In my experiences within the health and fitness industry, much time is spent expending energy to encourage clients to get involved in physical activity, sound nutrition, and related lifestyle commitments. It is business and, as such, we may not always set the example that we wish for others to follow.  Further, we may miss the opportunity to instill these healthy habits in those whom we love most.  This is just as important for us and for those we love, but we tend to just get busy. The story below illustrates this and provides a powerful lesson of how we are all surrounded by several things that may need greater attention that we may have originally surmised.

Settings Goals… & Then Surpassing Them
Each and every one of us has something that we truly want out of life. Whether it be more rewarding relationships with family and friends, a better job, more leisure time or even a better body, no matter what your goals may be exactly it’s crucially important to realize that they will never be met unless you take the painstaking yet rewarding steps to strive to achieve them.

Sometimes this motivation comes from within, but far more often it takes a loved one or teacher of some sort to inspire you to achieve your true potential. Regardless of how you eventually get there, the primary lesson you learn as you travel down this path is that the most incredible feelings of accomplishment come not from just achieving your goals, but surpassing them.

What follows is the inspirational story of a young child whose true potential was unleashed, merely when she had the proper assistance. Though a simple tale of setting goals which were only attained after the necessary hard work was put in, the determination of her example can be applied to anything you desire in life.

The Fitness Test
Abbie was given her first fitness test in school when she was nine years old. As soon as she got home that fateful day she barged through the door and rushed up to her dad’s side, eager to share with him her results. He put down his newspaper and pulled Abbie onto his lap. As he glanced over her fitness report Abbie described the various exercises that they had been tested on that day.

First they had to run four laps around the soccer field, which had been really hard for Abbie. She told her dad that she tried to keep up with everyone else but that her legs had gotten too tired and that she couldn’t breathe very well; however she was able to finish the mile in 12 minutes and 13 seconds. The fitness goal for the class was 10 minutes.

The second test was how many curl-ups they could do. Abbie had only been able to do eight, but the goal was 20. The final test had been push-ups, of which she could do only 10. Again with this test she had fallen short of achieving the set goal for the class.

Abbie’s teacher; Ms. Hatch had set realistic goals for the class. If the students ran an 11 minute mile, did 15 push-ups and 20 curl-ups, they would get to write their name in their favorite color up on the wall chart. Several of Abbie’s friends had gotten to do this, but of course she did not, which made her feel completely left behind.

Goals Are Like Wishing
Abbie looked to her dad for reassurance and guidance and although he was supportive of her efforts, he made it clear that she would have to do much better if she really wanted to write her name up on the wall chart. She whined a little bit about how lucky her friends were and then even wished that she was like them. Abbie then asked her dad if he could help her reach her fitness goals. Knowing that this was the perfect opportunity to teach his daughter about hard work and sacrifice and all the rewards that stem from this, he of course said that he would. Right then and there he made her promise that she would exercise hard every single day and always try her best.

Abbie eagerly replied, “When can we start?”

Author's Bio: 

About James McPartland:

James McPartland (aka "Mac") is the Principal and Chief Inspiration Officer of the JMac Performance Group, a specialized management consulting firm focused on realizing the importance of the human potential in business. He is an entrepreneur, author, international speaker, and noted authority on leadership, team building, corporate wellness, and transformational change.

Mac focuses on helping successful leaders get even better by achieving positive lasting change in behavior (and results) for themselves, their people, and their teams. As a consultant and speaker, he has worked with senior executives in organizations from Fortune 500 corporations including The Dow Chemical Company, IBM, Allergan, Technogym, Les Mills International, Spinning and Total Gym, as well as non-profits such as the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Mac’s vast business experience includes:

• Expertise in strategic business modeling and business plan development, analysis and execution.
• Design and deployment of creative, effective and aggressive sales and marketing strategies
• Recognition of potential in business, people, and opportunities
• Strong communication skills in motivating and inspiring allegiance to company goals and core values
• Strategic recruitment of synergistic top executive and support staff talent
• Development of passionate corporate culture, commitment and productivity through credible leadership, incentive drivers and motivation training
• Proficient management analyzing and employing measurable key metrics to drive core objectives and outcomes
• Efficient execution of self-administered accountability systems motivated by incentives, recognition, and reward programs
• Track record of results. Built companies from start to $150mm in annual revenue, launched two additional companies in the health and nutrition space

Mac also actively participates in numerous events and organizations including the International Health and Racquet Sports Association, the American Heart Association, and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. In addition he is currently active in U.S. Public Policy legislation that will positively impact the companies that provide wellness benefits.

He sits on the Board of two new health and wellness companies in California, Best Fit Data and Worthwell. Mac also speaks French, and is an active member for the World Presidents’ Organization.

James has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers including The Register and Times of Los Angeles, Club Business International and The Business Journal. He has also been a guest on network TV and numerous radio shows.

In 2008 “Mac” was recognized at The Mayo Clinic by the President’s Council of Physical Fitness and Sports for his outstanding contribution to wellness. Additionally, his efforts were rewarded by the World President’s Organization with an award for leadership. After a year of preparation he led a group of 55 executives on a first of its kind business retreat to Vietnam.

James earned his Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina State University. An avid fitness enthusiast, he has completed 37 marathons and 8 Ironman Triathlon events. He resides in Coto De Caza, CA with wife Mara and sons Luke and Logan.

About The JMac Performance Group:

A ‘Human Performance Company’ dedicated to improving the health and profitability of a company by unlocking the potential of its employees. Business and people development consulting is cultivated through seminars, workshops, and executive retreats.

If you would like to receive The JMac Group monthly communications, please visit our website 'home' page: and click 'SUBMIT'.

Follow us on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn:!/jmacgroup!/pages/The-JMac-Performance-Group/163363089243