Think about a change in your life that you had success with or a skill that you have developed. Did it happen over night? Was it as easy as deciding that you were going to make the change? Most likely the answer is no! When you first started driving you didn’t jump on the highway and start going 90 mph. You probably drove through a parking lot, then a local road, and progressed to faster speeds on more complex roads. Now you can drive your car, drink your coffee, and talk on the phone without thinking about it (or at least you think you can). When applying a new life skill or making a change in your life, remember that it will take time. Break your long-term goals into smaller, attainable short-term goals. This will give you the opportunity to celebrate victories, stay on path, and continue to make progressive contributions to your overall goals.
Often times when we set out on our journey to improve our personal health we look to make a drastic change. Someone who has not worked out in three years decides that they are going to go to the gym 6 days a week and follow a strict workout plan that involves 90 minute workout sessions. Taking this large of a jump is ultimately setting ourselves up for failure. It is not a realistic plan of action that we can implement into our lives and sustain over a long period of time. So what happens? We go at it for a couple of weeks, realize that we are in over our heads, burn ourselves out, and at the first sign of failure we scrap the whole thing and go back to eating bonbons with half a dozen beers on the side.
It is important to note that taking a large jump may work for some people. There have been individuals that reach a turning point in their lives and decide they are going to dedicate themselves whole-heartedly to a goal and they end up having great success. Think smoker who gives up smoking cold-turkey when he has a child or overweight teen who gets fed up and is a bodybuilder in college. However, these empowered individuals are often the outliers or the minority. The majority of people seeking to make lifestyle change would benefit from making small, incremental steps that progress over a set period of time.
When it comes to making incremental progress, patience is key . Everyone wants to be at his or her goals but most people do not want to put in the time, effort, and work. Life is not as complex and complicated as we make it out to be. Output equals input. If you want something you have to want it bad enough that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Otherwise, you are selling yourself short and the outcome you acquire will not be what you desire.
Additionally, when you do what it takes to get what you want, it holds much greater value. When we tell ourselves that we just want “it” already we prevent ourselves from obtaining something that is meaningful. I just want to gain 15 pounds of muscle, I just want to drop two dress sizes, I just want to make my first million dollars. It may seem logical that if someone were to hand you whatever you desired on a silver platter you would be super happy and willing to accept. But when we don’t earn what we desire we miss a connection with whatever we obtain. Look at lottery winners who lose all their money or people who lose weight via surgery who gain the weight back. They lack a connection to the hard work, time, and effort put in to get the desired outcome.
Let’s sum this up. Project You is not going to happen overnight. Some days you are going to grow a lot, some a little, and some not at all. Keep making progress every single day. If you didn’t make any today, remember what you did yesterday and figure out how to make tomorrow better. Don’t complain, see yourself as a failure, and scrap the whole project. Be patient and use your “failures” as motivation to continue on your path to becoming the best version of you!
What do you do to reach your goals? We want to know! Leave a comment below!