November 8th, 2011
07:56 AM ET

Human Factor: A goal is a direction, not an end

In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle - injury, illness or other hardship - they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week meet Kyle Maynard. Despite being born without arms or legs, Maynard has played football, wrestled, and he's hoping to hike Mount Kilimanjaro.

Since I opened the doors to No Excuses CrossFit, a small gym in an Atlanta suburb three years ago, I’ve come to learn that fitness instructors are closer in their roles to being a life coach or psychologist than someone solely focused on a workout regimen. The best trainers understand there is a massive amount of motivation required to start, let alone stick to, any plan.

One of the reasons we require so much motivation to start on the path to improving our health is that we build up a huge lie in our minds of how improbable or even impossible reaching our goals will be. We think about how hard it’s going to be to resist dessert or how much time exercising is going to take away from our lives. Then to make matters worse, we say things like “I have to lose 10 pounds in the next month.”

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.