As humans routine is a necessary (and natural) part of our lives. When you’re in a good one things seem to flow effortlessly, and life is enjoyable and easy. When you’re in a bad one however, it feels like you’re spinning your wheels and getting nowhere.
Another thing about routines is that it’s hard to break them, but not impossible. Like habits you need to retrain yourself, learning new ways of seeing and doing things; which, I’m sure you can imagine, takes commitment. Without a commitment to yourself to make change you will remain in your current cycle and continue to struggle when it comes to achieving your goals. I can provide you with strategies to help you break that cycle, but only you can follow through with them. So you need to decide how bad you want change.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dive into the strategies.
Let’s start with exercise.
Exercise is the answer to a lot of our problems, and something most of us know we should be partaking in regularly. When I say, “exercise” I’m using it more as an umbrella term for all of your fitness-related goals – whether they be fat loss, performance or strength-based.
There are many different belief systems when it comes to exercise. But I think the most common belief is that adding more exercise into your routine is the best way to get results. Fitness marketing prays on this belief, regularly stressing (through photography, videos and ad copy) that the only people who achieve results are the ones willing to push themselves to a point complete exhaustion. When you pair feeling like you’re not doing enough with a false understanding of what you should be doing, you create a big gap filled with confusion and disappointment; which tends to leave you feeling discouraged.
If that sounds like a familiar feeling to you, I encourage you not to fall victim to the belief that you need to train harder and do more to see results. The truth is you likely need the opposite – instead implementing recovery strategies, learning how to chill the $*@# out, and learning how to trust the process. All key factors in the exercise process.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for pushing your limits with challenging workouts. But it’s not the only thing your program should include. Your program should be strategic and include exactly what you need right now. If your current program doesn’t include what you need, you need to look at changing it. The same goes for every aspect of your life.
Overcoming weaknesses, self-doubt and self-sabotage.
Our weaknesses and self-doubt are often the very things that keep us from achieving our desired pursuits. They prevent us from starting a task, keep us from finishing it, and in some cases, lead us to self-sabotage.
When things are going well, many of us are hit with an overwhelmingly uncomfortable feeling that causes us to pull the plug and quit. We all do it. You being conscious of it, then making strides to not fall victim to it, is the only way to overcome it.
I encourage you to reflect on your past 6 months with this concept in mind. How many times did you throw in the towel due to fear?
Well here’s the thing: You will only ever get what you feel you deserve.
If you feel like you don’t deserve happiness, success, or whatever else that you’re after, you will never see it. Doubting yourself will always keep you from achieving the things that you want. Whatever they may be. We all have self-imposed limits that cause us to hold back.
For myself, I know that it’s easier for me to accept failure (or lack of success) when I don’t go all in on something and actually try to achieve it. It gives me that scapegoat that I need so that I have something to blame. But through the years I’ve come to terms with the fact that this behaviour is just a self-defeating head game that keeps me spinning on the same miserable wheel. In my experience playing it safe only every leaves you feeling okay with mediocre… and who wants to be mediocre, really?
Let’s be honest with ourselves for a second: How often do you truly push yourself outside of your comfort zone and make confident strides to…
- Move forward in your career, and/or drive your business ahead
- Show true appreciation in the relationships in your life
- Be committed to eating well, and actually doing that 90% of the time
- Give 110% to your workout, every time
- Be the person that you know you can be
The reality for many of us is that we half-ass it. We put limited effort into the things that we want in life, and get sub par results. If that’s not bad enough, we also have a tendency for self-sabotage – to make damn sure we end in failure.
Here’s my challenge for you: Don’t let the noise in your head keep you from striving for the things that you want in life. If you decide that you want something (I mean, truly want it) go after it! Prove to yourself that you can do it. The more you ignore your self-doubt, the easier it will be to tune it out. Trust me when I say this.
Don’t let one bad decision change your course.
Okay you’ve made a bad decision, which leads you to implement some sort of damage control in an effort to fix it. However, as is the way with damage control, your solution doesn’t move you forward, it only takes care of the mishap. It’s a bandaid that gives you peace of mind in the moment, but weighs on you in the long-run because deep down you know you shouldn’t have made that mistake in the first place.
Your choice of damage control will depend on what form of sedation you choose. Doing hours of cardio, forcing yourself to go on some sort of restrictive diet or cleanse, not socializing, being angry, feeling bad… we tend to find many clever ways to quietly punish ourselves. But at what cost, and for what result?
This is the time where I’m suppose to tell you to…
- Set realistic goals (which is important)
- Stop dieting and practice moderation and incorporate more whole foods into your diet (which is not a bad idea)
- Work on changing one habit at a time (any more and it’s too many)
- Hire a coach for accountability (also a good idea)
But today I’m not going there… Instead, I’m going to challenge you by saying that all you need to do is make one decision. And that decision is the answer to this question: do you TRULY want that thing that you’re after?
If you really want something, you’ll find a way to get it.
If you really want to do something, you’ll do it.
It’s really that simple. If you’re one of those people who talks about wanting to do things, but always finds an excuse not to do it, you need to shift your thinking. Instead focus on why you can’t do that thing that you want. If your answer is just another excuse that you’re telling yourself so that you don’t have to do it, then you may not want that goal as much as you think you do. Do yourself a favour and take a moment to be honest with yourself. Consider whether or not you actually want the things you say you want. It’s okay not to. You’re the only one that’s telling yourself that it’s not okay. You just need to accept it, move on and refocus your energy on the things you actually do want in your life.
In other words, stop wasting your energy. If you’re not excited to crush a goal, it’s probably because it’s not your goal.