Enacting positive change in your health, well-being, lifestyle, relationships, career, performance, body composition and happiness is essentially what the majority of us pine for in our lives. The varying degree to which we achieve these changes are based on a number of factors but here are some dominant themes that seem to derail many;
Nature of our expectations......realistic vs unrealistic.
For example declaring your going to lose 50 lbs in 2 months and be shredded for your holidays as opposed to committing to working hard and consistently for 2 months and trying to feel better in yourself and your clothes. The audacious goal is set for crushing failure, the realistic goal will yield results and create a platform to progress even further. Set a realistic goal, with a simple straight forward plan and if you work hard and consistently it will yield positive results. 50% of your effort x3 times a week is better, than one off all guts and glory efforts ever-time there is a full moon.
Don't place yourself on a misery pedestal
You are doing positive things in your life and if it's going to be positive, you are going to have to be miserable to get there. The more arduous, painful, bleak and tortuous the path the greater the glory at the end. Similar to the "no pain, no gain" mantra but with the bonus of social exclusion(no going to parties, social gatherings, birthday parties) due to the potential exposure to unhealthy food, alcohol etc. 3 a day training sessions, low carb diets, alternate fasting, hardcore intensity 100% of the time , extreme transformation programmes, 100 miles a week running and trying to do all at once. The higher the volume the louder the results, that's the logic. Suffering is a badge of honour and a rights to passage. The major problem is that this a short term solution to a life long problem. Your reasons for engaging in these behaviours are to effect positive changes in your life, can suffering be your sustainable fuel source to keep them going for the rest of it ??? Getting great results and having fun while doing it should be intertwined. The more you enjoy something, the more likely you are to keep doing it and if this is having a positive influence of making you healthy and happier well then that's the golden ticket!
Soaking in the social sludge
"You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.' Jim Rohn . Just like your parents didn't want you hanging around with the kid on your street that liked to play with matches your social surroundings can either elevate you to be a better person or drag you down . Your parents don't make these calls for you anymore, you do! If you are trying to enact positive changes in your life and you encounter hostility, or subtle sabotage through condensation, lack of support or promoting unhealthy distractions continuously..... you need to evaluate whether this is a help or hindrance and make the decision that's best for you! Hanging around in the same circles because of habit, time, proximity, school, college etc regardless of the consequences is similar to saying you can't lose weight because you get handed a full Irish every morning in a Cafe you go to......go to a different Cafe! "Ah sure it's grand" Things being grand is OK but wouldn't it be better if they were great, try and surround yourself with people who make you feel great or help you achieve great things.
Lets meet Will Power...
Your relationship with willpower is more likely defined by its ability to deny you something you want or how it has let you down in the past . Both of these scenarios frame your will power in a negative light, as more of an adversary, a necessary evil than an ally, a friend or a support.
Think of willpower as your greatest ally, it only wants the very best for you, it's there to support/help you achieve the things you want in your life, it is compassionate, it understands your difficulties more than anyone and it wants to help you overcome them. When you start to redefine the role willpower plays in your life you can start to harness it as a tool to help you succeed.
A simple way to see the positive approach it can play is based on the outcomes of harnessing it .
"How great will I feel if I make my lunch x3 times this week and go to the gym x3 times? Willpower is going to give me a surge of motivation by reminding me of the great results to my health and wellness I'll get and ultimately how fantastic and proud I'll feel for making an effort"
Willpower is not about beating yourself with a stick but enabling you to get closer to where you want to be everyday .It's a lot more subtle and ever-present and easier than you think. 3 of the most helpful areas where willpower can help you:
Training consistency (Regular exercise)
Eating healthy consistency (A high percentage of your meals are healthy ones)
Preparation. Preparing to fit both training and consistent healthy eating into your daily regime ( can be as simple as preparing meals, scheduling your time wisely, encouraging those around you to engage in healthy habits and then feeding off their enthusiasm and encouragement)
When you feel like your wavering remind yourself of what willpower has helped you achieve (pass those exams, get that job, land that client, finish that project, win that game)
Some of the greatest times of your life are probably directly attributable to you using your will power. Don't forget it! The positive reinforcement and encouragement you need is inside you and always willing you on, its the most powerful friend you have........ use it!