Goal: the object of a person’s ambition or effort

Ever since I can remember, I had goals. Without knowing the definition of goal or having an adult explain, in my heart, I knew. In kindergarten when anybody asked me that predictable question. “What do you want to be when you grow up little Tony?”

I looked up at the giant humans and responded,

“I want to be President of the United States.”

Please forgive my innocence. I obviously didn’t know better (I was five.) I simply thought of the highest goal imaginable, something noteworthy. Something, anything to help my situation. My upbringing was less than spectacular, and dreaming was all I had. So, I dreamed and dreamed…

Dreaming is Free

Struggle became quite familiar. Our broken family crippled by financial problems. I would close my small eyes and imagine a better life. A life where my mom didn’t need food stamps, a life where we didn’t need to ride the bus, and a life where Santa didn’t skip our house.

It killed me to watch my mom struggle. I asked the tall people for help. The adults preached education. But, I didn’t need an education, I needed money. The giants explained education would earn a scholarship to graduate from college, to get a job, and then get money.

And then get money?

It seemed far away, but okay. I figured if I went to school every day, this would help my goal of graduating college. My very first goal was set: perfect attendance.

My Perfect Attendance Quest

I went to school everyday. Even the days I didn’t feel like going, I went. Day in and day out, I showed up. Being poor sucks, and if this would help. Control what you can control. Showing up is the first step in accomplishing any goal. For 8 years I didn’t let anything stand in my way, I didn’t miss ONE day in school from pre-school through eighth grade, not one.

Showing up is the first step in accomplishing any goal. 

As I stood receiving my first award for perfect attendance. I stood 10 feet tall that day. Every year Jack in the Box would give the perfect attendance recipients a coupon for a meal (a brilliantly sly marketing move.)  The only time I could afford Jack in the Box. I felt like I needed the finest silverware for my cheeseburger combo. I sat like a young prince, eager to eat my well-earned meal.

Fall in love with pride. 

 

 

Total Body Project Goals

Over the years, my goals evolved. Graduate college, move out of the Southeast L.A., help my mom, and start my own company to name a few. I’m proud to say, Total Body Project has helped hundreds improve their lives. Our recent goals consist of our first Get Me Skinny training course, our newest book, Get Me Skinny…Again and the much anticipated release of our on-line training.

But life is meant to be abundant.

Goals must be both professional and personal.

Enter the Ironman Triathlon… Unfortunately, I have a unique ability to make drowning look like swimming. Pools did not exist in South Los Angeles, neither did swim lessons. But I figured, I’m an athlete, let’s go for it. 

I almost drowned in my first half-mile ocean swim…

I recorded the longest swim/drown in history. The ocean tossed me like a rubber duck for 47 minutes. It took everything in me, not to quit. Somehow I crossed the finish line. I coughed up salt water for days.

Embrace Failure

Don’t be scared to fail. Failure and success go hand in hand. Success cannot exist without failure. My first triathlon was one of the biggest public failures of my life. But I let this moment be the spark, I let it be my motivation for my next attempt. The Ironman Triathlon, approximately 5 times the distance of my first failure. My biggest failure would be followed by my biggest triumph.

The Ironman Triathlon

2.4 miles of swimming followed by 112 of biking and then a 26.2-mile run. When I told people about this goal, some laughed. But laughing at my goals doesn’t anger me, it inspires me. Laughter represents the right direction for my goals. They laughed when I started my own company. People questioned my reason for leaving engineering. Others are surprised when they learn of of my Engineering degree. A few even ask who wrote my books.

When people laugh, I know I’m on the right track.

Two years after my swim/drown I completed my first Ironman triathlon. The joy overwhelmed me. As I crossed that finish line after 13 hours of racing, I realized any goal worth achieving will require hard work, it will require you to show up, and it will require failure. But any goal can be accomplished. Any goal. 

What are your goals? Are they big enough? Do they scare you? Are you willing to do the work?

Let me know how I can help you.

 

Tony Arreola

NASM Master Trainer