I'm giving myself 2 years to finish an IronMan 70.3. I've not yet run a half marathon or swum a mile in open water or biked 56 miles. But I will. In order to make the physical goals I've set, the training begins with getting my environment in order. Whatever it is you want from yourself right now in the gym or on the road or in your career, it comes down to goal setting and dedication. But sometimes the best of intentions can be sidetracked by our immediate surroundings. Michael Rizk at Greatist has set up a strategy to get you thriving rather than just surviving in your life. And it comes down to the foundations underpinning your environment and how weakness in one can sabotage another. Movement, Beliefs, Nourishment, and Recovery. The interdependence of the four pillars of our daily lives is the key to hitting every goal we set for ourselves. 1. Movement Do you give your body a daily dose of movement? Do you challenge your muscles several times a week? Do you care for your body after subjecting it to training by stretching or going for massages? Plan: Aim for balance. Push for new personal bests but not to the point of chronic pain. The goal of fitness is also a long and healthy life, not hobbling through your 50s because you didn't listen to your joints in your 20s. 2. Beliefs Are you open to new ways of thinking about your body and your life? Do you undermine your progress with negative self-talk? As parents, we know that what children hear from others becomes their inner voice. If you are whispering negativity into your goals, you're weakening your efforts. Plan: Surround yourself with people whose lives exemplify the commitment and self confidence you want for yourself. It is contagious. 3. Nourishment Do you think of food as fuel or a friend or a necessary evil? Your relationship with nourishment has an impact on everything else you do, from how you run a 5K to how fast and efficiently you respond to problem-solving in the workplace. Plan: Take a snack bag with you so you're not tempted to grab unhealthy foods on the go. Eat a variety of foods every single day, even in small quantities. It adds up over time. Aim for the Japanese concept of goshiki, five colors at every meal (for some meal ideas, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan). 4. Recovery Are you getting enough quality sleep? Putting aside periods for non-sleeping rest in your life? Without letting the metabolic janitors in to empty the trash, your brain and body start the next day carrying the waste from the day before. Plan: Turn off the electronics an hour before bed. Bathe at night to fall asleep faster. Sleep in the dark so your brain can completely recharge. Take power naps when life gets in the way of good sleep hygiene. What are your favorite ways to strengthen the four pillars of your environment for success?