trouble, and I got it. My shins hurt when I tried to run or even walk. Not a good thing when you want to be running.

So I quit. I stopped doing the challenge. Yes, I could have continued taking running selfies, but it seemed dishonest to keep doing the daily challenges without actually running. So I failed.

Except that wasn't the end of the story. I failed that specific challenge, yes. But that got me running again, which helped motivate me to design my own long-term challenge and start again. Sunday, July 19th was the first day of my Revel Canyon City marathon training, and that is the perfect kick-start to my year-long weight loss effort.

Failing to do a month-long challenge was the catalyst for me starting a year-long challenge. See how that works?

My advice to you? Stop focusing on failures as bad things. Look at them as learning lesson and opportunities to do better next time. And then get started on the next time right away!