The last time you shopped for a specific kind of car, you most likely did your research - you built out the car you wanted online with an assortment of options, took it for multiple test drives and then went to a bunch of dealerships to negotiate prices. Chances are, you probably also started to see the same exact model and make everywhere you went! It’s not that everyone just happened to buy the same car as you; it’s just that your specific car was at the forefront of your mind.
We’re flooded with sensory information every day whether it’s visual, auditory, or physical. To keep ourselves from going completely insane, we tune out almost 99.9999% of it. When you decide to set a goal, your brain has something new to focus on and you develop awareness to your surroundings concerning that goal. You can’t just think about it though; you have to write it down and put it in a place you can see every day. You need constant visual reminders; otherwise it’s too easy to gloss over.
I forget the exact percentage, but I read somewhere that the vast majority of what we do on a daily basis is completely based off of habits and behaviors. Take backing out of the driveway for example. As something we do every day, backing out of the driveway becomes habitual and something we don’t need to put a lot of thought into. However, we all remember first learning how to drive - when backing out of the driveway took all of our concentration. If everything we did in life required this type of active, conscious thinking, we probably wouldn’t get too much done.
Look at your goals. Now, look at your behaviors. Does your behavior match your goals? – Legendary strength coach, Dan John
In order to meet your goals and aspirations, you need to change your natural instincts and behaviors. It’s not as easy as it sounds. In my opinion, the single biggest reason most people fail at reaching their goals is because they try to change too many things at once and it becomes completely unrealistic and unmanageable.
At Achieve Fitness, in order to put our members in the best possible position to succeed, we use a strategy discussed in Darren Hardy’s book, The Compound Effect. Hardy states that small, manageable changes over time lead to incredible and radical results.
Crash diets are extremely difficult to adhere to because they don’t use small, manageable changes, but rather large, overwhelming ones. Sure, you might lose some weight on that kind of diet, but in the long term they don’t instill the behavioral changes you need to embrace a new lifestyle.
It’s the last week of January, and many of you may have given up on your New Year’s resolutions. Let’s start them back up again February 1st. Write down a clear goal and put it somewhere you can see everyday. Let’s say your goal is to lose 15lbs by Memorial Day weekend.
Start small. Maybe pour half as much sugar in your morning coffee this week or maybe switch up your cereal (yes, even the Kashi, high fiber kind) in favor of a healthier option like an omelet or oatmeal. The following week you can build upon the successful changes you made to your diet by substituting your snack of pretzels during the day to a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts, or by having one chocolate square after dinner instead of three. The week after you can enlist the help of a trainer to start you on a progressive weight training regimen.
The point is, don’t sprint out of the gate. There’s a very small population of people that can sprint all the way to the finish line, but we’ve found that when given simple, actionable steps to follow, most people have a much easier time of achieving their goals.