It’s no secret that as humans, we love shortcuts.
When we want something, we want it like yesterday already! We are impatient. Those extra kgs were SO 2016, right?
The problem is that sometimes we overlook what the requirements are in order to have something…
For example, if we want to become a lawyer or a swimming instructor or a professional golfer, we need to actually become that person. And it doesn’t just happen overnight. We need to have certain qualifications, skills, knowledge, and experience. We may also need to build up certain habits, attitudes, and even social circles.
Becoming a fit and healthy person is very much the same.
Who do you have to become?
If I think back 6 years ago to who I was before I lost more than 30kgs, I can barely recognise that person.
Sure, the physical transformation is dramatic (especially the hair!), but it pales in comparison to the mental transformation.
- I changed my attitude and outlook.
- I let go of my excuses and limiting beliefs.
- I chose new priorities.
- I developed new skill sets.
- I worked on my strengths and worked even harder on my weaknesses.
- I spent more time with people who I wanted to become like (and avoided the opposite).
- I built new habits.
- I created new rituals.
- I picked up new hobbies.
- I chose to new idols and role models.
- I studied new information.
- I ignited a new passion.
I started actually being a fit and healthy person. Not just a “wannabee”.
A fit and healthy person does what a fit and healthy person does consistently, day in and day out. Both in good times and in bad. They are professional.
The wannabee, on the otherhand, goes about it like an amateur. They do things inconsistently and haphazardly. They eat well and exercise when it’s convenient or when they feel motivated, but give up or hide away when the going gets tough.
The Eric that I was 6 years ago could never ever look and feel and perform like how I do right now. He didn’t have the right stuff.
No matter how badly younger Eric wanted to be fit and healthy and ripped, he would never ever be able to be that until he grew and developed himself. He needed to actually become that fit and healthy and ripped person on the inside before it manifested on the outside.
Zig Ziglar nailed it when he said: “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
If your goal is to be a fit and healthy person, you are going to need to grow in order to achieve that.
This is why I LOVE setting goals. They make you develop yourself because most goals simply cannot be achieved by who we are when we set them. I actually made a video about it the other day explaining a bit more.
Speaking of the video, right now, one of my personal goals is to become a good public speaker.
It’s something that has always absolutely terrified me and I’ve always run away from it. I still remember when I first started going to gym there were days where I was so anxious and nervous that I wouldn’t even make it past the reception front desk before turning tail and going home again.
I’ve come a long way since then, but still have a long way to go. But I AM on the right track. This is why I love speaking at the Sleekgeek Dinners. It terrifies the crap out of me, but it makes me grow.
I recognise that I cannot become a good public speaker overnight. Just like becoming that fit and healthy person, there are things that I need to do and become before I am a good public speaker. I need to develop new habits and skills. I need to put in the practice regularly and consistently. I need to make more videos and go out and speak to more people. I need to practice enunciation, projection, and vocal tonality. I need to become the kind of person that can stand in front of a large crowd of people and be comfortable enough to form coherent sentences.
I won’t get that by wishing and willing it to happen. I won’t get that by half-heartedly doing a few drills now and then. I need to work and practice it regularly and consistently. I have to grow as a person.
- Who do you have to become?
- How are your beliefs and attitudes stopping you from achieving your goals?
- How can you get out of your own way?
- What skills do you need to practice and develop?
- What habits do you need to build?
- Are your actions expressing your priorities?
Things before things.
Another way to think about this is “things before things”.
What things have to come before other things in order to enable things to occur?
For example, some people think that ALL they need is the perfect meal plan in order for weight loss success to occur.
- Maybe they need to learn how to plan a grocery shopping list so that their house is always well stocked with healthy, convenient, and tasty food?
- Maybe they need to learn how to navigate the shops to find healthy and nutrient-dense foods?
- Maybe they need to learn how to read food labels, identify buzzwords, and judge whether something is actually healthy or just being marketed as such to those who don’t know any better?
- Maybe they need to learn how to bargain hunt for the best foods at the lowest prices?
- Maybe they need to learn when to buy top of the range for quality and when they can afford to compromise for more affordable options?
- Maybe they need to learn where to find farmers markets, butchers, fishmongers, and things like eggs / milk / vegetables at wholesale prices?
- Maybe they need to learn how to store food properly so that it stays the freshest for the longest?
- Maybe they need to learn how to optimise their kitchen / home / work environment so that their default choices are healthier choices with minimal or no willpower involved?
- Maybe they need to learn how to easily create a well-balanced healthy meal around lean protein, colourful veggies, smart carb choices, and healthy fats?
- Maybe they need to learn how to plan a few days worth of meals ahead of time and make good use of left-overs to save time, effort and money?
- Maybe they need to learn different methods of cooking and how to use spices and herbs to create variety with minimal effort?
- Maybe they need to learn how to identify real hunger and appetite cues from things like thirst, boredom, stress, emotions, lack of sleep, and so on?
- Maybe they need to learn what appropriate portion sizes look like to meet their goals and daily energy requirements?
- Maybe they need to learn how to make better choices at restaurants or social events?
- Maybe they need to learn how to have only one block of chocolate and put the rest of it away for another day? (That’s totally a skill!)
- Maybe they need to learn how to pack healthy school and work lunch boxes?
- Or… maybe they just need a meal plan…?
I know what I’m willing to bet my money on if I was a betting man.
If you are struggling to reach your goals, it’s probably not because you suck or are useless. It’s more likely that you are missing a piece of the puzzle. You have a skills deficit. You are missing a thing before a thing.
Sit down and think for a moment if there are any pieces of the puzzle that are missing:
- Is something that you don’t know?
- Is something that you know, but don’t do?
- Is something that you do, but don’t do consistently?
- Is something that you do very well and consistently… to sabotage yourself?
- Is there a skill that you need to become better at?