What is the biggest mistake that we see in the gym on a consistent basis? There are a lot of things we could point to as coaches that we could say are mistakes (or maybe not the best way of doing things is a better way to put it) but they are all symptoms of the same cause. Short term thinking. Most people make decisions without thinking about how it will affect them in the long term. Let me break down what that looks like in the gym setting and give you 3 examples of how you can apply it to your life.
The first way we see this is when people are trying to decide whether to start at the gym or not. It usually comes down to the same thought process. The athlete knows that this can help them but they aren’t sure whether they want to pay the price. I have talked extensively before about price and investing in yourself so I won't go into depth on that here but what I do want to address is the results that you get. If you are deciding whether to join our gym (or any gym) then think about where you would be if you had joined a year ago. If I told you that if you joined our gym a year ago, came 4 days a week every single week, and cleaned up your diet (based off of our suggestions), that you would be in the best shape of your life right now (based off of your own personal goals), would be healthier, would have made a ton of new friends, would have more energy than ever, and would have more confidence than ever before, then would you take it? Of course you would! No one would turn that down. Our gyms are full of these kinds of people. It is really hard to look into the future when making a decision that impacts you immediately, but I would encourage you to think about it when making the decision to join a gym. If you went to that gym consistently for a year then would you be better off?
Another way I see short term thinking play out is when people are expecting results immediately or aren't happy with their results. Maybe they have been a member for three months and are disappointed in their day to day scores. Maybe they haven't lost 20 pounds in a month and are questioning what they are doing. Whatever the reason for their disappointment it comes down to short term thinking. They greatly underestimate how much time it takes to make changes. If you are comparing your scores to someone who has been doing CrossFit for 5 years when you have only been coming 3 months then you are not thinking long term. Of course you aren't going to be able to hang with someone who has 1000 workouts under their belt when you only have 30. If you are expecting to lose 20 pounds in a month then you are in the wrong place. We don't want you to lose 20 pounds in a month. We want you to lose 1-2 pounds a week for a year. Play the long game. Get a little bit fitter, a little bit leaner, and a little bit healthier every single week.
The third way we see short term thinking play out is during the actual workout. One surefire way to slow down your progress is to go too heavy or too skilled in a workout. If you are consistently finishing at the back of the pack in workouts because your are reaching above your current fitness level then you are not going to make a whole lot of progress. Check your ego at the door, play the long game, and drop the weight. There is no shortcut to success. Look around at the fittest people that you see on a day to day basis. They didn't get there overnight. They didn't get there in 6 months. It is consistent work day in and day out over years that got them there. Every day you walk in the gym your goal should be to get a little bit better. If you get 1% better every day and do that consistently then over time you will be a lot better.
When you are making decisions in the gym then think about your future self. Am I setting the future version of my self up for success? Am I setting my future self up to be healthier, fitter, and happier? Or am I sabotaging my future self? Another way to look at it is what do I regret not doing consistently for the past year? Where would I be if I would have been doing that consistently? Either way you look at it start playing the long game. Nothing worthwhile comes overnight. Put the work in day in and day out, get a little bit better every day, and you will look up a year from now and be amazed by how far you have come. Play the long game. Your future self will thank you.