How to Reach Your Goals: The Follow-Through
Anyone who has played or paid attention to sports has probably heard the term follow-through. Not coincidentally, this concept is one of the most important aspects to executing proper form and maximizing effectiveness in athletic endeavors.
What do baseball, golf, tennis, basketball, football, boxing, rowing, and weight training have in common? They all require follow -through.
The simple initiation of an action is not what determines success. Anyone can swing a bat or throw a punch. The follow-through is what makes the difference between knocking one out of the park or simply grounding out.
Do You Mean Business? Follow-Through
The follow-through is the finer point – the point that shows you mean business and have put in the work that it takes to achieve greatness. Sometimes it takes years to develop a skill that is powerful enough that everyone who sees it will recognize the follow-through.
Spectators often recognize follow-through very quickly once it’s put into action through a specific skill; however, many people don’t realize the amount of work and preparation that went into developing this skill. Stellar performances are often chalked up to genetics, natural ability, or luck.
It’s important to note that excellence is not perfection, but rather the ability to overcome our imperfections.
How many times have you heard the peanut gallery attribute a bodybuilder’s win to genetics or steroids, while placing no emphasis or weight on work ethic? While this may be the case in some circumstances, most demonstrations of excellence are the product of hard work, discipline, determination, and an unwavering pursuit of excellence. We all have the ability to acquire follow-through, but many lack the resilience to push through difficult situations no matter what.
When we pursue follow-through, we are pursuing excellence. It’s important to note that excellence is not perfection, but rather the ability to overcome our imperfections. Although we often think of follow-through as something that is achieved in sports and other athletic endeavors, follow-through is just as important in real-life scenarios. Those who merely begin the process can be mediocre, but those who execute follow-through can are great.
The Regret of Not Following Through
One of the worst feelings is that of regret. Too often, the ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda’ haunts us at night. Can you think of a time that you set a goal to do something, or made a resolution to change but you fizzled halfway in? Do you remember how you felt?
Setting goals and failing to complete them is detrimental for more reasons than one: Not only do you have the disappointment of an un-met goals hanging over our head, but the mental aftermath can be very disheartening and demotivating for future goal-setting. To make matters even worse, we all know that misery loves company – so there’s a good chance that instead of picking you up when you’re down, the company around you will keep you down to soothe their own feelings of inadequacy.
The next time you set out to do something, remember that if it meant enough to you to start, it is even more important for you to follow through and finish. The road to success is seldom easy or free of obstacles; however, that is the beauty of it.
With each obstacle that we overcome, the victory becomes sweeter. To those who pursue excellence and follow through, I commend you. You truly have something special, but then again – you already knew that.
Stay strong; it’s more than physical.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared at Machinemuscle.com. Derek is a professional firefighter, fitness coach, and MAN Sports™ sponsored physique athlete with a lifetime of real world experience in the fitness industry.