We are amazing at starting new things.
It’s exciting to start a new project; the future seems promising.
We can start something new everyday.
But as we trod along on our new adventure into a new journey, things don’t pan out the way we thought they would.
It seem harder than we expected; the hard work is disheartening.
Before you know it this new excitement becomes a burden and we bring a stop to what we originally set out to do.
This applies to anything in life and it is especially true when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.
Every year, the first of January comes by and we have our News Year’s resolution driving us into the gym willing us to get in shape.
“This time will be different,” we say.
Got yourself some new shiny clothes, trainers; you’re looking fantastic.
By the time January is over the gym is thinning out.
It has been statistically shown that people start a new diet 2.7 times a year and more than 1 in 10 people will attempt to slim down at an average of 5 times a year.
As great as it would be, we don’t get rewarded for starting projects; we only get rewarded for finishing projects.
When it comes to healthy living there is no finish date…
This might sound a bit nightmarish to you but I can assure you, nothing feels as good as health does.
When you’re in healthy, in good shape and look after yourself things tend not to bother you as much. You feel like you have more energy, more confidence, you have more patience for your loved ones and so many more amazing advantages.
Once you get into it, you will learn to love and enjoy it. No longer does it become a burden or a task but rather a way to a better life.
Let us move on to simple and actionable tasks that you can do to get off the starting game and get you to the finishline.
At the start of this blog I kind of gave you the answer to why we get burnt out after what can be such a short period of time.
What I have noticed with myself and with others I have worked with is that when we love that sense of new. Starting a project is kind of the same feeling we get when we buy a new car or a piece of clothing.
But, just like everything else that’s new, it soon becomes old.
The feeling wears away so too here. When we start a new program we eventually lose that sense of ‘new’… and what do you remain with?
Hard work. Not so exciting right?
On another point, when starting we can foresee how our life will be improved picture our success.
Once we get involved and get our feet wet, we see that it isn’t as smooth sailing as we thought it would be. We get discouraged and our path to success doesn’t seem to be possible anymore.
The bad news is that there isn’t anyway to overcome these feelings of discouragement.
Everyone, including successful people, get discouraged.
The only thing that differs between the people that are successful VS the people that aren’t is their contingency plan.
Successful people take a step back before going into things.
For most people when the motivation kicks in, for whatever reason, the first thing they do is:
- Sign up to the gym,
- Go for a 5 mile run… or attempt to anyway,
- Throw out all the junk food,
- Swear never to touch a carb again.
Basically the first thing they do is start moving, and fast.
How long does this newfound motivation last on average?
You guessed it, 5 weeks.
Successful people don’t act on instinct as stated above. If you act on instinct now what’s going to stop you from acting on instinct when you just can’t be arced. When that same instinct is telling you to quit.
Successful people take the necessary step back and work everything out.
They know that it is going to get hard whether they have tried to do in the past and they didn’t last very long or they have witness the sad attempts of others.
They spend time planning for the hardships to come and construct contingency plans that gives them the tools to ride over the humps and be victorious.
Although this seems counterproductive to not act on the motivation you have and are experiencing here and now, it actually isn’t.
As I mentioned, when it comes to healthy living there is no end game, and unfortunately life is difficult. In order to give yourself a fair chance of succeeding at the hard game of life you need to take a step back and brace yourself.
When you’re at the beginning, in a stage full of hope, you’re in a vulnerable space.
You’re at a point where you can see what life would be like when you finally become successful. You can comprehend why all the hard work is worth it.
When you can see the end of the tunnel and identify your goals you can make a plan of action to get you there.
Having a vivid picture of your future and your goals are critical and will be the difference between success and failure.
Call to action for goal setting sheet!
When I say you should have a goal I’m not referring to having just a picture in your head in the back of your mind.
What I want you to do is
- Write down your goals.
- Remind yourself at night before you go to bed what your goals are.
- When you wake up in the morning, re-read/write your goals.
- Have it in front of your work place.
- Have your goals with you at all times.
This way you know where your are headed and you know why all the hard work is worth it.
Brownie points: when you write down your goal, paint a vivid picture of what life would be.
Write down those feelings of dominant motivation.
Make it so vivid that when you reread your goals you can see yourself there every time.
This alone can motivate you and get you back on track.
Having goals is a great place to start and would put you in a great advantage but unfortunately you can’t wish youself there. Actions make your goals come true.
For this you want to set behavior goals.
There are 2 different types of goals.
There are outcome goals and then there are behavioural goals.
Outcome goals are things we can’t dictate. For example losing weight.
Losing weight isn’t something you can dictate. You can’t stand in front of the mirror and demand the weight to come off.
On the other hand outcome goals are inspiring. They are things that make us excited and put a smile on our face as the outcomes drives us to do better each time.
Behavioural goals are goals that we can manipulate. For example going for a run at the end of each day.
If we take the right measures to preform better behaviours we will hit our outcome goal.
In order to be successful you need to set behavioural goals for the week.
Not only are outcome goals something you can actually change they allow you to focus on the things you need to do today instead of focusing on the big picture all the time which can seem far away or never ending.
Another point is, every time you finish the day off well you will feel like you have a accomplished a goal (which you have) and this little bit of accomplishment will make you feel good and give you motivation to continue.
Plus, you will also see how far you have come. You can compare how you are today to yesterday, a week ago, a month ago, giving you motivation to get out of the rut.
In addition to outcome and behavioural goals, set yourself up to perform an evening ritual.
A ritual that will defiantly keep you on the straight and narrow.
The ritual is very simple.
All you do is at the end of each day recap on the progress you have made that day and thus far then plan the next day accordingly.
This ritual will literally take no longer than 5 min.
The reason why I love this ritual and why I believe it is so important is because it gives you insight on whether or not you are going in the right direction.
If the day was a good day, ride that feeling into the next day.
If the day wasn’t so good (and there will be many of those days) all you got to do is tell yourself that today was an off day, tomorrow is a new day.
As Annie would say, “the sun’ll come out tomorrow… better your bottom dollar that tomorrow they’ll be sun.”
You can only do the nightly ritual if you know what your behavioural goals are and you can only know what your behavioural goals are if you know your outcome goal.
The place to start is by setting good goals.
In order to set the perfect goals for you, I have crafted the perfect goal setting worksheet and I want you to have it for free!