So you have decided that you want to drop some extra pounds. You joined a gym, set some goals, and you are pumped and motivated…for all of 10 mins…then the reality of what lies ahead settles in. You know you are going to have to make some changes, but you aren’t exactly sure how. You read some books, talked to friends, and looked online to get some ideas. You think you know how to do it, but you aren’t all that confident that you can follow through. Well, today’s article is for you, and it may not be what your expecting.
The Goal IS NOT really the GOAL
The truth is that the HOW of losing weight and shedding some extra pounds is no secret, and I don’t care what fitness guru you talk to, what your mother says, or whoever the hell tells you that there is some new magical way to do something that people have been doing for years. What they don’t tell you is that you may not be cut out for it…or at least not yet.
Before you start hitting the gym, logging your food, and grocery shopping with the goal of losing weight and shedding fat, I need you to have a shift in perspective and aim your sights on a new goal–and that is to the develop the skill of self control, discipline, and willpower.
Without a strong cultivation of this skill you will be susceptible to burn out and lack of motivation–which will eventually leave you overwhelmed and back to square one.
Cultivating Self Control
To begin the process of creating a robust muscle of self control, you need to set parameters around what a “successful action” is. Often times, newly invigorated trainees set their expectations way too high. The set the goals of going to the gym five times a week, eating only fruits, vegetables, and protein, and preparing every meal–all of this coming from someone that has not been to the gym once in the past three months and usually orders takeout. The likely hood of this playing out the way they envisioned is slim to none; at least in my experience. So a new method of goal setting needs to be put in place to increase the likely hood of success, thus registering as a win for self control and increasing your ability to flex your willpower.
In the example stated above the new trainee set some expectations that are outside there level of discipline and self control. There are several actions that need to take place in order for those goals to be met, most of which a new trainee may not be equipped to handle; therefore, it stands to reason, that the expectations you set must be attainable given your current level of abilities.
SUCCESS–FIRST AND FOREMOST
Write this down and make it part of your mantra:
The successful completion of a task is MORE important, than the task itself.
Say that to yourself over and over until it sinks in. Soon enough we will discuss ideas around how to get from a size ten to a size six, or how to make your back HUGE, or how to squat two times your body weight, but for now your sole focus is the accumulation of “wins”–and in turn, the cultivation of your willpower and self discipline. This means you must reevaluate your expectations.
Am I Setting the Bar Low?
Whenever I tell people to redefine their expectations in order to be more in line with their current abilities, I inevitably get the question, “Aren’t we just setting the “bar” low?”, and my response to that is “NO!”. Think about this; to go from doing nothing to doing something is a 100% increase in productivity! Any business would be ecstatic about that increase in growth!
What you are doing, is you are keeping your focus on the achievement of the task at hand, and that is the accumulation of “wins”, or actions that move your closer to your goals. So if this means that the goal of going to the gym five times a week, needs to be reevaluated and altered to, LOOK at my schedule to identify the most optimal times for me to workout this week, then so be it. The parameters that define successful completion of this goal is to be disciplined enough to LOOK at my calendar and see what is feasible given my current obligations and mental resources.
Most people make the mistake of pursuing a goal without first understanding what makes the achievement of a goal possible. We act in ways that distract us from developing a unique set of skills and embracing our personal growth, because we are too busy chasing THE goal. The ability to exert self control and sustain a measure of self discipline plays a large part in the success of ANY endeavor, so to dismiss the significance and importance of such a skill is an oversight that can lead to the downfall of any worthy pursuit. So do not be disillusioned by your fantasies of making HUGE changes, that will inevitably lead to a nearly impossible task, instead keep your aim true and steadfast on developing the skills that can be applied to achievement of ANY goal.