Stop Getting in Your Own Way: A 7-Step Guide to Success
We’re professionals at breaking resolutions and sabotaging ourselves, so how can we stop that cycle and actually stick to our goals?
“If the decisions you make about where you invest your blood, sweat, and tears are not consistent with the person you aspire to be, you’ll never become that person.”—Clayton Christensen
With only 8% of Americans accomplishing their New Year’s resolutions, it’s no shocker that we’re terrible at sticking to our goals, but why is that the case? Is it that we simply lack the willpower? Or that our goals are too lofty? Or that we simply make excuses for ourselves day in and day out? Well, it’s a bit of all of those, but the biggest one is: We just don’t know how.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we don’t know what we need to do, I’m saying that we don’t know how to succeed. Most people that are trying to lose weight have tried and failed many times. Or they’ve tried, succeeded, relapsed, and then put the weight back on. The question is now, how do we stop that cycle? It’s no longer time for juice cleanses or detoxes, wild diets or new gym memberships. It’s time for some introspection.
You deserve to be healthy, happy, and successful. And you can do it. It’s time to start making changes on a different scale.
- Brace yourself for discomfort.
As humans we love to be comfortable. It’s part of our natural, instinctual behavior, and we’ll do almost anything to keep it that way. We’ll often deal with habits that perpetuate misery in order to remain in our comfort zone. A quote from one of my favorite authors, Brené Brown, is “Lean into the discomfort.” Embrace that discomfort! It means change is in the works! Change isn’t something that comes easy. It takes recognition, altering behaviors, and putting yourself into a position of discomfort. You’ll never be able to change your life for the better by continuing to do what you’ve always done.
- Quit comparing yourself.
I’ve worked with hundreds of clients during my time as a trainer. Too many times I’ve talked to clients after their first day (or first month or first year) to ask them how they felt in the workout. Their responses broke my heart. I got a lot of, “Well, I just couldn’t keep up,” or “I can’t even do it all,” or “Ugh, this person is so much better than me.” Guess what? It doesn’t matter. It’s natural to have good days and bad days. Even on the good days, there’s always going to be someone better, bigger, stronger, skinnier, faster, prettier, more successful than you. But you can get there. There isn’t a cap on success. There aren’t limits to what you can achieve. Please don’t compare your day 1 to someone else’s day 1,001. You’ll get there in time if you keep that goal on the forefront of your mind.
- Overcome self-doubt and fear.
Fear and insecurity too prevalently rule our lives. We’re scared of sharing our goals with the world for fear of disappointing those around us. We fear we’ll disappoint ourselves, or that we won’t measure up to our expectations. It’s time to banish those fears and embrace yourself. You are going to do what you can, and you are going to believe in yourself. There’s a classic Buddha quote that reads, “The mind is everything. What you think, you become.” Become successful, become healthier, become happier, and stop doubting what you can accomplish.
- Don’t make it harder than it has to be.
Remove temptations as much as you possibly can. If you’re trying to eliminate sugar from your diet, then don’t keep treats stocked up in your pantry or have a carton of your favorite ice cream in the freezer. Get those temptations out of sight! There’s no need to put yourself in a position to face the ultimate test of willpower. Throw out food (GASP! Yes, I really just said that) that you don’t want to consume. After all, vegetarians don’t keep a freezer full of meat they never intend to eat.
- Stop questioning yourself.
I have a theory that the question “Is it worth it?” ruins lives every day. Yet we ask ourselves that question all the time, “Is it worth it to go back to school?” or “Is it worth it to sacrifice the time to work out?” or “Is it worth it to stop smoking?” Replace “Is it worth it?” with these two questions:
- Do I want to do it? (Or do I want the results of doing it?)
- How can I make it happen?If there’s something that you want, do it. If there’s something you want to change, start working toward that goal today. There will never be the perfect moment to start anything. There’s only right now. Today is the best day you could ever start, so stop waiting for Monday or the first of January, because NOW is the time.
- Build a support system.
I don’t care if you think you have more willpower than a stubborn elephant. Get a support system and do it now. It could be one person or a community full of people, but make sure you tell them what you’re doing and what you need from them. A recent study actually showed that sharing your journey with other people was the number one predictor for success. Going through your journey with someone else you trust and respect can make the difference between falling and doing more than you ever thought was possible. Now is not the time to be prideful. It’s time to rely on others and let them hold you up on the really hard days.
- Fully Commit
If anything in life is worth doing, then it’s worth doing all the way. There’s no half-in, partially committed, or testing the waters. Clayton Christensen put it beautifully when he said, “You can talk all you want about having a clear purpose and strategy for your life, but ultimately this means nothing if you are not investing the resources you have in a way that is consistent with your strategy. In the end, a strategy is nothing but good intentions unless it’s effectively implemented.” So establish your purpose, your strategy, and then invest all of your resources into your plan. It’s as simple as that (although it’s easier said than done).
- Brace yourself for discomfort.
No one ever said change was easy, but if it’s something you truly want, it’ll be worth it.
Good luck and stay fit!
iFit Head Trainer
WARNING: This post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. iFit assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.