I hear it all to often: “I really want to try your classes,” or “I really want to lose weight,” or my favourite “I really want to get stronger.” We likely have all said it at one time or another: I really want to ___________ fill in the blank. Do we just say it out of habit or to be kind to the person running the program in front of us (aka me). Because what I really want to reply is, “do you REALLY want it?” Do you want it more then you want that pizza on Friday night, or that sleep-in on Sunday morning? Do you want to sweat while the others sit on the couch? Do you want to make time? Do you want to do what it takes to make change? Do you?
See the difference I see that lies between those that succeed with change and those that don’t make and stick to change , is who wants it bad enough to do whatever it takes now, tomorrow, next week and next month. Creating habits takes discipline and will power. Discipline and will power are muscles. Muscles need to be worked consistently and constantly to get stronger. Once you are stronger change gets easier and becomes habit. This doesn’t take 1 hour or 10 days, sometimes it takes months and sometimes even longer.
Some people look at me and think “it’s easy for her to say, she has will power and strength and she is size 6 and fit.” Um, ya, this here, this is 15 years in the making. I didn’t start and change over night, and everyday is still a battle. Every single day still takes work. Has it gotten easier, damn yes. Is it easy, f*ck no. We all have our moments and our days. We all have our halloween chocolates, our lazy days and our lack of motivation. But what I am talking about is sticking to the plan, picking yourself up after you fall, and keeping your eyes on the prize. Never giving up.
So if you want change bad enough, how do you push through the hard parts, those first weeks of wanting it bad but struggling to stick to the plan? Here are some tips that I have found have helped me to create and stick to change:
1. Make a goal (small ones and big ones). If I am not working towards something then it’s hard to work. For whatever reason if I am just working on working out, then I’m not as motivated as if I am working on running a marathon. Your big goal might be to lose 10 pounds, your small goal might be to increase your water intake this week. Make them, write them down and read them daily.
2. Put reminders EVERYWHERE. A few years ago I was struggling with parenting. As a craft one day my son and I painted hearts and stuck them on doors and walls through out the house. This was our reminder that we always needed to choose love. I have since adopted this for my health and fitness journey. Some of my favourites are sticky notes with quotes on them, goals wrote in my daytime, photos on the mirror, and powerful words on the cupboard doors.
3. Strive for ALMOST perfect. This 100% black or white stuff, it’s bull shit. Ain’t no body perfect. And perfect ain’t healthy. Start with 70% compliment with the path to your goals and relax the other 30%. Move to 80 % as time goes along. Visit the new bakery. Sleep in and miss a workout. Be a rebel. Look for balance. And don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect.
4. Find support and tell the world. Accountability is key. When I post on Facebook that I am committing to writing a book, I am going to damn well do it. Because if I don’t I feel like it’s not just myself I am letting down but the 500 other people that congratulated me for jumping into this goal. The people I have in my online communities that share their goals, their struggles, their real lives, THOSE are the ones that end up getting the push and shove they need to get through the hard days.
So ask yourself today, “how badly do I want IT?” And if you want daily ice cream sundaes more then size 4 jeans, then GOOD FOR YOU. If you decide you want duvets and breakfast in bed more then early morning runs, then enjoy a little warmth for me. Embrace what you truly want, be honest with where you are and when you are ready (because it’s likely one day you may want change) I push you to want it so damn BAD that no other path is an option.