I don’t know if you are reading this while you are still lying cozy in bed, but either way, at some point today you have to throw off the covers and put one foot, then the other, down on the floor.
Sit there for a minute, that’s fine. Get your bearings, but don’t sit there too long.
Embrace your day, no matter what’s next.
You did the hardest part. You stopped hitting the snooze bar and actually got up.
When you wake up, don’t immediately think about work, or the kids, or going to the gym.
Just think about putting your feet on the floor.
Mastery is not easily achieved, is it?
We want to be really good at something, but rarely do we stick with it long enough to be really great at it, to master it.
When I was a kid my parents wanted me to play a musical instrument. I wanted to play the trumpet. For some reason the school band said I couldn’t, how about the trombone instead? I “played” it for awhile, hardly ever practicing, until for some crazy reason my parents let me drop it and play the clarinet. That lasted about 10 minutes too.
I regret not sticking with it long enough to get good at it. My sister is a wonderful pianist, and I can attest she put the hours and hours of practice in it took to get there.
Same thing with skiing and golf. To enjoy those, you have to practice. Otherwise you are just falling down hills and chasing little white balls into the woods and ponds.
When I was learning to ski, the instructor took me step-by-step. Learning to stop, learning to turn, learning to stay upright for more than 10 yards. He didn’t just put me on the black diamond and tell me to go for it. And golf? I got a free lesson from a pro at a driving range because he felt so bad for me. True Story.
Why do we think that creating new eating habits is any different?
You need a step-by-step approach here as well.
Find the low-hanging fruit first. What’s the one thing you can do that will make the biggest “change” impact.
For instance which one of these things would have the MOST impact on if you adopted it today?
Don’t choose all three, just pick one. There is no wrong or right answer, just your answer. Work on getting really good at the one before worrying about anything else.
Ask yourself these two questions.
Which one can I do?
Which one will I do?
And then get doing.
Need help? Stay tuned.
My partners over at Fitness Revolution (the reason I am in Kentucky a lot) tell what they are all about with this simple sentence…
“Fitness Is A Catalyst For Change.”
They know that being healthy and fit really does change lives.
That got me thinking about why we change.
What drives us to stop doing what we have been doing, turn around, and go completely the other way?
My journey from “fat to fit” begin with when my son Derek died.
That was a really big catalyst.
But I don’t think huge events or even tragedies in our lives are necessary.
Fitness Revolution knows that taking action, in this case pursuing fitness, will start creating the change we are looking for.
When we stop thinking about changing, planning to change, or maybe even convincing ourselves we can’t change and just start doing something, a funny thing happens.
Does a gratitude mindset really make that big of a difference.
I think we know in our hearts that it does, but science actually backs that up as well.
This video hit me hard. My mindset is in “future mode” so much I hardly ever even think about far I and we as a company have come.
In this video Mindvalley CEO Vishen Lakhiani talks about “The Gap”.
And it explains why so many of us never really find the joy in the journey I wrote about a few days ago.
The concept doesn’t just apply to entrepreneurs and visionaries, it applies to those of us whose “future” includes losing 30 or 40 pounds,or running that half-marathon, or getting that first chinup.
Watching this might be the most valuable 4 minutes you invest in yourself all week (month? year?)
You ever “not felt like it”?
Look at it this way.
You have a hole to dig, and for that task the appropriate tool to use is a shovel.
You would never ask “How do I get myself to feel like a person who uses a shovel?”*
That would be kind of silly.
You either pick it up and dig the hole, or you don’t.
Action always trumps feelings. Take action, and you will feel like it, not the other way around.
The reward is in the doing.
(* Thanks to Steve Chandler and his book “Time Warrior” for the inspiration.)
It has long been studied why Japanese students have long outscored American students when it comes to math. It must be the Japanese are just “smarter” or have better genetics for math, right?
It turns out is a matter of culture, not genetics.
Jim Stigler, professor of psychology at UCLA sums it up this way:
“For the most part in American culture, intellectual struggle in schoolchildren is seen as an indicator of weakness, while in Eastern cultures it is not only tolerated but is often used to measure emotional strength.”
As an example researcher gave first-grade students an impossible math problem.
The American students worked on it an average of less than 30 seconds.
The Japanese students? The researchers had to stop them after an hour of trying to solve it.
Did you get that?
These first-graders worked on the problem the whole hour before finally being told to stop.
Stigler: “Think about that [kind of behavior] spread over a lifetime. That’s a big difference.”
What would happen in your life if your effort trumped your ability? If even against impossible odds you kept persevering?
What couldn’t you do?
The best part of being on a team of coaches like I am at Get Fit NH is I get to learn from them too. Coach Meagan shared a quote last week that really resonated with me.
“If you focus on results you will never change. If you focus on change you will get results.”
To me it is another way of saying the joy is in the journey.
Focusing on the journey (necessary change) rather than the destination (results – which are always a moving target) is a far more pleasant way to live.
You can’t always control the outcome, so isn’t it better to focus on the change we can control anyway?
A tourist in Paris walked up to a construction site and asked one of the workers “What are you doing?”
The man, breathing heavy from his labor and covered in sweat sarcastically replied “I’m laying bricks, what does it look like?”
The tourist moved on and saw another man laying bricks and asked the same question. “What are you doing?”
“I” the man, also covered in sweat and dust, proudly replied, “I am building a Cathedral”
Two men, same task, totally different perspective.
Who would you want building your masterpiece?
The way you train, the way you eat, how much sleep you get. These actions all contribute one way or another to the masterpiece that is your body, your health and ultimately the way you are able to enjoy life.
When you miss a workout, you are delaying your masterpiece.
When you only get 5 hours a sleep a night because you are “too busy” you are delaying your masterpiece.
When you fill your body with sugar and alcohol, you are delaying your masterpiece.
It’s really all about perspective, about vision.
You can have the perspective of one who merely “lays bricks”, or you can have the vision of an artist, and create the life you want.
It’s up to you.
I can’t remember from whom I first heard it, but this axiom has stuck with me ever since.
“Saying ‘Yes’ to something means saying ‘no’ to something else.”
Saying ‘Yes’ to being on another board means saying ‘No’ to that evening with my wife.
Saying ‘Yes’ to that early morning political meeting means saying ‘No’ to breakfast with my girls.
Saying ‘Yes’ to taking another training course means saying ‘No’ to some needed down time.
Saying ‘Yes’ to hitting the snooze button (again) means saying ‘No’ to a much needed workout.
Saying ‘Yes’ to a glass of wine every night means saying ‘No’ to optimal fat loss.
Are any of those ‘Yes’ answers “wrong”?
It’s not a matter of right and wrong, it’s often a matter of better and best.
Can it can be flipped around too?
Does saying ‘Yes’ to more fruits and veggies mean saying ‘No’ to filling up with more bread and pasta?
Does saying ‘Yes’ to getting to training mean saying ‘No’ to the effects of disease and aging?
Does saying ‘Yes’ to talking a walk with your wife and kids mean saying ‘No’ to sitting on the couch (like I did for so many years) and staying fat and lazy?
Yes, or No?
Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?
Or was it the other way around?
Heck, I can’t remember, I’ll look it up later. 🙂
Seriously though, did you know there is a “brain” reason why we tend to procrastinate?
Why eating the doughnut right now is much more desirable than fitting into your wedding dress in 6 months?
The good news is there is way we can start to break that vicious cycle.