How many times have you told yourself that you will start a new lifestyle tomorrow but couldn’t stick to it for more then a week?
Or maybe you told yourself that you will make changes to your diet and will cut down on sugar and processed foods, but as soon as you had one little setback you went back to your old bad habits?
The reason to this is not that you are not strong enough or not motivated enough. I am 100% confident that you do really want to make a change and be a better version of yourself. I am also 100% confident that you have everything it takes to do it.
What you are lacking, though, are those 5 essential points that draw a line between those who succeed, and those who fail.
1. Set A Clear And Detailed Goal
I know you have heard this a million times. Everyone will tell you to have your “why”.
But the reason everyone cannot shut up about this is because it is actually ESSENTIAL for real growth.
But you should not just have a very general goal like “I want to loose weight”, or “I want to gain muscles”. Get to the root of it.
Why do you want to loose weight?
How much weight do you want to loose?
How will it make you feel when you loose that weight?
How will you benefit from loosing that weight?
Sit down and write out your answers to those questions.
One time a man in his 40s reached out to me and asked if I can help him gain more muscles. When I asked him why he wants to gains muscles he said “I just do”. I didn’t like that answer. If you do anything just for the hell of it you will not stick. So I started digging deeper. When did you fist get the desire to grow muscle? What happened at that time that made you want it? What will change when you gain more muscles? How will that make you feel?
At some point he started to get frustrated with me. He just wanted me to give him a workout and a meal plan and here I am asking a bunch of questions that he doesn’t want to answer, or doesn’t even know how to answer them.
But, after digging deeper, I found out that he didn’t want to gain muscles just because, he wanted to gain muscles because his wife lost interest in him, his kinds did’t look up to him, and he felt like his marriage was falling apart. So he decided to work on himself and be a better man for his family. He wanted to be a better example for his kids, he wanted his wife to find him attractive again, he wanted to have more energy to work on his business so that he can afford a good vacation with his family.
When we found the real reason to why he wanted to gain muscles it became a lot easier to start and get going. We wrote down the answers to all those questions on the paper and he read them every single morning before starting his day.
Whenever he felt tired or not motivated to workout or make a healthy meal, he looked back at his answers and they reminded him why he started this new lifestyle and why it is essential for him to keep going.
When you clearly define your goal and the reason behind your goal, you have no choice but to succeed. You know exactly what you are doing and why you are doing it.
2. Make One Small Change At A Time
Now, I know this may be hard at the beginning. When I make a goal and get so hyped up about it, I just want to go all in. I want to go from 0 to 100 in a day.
But it doesn’t work like that. I learned it the hard way.
What works, thought, is making one small change at a time.
What I love doing is giving up one bad habit per week and replacing it with a good one. For example, if you like drinking sugary drinks like sodas or juices, during the first week of your big lifestyle change, all you will do is replace drinking sugary drinks with drinking water infused with real fruits. You will do that for a whole week without any “cheating”. If you cheat, you have to start over. Next week, you will keep doing this, and on top of it you will replace another bad habit with a good one. One week is just an example. If you feel like the challenge is bigger, you can take two weeks or even a month to master it before starting a new one. The goal is that you make one small change at a time, and that you really stick to that change. It has to become a part of you. You are not giving up soda for just a week or until you reach your goal weight, you are actually trying to get rid of that bad habit for life.
Now, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have soda ever again, but for a while, you have to stick to it. And in my experience, when you do actually stick to it, you don’t need that bad habit again. I don’t really drink soda anymore. Not because I don’t allow myself to, but because I no longer crave it like I did before. I didn’t just give it up to loose weight, I made a change and stuck with it to the point where I stopped thinking about sugary drinks. When I go out now, it is in my nature to ask for a glass of water with lemon instead of Coke (or even Diet Coke).
So, from now on, focus on small little lifestyle changes you can make one at a time, and not on a “quick fix” that will not stick for long.
3. Get Rid Of Things AND People That Will Pull You Back
First, go to your cabinet and throw away everything that will seduce you to quit.
Let’s just stick with the soda thing for the sake of this blog. If you want to replace this habit and stop drinking soda, then why do you even need to keep it in the fridge? Unless you are not actually serious about this and, subconsciously, you already know you will quit. Otherwise, get rid of it. It will only be a distraction.
If you live with other people and share the fridge with them, see if you can explain that you want to make this change and will appreciate their support with this. If they decline (which is totally fine as they don’t have a strong goal and a reason like you do), then have an alternative always ready for you. Have a glass of water infused with fruits already in the fridge so that when you want to grab that soda, you see a healthier alternative and remind yourself to drink that instead.
When it comes to people, it can be a little more complicated. But the thing is, when you decide to change yourself and your lifestyle, you slowly start outgrowing some people or you move in a different direction away from them. Because of that, some of them, even the once that love you, will get resistant. They will say that you’ve changed as if it’s a bad thing. They will say that you focus too much on your goal and don’t spend time with them anymore. Some may even start being mean to you.
All that happens because those people start to realize that you are getting better and more distant, while they stay the same. And if talking to them, encouraging them, motivating them no longer works, you have to let go. It is not your job to convince those people to live healthy. It is their job to want to grow. If they don’t, you can’t let them hold you back. This doesn’t mean you have to completely erase them from your life and never talk to them again. But you also can’t keep spending time with people who do not want whats best for you and do not support you. This will prevent you from growing.
Have you heard the saying “If you are the smartest person in the group, then you need a new group”? Surround yourself with people who are better then you. Who have already succeeded at the goal you are trying to pursue. Those people will not drag you down, they will motivate you to grow higher.
4. Prioritize What Really Matters And Do Just That
This kind of ties with the first point.
You have to understand what really matters and what is your priority at this time. And you understand that by having a clear goal, clear values, and clear reasons.
When you clearly know that your priority is to live a healthy lifestyle, you will have less problem choosing the right answer.
Should you got to the gym or to the bar?
Should you go out and get a burger or pack your own meal and look like a wierdo?
Should you have a pizza night with your buddies and have a good time or stay home to meal prep for the week and be judged?
Going to the bar sounds way more fun then doing cardio right now. Getting pizza sounds way less time consuming then hours of cooking. But guess what?! None of this will bring you anywhere closer to your goal!
Evaluate your options by asking this simple question: Will this get me any closer to my goal?
If the answer is “no”, you don’t do it.
5. Stay Patient!
I am sorry to tell you this, but success doesn’t happen over night. Success doesn’t even happen over week, a months, or even a year.
IT TAKES TIME!
It took you years to build those bad habits. You think you can get rid of them in a week?!
You will fail. You will get discouraged. You will want to quit.
But, as long as you get back up and keep working it doesn’t matter!
You are making a lifestyle change! A LIFESTYLE CHANGE! Therefore, it will take you a whole life to do it. Don’t expect anything less. Be patient with your progress. It is happening even if you do not see it yet. Be patient when you fail. It is just a lesson you need to learn in order to get better.
Once you make those 5 points a part of your growing process, I am confident in your ability to grow and be the best version of yourself. Even more, I am thrilled to see you do just that!