By Nic DeCaire

As Jordan Spieth sunk his last putt to win the 2015 Masters, I couldn’t help but feel emotional. All those hours practicing and playing on the course had paid off.

He is the second-youngest person to win the Masters and is now tied with Tiger Woods for shooting 18 under. That is a pretty remarkable victory, if you ask me.

So what does winning the Masters have to do with health and fitness?

Because Spieth’s win would never have happened without small victories along the way. And those little wins are important to remember.

When most people set fitness goals, they start at the top ¬– they want to win the Masters, so to speak. But their goal is so unrealistic, they usually quit.

Spieth didn’t just wake up last week and decide to play in the Masters. He started like all the other greats ¬¬– he set a goal and practiced. He learned how to be better. He practiced some more.

Recently, I conducted my own experiment because my personal fitness had been slacking. See, I am one of those people who wake up in the morning and decide I am going to play in the Masters. I set unrealistic goals for myself, instead of focusing on small victories.

Like everyone else, I usually quit before those goals are achieved.

This time, I decided I was only going to focus on three small daily fitness goals for 21 days. No eating after 7 p.m. Move for at least 20 minutes per day. Walk a minimum of 8,000 steps.

I put these goals on my Google calendar for the next 21 days. Then, I printed out two copies. One I left on my desk at work. The other I put on my refrigerator at home.

If I completed my goal, I got to cross off the day.

I found that I became excited to wake up every morning and cross off my calendar. Last week, I even walked around my house for 15 minutes before I went to bed to make sure I achieved my daily steps. This is something I never would have done for myself if my goal was to lose 30 pounds in the next 60 days.

Having these small goals did not make fitness seem like a chore for me. It was achievable, but still challenging. Every morning felt like a small victory.

This exercise reminded me that if you want to be successful, you have to start looking at smaller victories.

These are the ones that truly count.

As Spieth reflects back on this amazing achievement in his life, I am sure he also will think about those smaller victories as well – from the tournaments he won as an amateur to other victories as a pro. But without those small wins, he would have never been able to earn that green jacket.

Always look at the big picture, but remember to focus on the small ones.

Nic DeCaire is the owner of Fusion Fitness Center on Main Street. He writes a monthly column for the Newark Post.


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