“I had been a dreamer – not a doer. That had to change”

By Rob Krauss

Are you a dreamer or a doer?

For me – I had always dreamt of getting into really great physical shape and enjoying a healthy and active lifestyle. It was always a work in progress, but I never fully dedicated myself to it in a sustained way. Often I tended to retreat to my comfort zone and had not been willing to make the required sacrifices. I had been a dreamer – not a doer. That had to change.

I began by studying the top athletes, business moguls and thought leaders to see how they went from dreaming to doing. Each had their unique story, but there were similarities. All of them decided what they wanted in life, they dedicated themselves to achieving their goals and they remained disciplined. Simply put – the biggest difference between dreamers and doers – is doers relentlessly pursue what’s worth fighting for and they shut out what is not.

One day I decided my dream was worth fighting and I signed up for an Ironman 70.3 triathlon – one of the most grueling endurance races. It covers 70.3 miles (113km); including a 2km swim, 90km cycle course and a 21km run. Even though I had asthma and hadn’t swam or ridden a bike in years, I was determined to accomplish something this challenging in order to prove to myself that I was a doer.

This past July – I did it! I challenged myself to take action and succeeded.

Here are 5 steps on how I went from dreamer to doer:

  1. Commit to Change

Change is hard. It is uncomfortable and it feels unnatural. I decided the status quo wasn’t good enough for me and I was finally prepared to make the sacrifices to get the lifestyle I wanted.

  1. Set a Tangible Goal

My goal was clear – it was my Ironman race on July 9. It was tangible, specific and measurable and it was circled on my calendar.

  1. Make a Plan

Initially, completing the Ironman 70.3 felt impossible. But, I broke up the journey into many, many small steps. I put a huge board on my wall with specific objectives for each and every day leading up to the race. Each piece was a building block.

  1. Be Accountable

At 5am each morning I would step out of bed and I would shuffle my feet to my board and check the training objectives for the day. At night I would return to the same board to record my activity. On days when I didn’t fulfill my objectives, I would draw a big red “X” on my board. I hated that burning feeling, but it kept me honest with myself.

  1. Push the Limit

Unless tested, our limits are unknown. Our minds are programmed to stop when things get hard – before we need to. Navy Seals call this the 40% rule – their secret to toughness. It means when your mind tells you that you have nothing left, you are only 40% of the way to your limit. There is power that comes from knowing that, and continuing when others may stop.

These steps are a simple guide to help us stay on track when working towards our goals, but it is our job to stay focused and committed to see these come through.

Completing these five steps and crossing that finish line were just the beginning for me.… What’s next?