You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started if you want to be great.
Most of us know what we need to do in order to be healthy, fit, loving, rich and well-rested. After all, every day there is a new list published somewhere on “The top 10 things rich people do every day” or “The 5 best exercises to get you into the best shape of your life”.
The problem is that knowing and doing are two different things.
We know we should eat less sugar, exercise more, communicate better, spend less money, and get enough sleep. Most of us even know exactly how to do it…
But, we also know that there are 50 million other things we should be doing too!
We spend ages trying to figure it all out and then often end up doing nothing at all. It’s called Analysis Paralysis and it’s holding you back.
Solution: Stop stockpiling information.
So how about, instead of stockpiling all this information and lists of things you should do – here’s a crazy idea: What if you just got started right now?
There is a lot of wisdom in the Chinese Proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
So, here’s what you do: Instead of waiting, wishing, searching, and coming up with excuses, I want you to take one step forwards. Only one! Once you’ve taken that step, you can then decide on the next step. But don’t get ahead of yourself! That’s a decision for another day.
Over the next few days, weeks, months, and years you will inevitably find yourself stuck and unsure what to do next. Whenever this happens, try to stop thinking about all the hundreds of things you need to do in the future to achieve what you want to achieve and rather focus on what you can do today.
No matter who you are or what your goal is, there will always be at least one step that you can take today that will make you a bit better tomorrow. Like…
- Eating a brightly coloured vegetable.
- Going for a 10-minute walk.
- Opening a savings account.
- Writing a thank you letter to someone important to you.
- Or just trying to get into bed 30 minutes earlier than normal.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the tiniest baby step or a less than perfect step because something is better than nothing. And the cool thing is that even the smallest seemingly insignificant actions done consistently over a long period of time really add up. Far more than inaction and indecision ever will.
James Clear writes about how coach Dave Brailsford improved every tiny thing by 1% in Britain’s professional cycling team and helped them win the Tour de France for the first time ever in Brittish history and then continued to dominate the Olympics by winning 70% of the gold medals available.
Remember: Consistency beats perfection.
What’s better? Eating vegetables with dinner every night for a year, or eating vegetables with every single meal but then crashing and burning after a week?
Ask the world’s most successful people in any industry – whether it’s health and fitness, entrepreneurship, music, rugby, or writing – the most common piece of advice they will give you is to be consistent.
You need to show up, and then you need to keep showing up. Again, and again, and again.
The easiest way to improve consistency is to break your actions down into more manageable chunks.
- Do you think you can exercise for 60 minutes, 5 days a week, for the next 3 months?
- No? You’re right, that’s pretty daunting. Ok, how about 3 days a week?
- Maybe? What about 3 days a week for 30 minutes?
- Probably? Awesome! But what about 3 days a week for only 10 minutes?
- Definitely? Then that’s where we are going to start!
Start where you are 100% confident, then build on it.
Once you’ve achieved consistency for 1-2 weeks, your confidence will have increased and you can now take on something a bit harder. And so on and so forth.
Nothing succeeds quite like success.
What to do now:
- Spend 5-10 minutes setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based (SMART).
- Think about what the next step is you can take right now to get you even a fraction closer to your goal. Then take action.
- Build systems that help you achieve those goals (look for behaviours that lead to the goal outcome you want).
- Turn those behaviours into habits by doing them every single day, or at least as consistently and as often as possible.
- Make it easy. Like stupidly easy. Then track your progress and scale up when you feel ready to. Don’t rush or you just might trip.
- If you need inspiration, here are 4 quick things that you can do to improve your health today
- Or sign up for our 30-Day Health Habits Challenge where you will get 1 task to complete each day.
Have an awesome week!
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