What’s the secret to success? I struggled for many years in my desire to achieve my health, fitness and weight loss goals; as well as business, personal and success goals – only to be deterred time and time again. Have you ever struggled before in this way?
I often wondered ‘when do the results finally happen’ and ‘why are there people that we know who continuously achieve their goals while others struggle in their own self-defeating patterns?’
Now I’m not saying that I am a success story in these areas; but I have learned many lessons over the past 20 or so years and thought it might help someone to hear what’s worked for me.
Think for a moment that exciting feeling when you begin something new. It may seem as though you have the secret to finally figuring it all out and the sky’s the limit in this phase. And why not? At this point of our journey, everything is fresh, new and sparkly (that’s my description but I think you get the point!). It’s at this point when we haven’t yet run into any challenges or encountered any hurdles so it can almost seem a bit skewed from reality. Nonetheless, we set out with our new plans and vow to change our lives; change the world and take on whatever may have held us back in the past.
Everything seems possible in this moment and it’s at this time (whether we are embarking on a new fitness/health journey; starting a new business venture; beginning a new relationship; etc) that we must decide WHY we have chosen this challenge/change. What is so important about these specific goals and what needs to change in our lives at this time in order to make this happen? You may be wondering what any of this has to do with starting something new. The first few steps help to set the foundation for changes and the new success that we so desire. Think for a moment, if we don’t start with the WHY; then what changes from today? If we consider the fact that adding changes; saying ‘yes’ to anything different than what we are currently doing, we will ultimately be saying ‘no’ to other areas of our lives that may or may not be acceptable.
Once the reasons are set and we start moving forward, there will eventually come resistance. We will run into days when we don’t ‘feel’ like doing what we planned; we will run into days when unexpected surprises pop up and we need to juggle and deal with these surprises; we will run into days where we are overly stressed, tired or downright tired of going through the daily motions that seemed exciting in the beginning.
It’s at this point of resistance that we make a decision; and it’s at this point of our journey that makes or breaks our success in the new plan. If we decide to give in to the resistance and slow down our progress (which usually means we are skipping our workouts/ eating on the fly/ passing on the new habits we set up for our success) then we are deciding that the results are not worth the sacrifice. Right? That’s pretty powerful if you sit and let it sink in. However, if we decide to push through the resistance and do what we planned on doing no matter what; (and this can seriously SUCK some days!) then we are making the decision to continue to fight for what we want to achieve irregardless of the struggle.
Now this part of the journey is actually another critical point that may seem uneventful; maybe even ‘boring’, but it’s going to make the most change of all. Doing what you said you’d do at the times when you don’t feel like it (or enter any excuses you’ve made here…no, they are not “reasons”) will actually be pushing your old bad habits further away. Imagine when you get up to do the workout or eat the meal when you could easily have passed it by because of your “excuses”; you are pushing through boundaries and setting a new “normal” for you to accept. This means that the next time an excuse pops up and you push forward again, you are quite literally, taking steps into unchartered and new success territories. Does that make sense? Because it’s kind of fabulous when you start to “get it” 😉
The last and most crucial next step in forming lifelong habits is in changing old, negative thought patterns about ourselves. Most of us don’t believe that we are “worth” the time, energy, money it takes for us to reach our ultimate goals. If we are constantly berating ourselves; telling ourselves we aren’t worth it, we don’t need it as much as we thought or worse yet; that we are “ugly, stupid, fat, etc”…these are POISON to our results. The negativity we may have learned over the years will keep us stuck in our miserable states because we believe that we are less than anyone else in our lives. This is CRAP and needs to end today! If you have issues that are deep rooted from childhood or past experiences, I suggest searching for a reputable therapist to help you get beyond those issues. If your issues are simply from habits that you’ve created, it’s time to change your mindset and surround yourself with positive people, books, audio and lessons to create a better quality of self-acceptance and love.
Knowing that when you put these practices into place, you will not only achieve new results..you will become obsessed with them because they feel fantastic! You are a beautiful, blessed and unique YOU and it’s time to take back your happiness and start to believe in yourself – once and for all. Do this, and the rest will start to fall into place. You will become the type of person whom you’ve always felt was “lucky” or “entitled”.