Summary: Don’t be discouraged by your previous failures and just break the pattern. Now!!
This post was inspired by three colleagues of mine who I had an opportunity to see this weekend during our company’s Christmas do.
- The first one asked me how my training was going. I responded factually by stating how many km I ran, cycled and swam this week, which provoked a reaction of ‘I really should start running as well, but…’. Let’s ignore the unnecessary activity of comparing themselves to my training regime / routine, which is beyond the ordinary ‘keeping fit’.
- The second person joked about what I’m going to be doing the day after the Christmas party and, again, my answer was factually correct, if pretty boring: ‘I’m not drinking and I will go to the hotel gym before 6 AM to do a workout with available weights’. The response was ‘I keep promising myself that I’ll start exercising, but then I’m just not strong enough to follow through on the promise’. Promise to themselves, might I add.
- The third person was Angela, who you can follow on Twitter (@coxange78, can only recommend it, powerful stuff!). She turned her life around this year and lost more than 30 kg, committed to healthy living and has never before felt as good as she does now. In one of her vlogs on YouTube she outlines that all her life she’s been yo-yo-ing until this year came about and she cannot imagine going back to the previous lifestyle / eating habits / lack of exercise. And I’m 100% sure that she won’t go back to it, regardless of the previous yo-yoing,
Angela’s example is key to this post, as it portrays a simple, yet powerful message: you have the ability to break your patterns. Just because you’ve been a prisoner of certain habits or a specific lifestyle doesn’t mean that you’re going to stay incarcerated by them for the rest of your life. You’ve been promising yourself that you’ll start exercising? Don’t get discouraged by the fact that it hasn’t worked so far and keep your promise to yourself this time. Focus on your long-term goals. Invest in new gear to try out during your workouts. Build a support network around you that will help & apply peer pressure at the same time. And portray the lifestyle that you think is valuable in the long term. Angela’s example will be back on ironconsultant.com very soon as a case study, where I’ll be showing you the 6 elements of maintaining a high level of motivation.
One word of caution on first person’s approach of comparing herself to people on a completely different level then her. In my opinion, ‘role-models’ are beneficial, as long as you treat them in a constructive way – learn from them or use their example to find new energy to keep going, essentially still keeping the responsibility for your own growth, though. The problem emerges when you’re at the beginning of your journey and you start seriously comparing yourself to them, as it might lead to a detrimental spiralling down the rabbit hole of self-depreciation. Hey, you first have to choose the direction in which you’ll be walking, then learn how to walk, step-by-step, and eventually you will start jogging and then running in that direction. Your role-models have most likely been ‘running’ for a long time and comparing yourself to them is just not appropriate and disadvantageous. Use your inspirations wisely, that’s key to a healthy relationship with them.
There’s never been a better moment to change your life. Or if you want to turn this statement around – there won’t ever be a good time. It’s what we as consultants hear way too often – ‘oh, we’d love to change this, but it’s really not the best time with all that’s going on’, ‘how about we wait until after the bank holiday’, ‘maybe we should give this a few months before we begin, maybe the timing will be better then’. Here’s the truth of the matter: something will always ‘be’ in your way, if you’re determined to find something to ‘be’ in your way. I put ‘be’ in inverted commas, as that obstacle is just not really there in most cases. It will most likely be a mask for something else, like clinging onto the old, fear, lack of a vision, lack of a final decision to change etc. The sooner you realise that this is your moment, the less time you’ll waste hesitating.
Just go for it. Do it. Regardless of how many times you have failed in the past. Be faster than your excuses. Be like Angela. There’s never been a better moment to change your life.
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Stay healthy and awesome!