The secret to long term success is CONSISTENT habits designed to make failure a THING OF THE PAST 🙌
How’s your fitness regime going?
If you’re one of 95% of people whose diet fails, your answer is probably “not so well..!”
And you know what? That’s OK. Getting healthier is hard, and it’s not something that comes naturally to us.
So in this blog post we’re going to take a look at two things:
- Where it went wrong
- How to do it right
Here’s where people went wrong
Most people set themselves a goal then start aiming towards it.
But here’s the thing:
Humans find it difficult to achieve their goals without a plan in place.
Distractions in our environment, unexpected interruptions, and many other things make it easy to get pulled off track.
Without building the right systems and habits, you end up relying on willpower when faced with these things. And we hate to say so, but this sets you up for failure.
Succeed by changing your environment
Take a look at this situation and ask yourself: Does this feel familiar?
- You decide you want to eat healthier
- You buy a bunch of healthy food and put it in the fridge
- You have a long day, dinner rolls around, you open the fridge, then reach past the fresh veggies and straight for the comfort food
Then instead of eating healthy and feeling good, you end up feeling frustrated and disappointed.
Ask yourself, truthfully. Does this feel familiar?
This is why willpower is bunk
Although willpower can get you through in the short term, its main role is getting you through when your systems and environment aren’t set up to help you succeed.
In this situation you have to will yourself to act, and each time you do this, it’s draining.
Summoning that will once is easy.
Summoning it a handful of times? Harder.
Summoning it every day for the rest of your life?
Let’s face it: That’s impossible.
Removing willpower from the equation and setting yourself up to succeed is the best way to achieve results.
Make good habits EASIER
If you sculpt your environment so it’s easy to build habits, you don’t need willpower. And to prove it, let’s take a look at an example.
Say you want to exercise first thing each morning.
Put your alarm out of reach, forcing yourself to get out of bed before you can press snooze 7 times or turn it off completely.
You could even go a step further and fold your exercise clothes the night before and put them next to your alarm.
If you work out at home, have the exercise area prepared and ready to go the night before, too. You’re into yoga? Unroll the mat and leave your yoga trousers on top of it. Prefer jogging? Put your running shoes and water flask at the foot of your bed.
Your goal here is to remove every single obstacle in your way
Sure, crawling back into a warm and cosy bed for another 30 minutes will feel good.
But look back on it later that day, and you’ll feel like 💩
And always remember that rewarding your good habits is a great way to stay on track. Promising yourself a cup of coffee after your morning exercise is one nice way you can reinforce positive behaviours.
You’re in the driving seat
Read that again: You are in the driving seat.
No one else. Not us, not your gym buddy, not your partner. You.
And maybe you’re thinking, “well I’ve failed before so what does that say about me?”
If so, do yourself a favour and drop that line of questioning. Ask this instead:
Why did you fail?
Let’s take a step back. Put yourself in the shoes of your future self. Imagine you’re six months down the road and you’ve failed in meeting your goals.
Then ask yourself: Why did I fail?
Work through every situation you can imagine. “I failed because I don’t know any good healthy recipes.” “I failed because the lettuce had gone brown.” “I failed because a friend invited me out to dinner.”
Explore these questions without judgement: You’re just looking to find as many of the things that might trip you up as possible.
And for each one, you’re going to put a fix in place before it happens. This way whenever life throws an unexpected situation or some other curveball your way, you’re ready.
Use this formula: If not x, then y.
You got disheartened because you don’t know any good healthy recipes? Then buy a healthy cookbook now and pick out a few you’re excited to try.
You didn’t want to eat the lettuce because it was brown? Pick up fresh lettuce from the store each day instead.
Your friend invited you out to dinner and you got a pizza? Prepare a list of local restaurants with healthy options on the menu that align with your eating plan.
Combine these things and you’ll be on your way to success
An environment that’s conducive to habits, an understanding of hurdles you might encounter, and a pre-prepared list of potential solutions: These three things will get you closer to your goal than willpower ever could.
Over time you’ll instil positive habits and tailor your environment to help you solidify them.
It will be easier to be consistent than to avoid the things you want to be doing.
And as a result, you’ll be progressing every day. Before you know it you’ll hit your initial goal. Then, you’ll keep going.
Just do it
There’s a reason Nike only has three words in their company motto.
Your goal is just a point on a line, and the way you move along that line is simple: By doing.
Your goal is important, sure, but the act of doing is what will get you closer to it.
Focus on the goal and you’ll feel frustrated when you don’t get there, then rudderless afterwards.
Focus on the process, and on building consistent habits to help you keep doing it, and you’ll find yourself reaching your goal in no time.
To help super drive this, stack good habits one on top of the other.
Then, once you’ve reached it you’ll keep on improving. Your habits will be stronger, your process will be tighter, and you’ll continue to smash it.