Pick One: Fast, Easy, or Cheap

Do you have a big goal in mind?  

You’re really fortunate if you can say:

✅ I’m able to be patient and work up to it as gradually as my body needs.
✅ I’m ready to commit effort and time to research, learning, planning, and training.
✅ I’m willing to invest money in equipment and professional services.

This is the best scenario for pursuing goals that will be fun, safe, and successful.  

Now, understandably most people can’t check all those boxes. But what doesn’t work is:

“I want to achieve a big goal ASAP ⏱️, but I’m really busy so I need a personal custom plan I can follow easily 🧞‍♂️, and I don’t want to spend any money on professional services or equipment 💰️🤌. “  

Fast + Easy + Cheap = 😭. The goal doesn’t get achieved, or your body breaks, or your relationships break, either in the short or long term. Taking all the shortcuts at once is a recipe for disaster.

😂 Beware anyone selling all the shortcuts! I don’t know any challenging goals that can be achieved in “one simple trick.”

So what does picking just one short cut look like?  

FAST Examples:

  • I’ve done one one sprint triathlon and I want to do a full Ironman next year.
  • I’ve run one 5k and I want to do a marathon next season. 
  • I’ve only climbed indoors and I want to climb El Capitan next spring.
  • I can barely swim and I want to do a triathlon next summer. 
  • I’ve slept in a tent once and I want to thu hike the PCT next year.  

If you’ve picked fast it doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and spend all your money.  It does mean you can’t be stingy with your energy and money.  Pay for coaching, pay for the equipment that’s going to make a difference.  Set aside time to train.  Set aside time to research, learn, and plan.  

EASY Examples:

  • I don’t want to think about my training at all.  
  • I want someone to tell me what to do for all my workouts. 
  • I have a lot of other commitments, training needs to take minimal time and energy. 
  • I don’t have time to do any race/trip planning or research.  
  • I don’t have the mental space to learn new techniques or new equipment or new methods. 
  • I only want to train the way I’m used to training.  I don’t want to do the workouts or exercises I dislike. 

If you picked easy, be prepared to pay for it.  You might be able to get away paying for a one-size-fits-most plan, but then you’ll have to spend the energy to fit it to your schedule.  Or you’ll pay big bucks for coaches to write all your workouts personally for you.  Even if you have all the money for coaching, you still have to do the training.  If you want the coached training to be “easy” you can’t have “fast” too. 

Cheap Examples:

  • Bare-bones equipment.  Only what’s absolutely necessary, no extras that make training easier or more accessible. 
  • Free training plans and reading all the stuff on the internet. 
  • Reading all the low cost books and guides.  
  • Training advice from community groups and forums.  
  • Group workouts and online programs (nothing customized to your needs and goals). 
  • No personalized support like nutrition counseling, physical therapy, massage, or private lessons. 

Nothing wrong with being cheap.  It’s what I usually do, but it takes time and energy to do it all yourself.  


  • This is simplified to illustrate a point.  Can you be just partially fast, easy, and cheap?  Sure.  Just realize that you can’t shortcut everything and have stellar results.  
  • Are there people “successful” people who seem to be doing it the fast, easy, and cheap way?  Sure.  Those are fantastic best selling stories.  But for every one of those there are hundreds of sad failures that don’t make the news.  

Pick your path. Know what trade offs you’re making.

Need help figuring out your goal, your next steps, which shortcuts to take and what you need to invest in? I do that. It’s a Personal Coaching Consultation. You can check out our website if you click the “services” tab. You can also email me kym@zested.net

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1 Response to Pick One: Fast, Easy, or Cheap

  1. Pingback: Pick One: Fast, Easy, or Cheap – backpacking edition | Midwest With Zest

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