Tell me if this sounds familiar to you at all:
You work REALLY hard for a couple of weeks with great eating, plenty of exercise, and Jedi-level self-discipline… and then NOTHING HAPPENS!???
And then, even worse, you feel so demoralised and frustrated that you say #$%!it, eat junk all weekend, and then have to guiltily pick yourself back up on Monday again.
First, if you struggle with one bad meal leading to another and another and another and another, then you NEED to read this!
Second, I want to paint a quick analogy to show you what this looks like from a different perspective.
I want a Lamborghini:
Imagine I said to you:
“I really really really really want a Lamborghini!
I’ve worked SO hard at earning more money and spending less money and I’m doing everything right… But after 2 weeks I still don’t have a Lamborghini yet!
Stuff this, I’m going to go and blow a bunch of my money to make myself feel better and just start again from scratch on Monday. New week, new me!”
It doesn’t matter how long I keep trying again and trying again and trying again. I could do this for the next 1,000 years and STILL not have a Lamborghini if I keep blowing all of my money and starting from scratch every 2 weeks.
Thankfully, all is not lost. While working towards this goal, I might have learned a whole bunch of things like the basics of finances, budgeting, saving, investing, getting financial advice, ways to bring in a side income, ways to get a raise, ways to be a bit more frugal with my spending, etc.
These are all valuable and vital skills in my journey towards having enough money to buy a Lamborghini and they WILL help me get there.
But, I need to give them a chance to work.
- Maybe I need to practice these skills more consistently rather than sporadically or only when it’s convenient.
- Maybe I need to practice these skills more frequently, like every single day.
- Maybe I need to stop finding ways to sabotage myself, consciously or unconsciously.
We’re playing the long game:
What you eat (both good and bad) has an effect on your body that lasts for WEEKS.
This means that good choices can take time to come into effect, and bad choices can haunt us for weeks on end too.
The foods we eat and the actions that we take have a significant impact on our hormones, neurochemistry, taste buds, gut bacteria, genetics, metabolism, and so much more.
These don’t just reset to default settings when Monday morning rolls around and we decide to start again after a weekend binge. Every choice that we make when it comes to food and drink and sleep and stress and exercise and all of those kinds of things are nudging us in one direction or another, like some big game of tug of war.
When it comes to health and fitness, we are playing the long game.
I’ve gone through periods of MONTHS where there hasn’t been any progress at all, but I’ve always known that I was on the right track and just needed to keep grinding and PUSHing. (P.U.S.H. – Persist Until Something Happens).
- My desire for my goal was far greater than my desire for a binge.
- My desire for my goal was far greater than my desire for a lazy day in bed instead of at the gym.
- My desire for my goal was far greater than my desire for a late night on my phone.
I don’t like to rely on motivation too often because I do think that willpower and motivation is limited. But in the times when a bit of motivation is required, I like to think of it as bravery. Like charging into battle even though I’m afraid. My desire to fight for my health is greater than any possible fear or alternative desire.
There is an excellent quote from Game of Thrones where Robb Stark is giving a speech in honour of his late father and he says: “I didn’t believe him. I asked him, ‘How can a man be brave if he’s afraid?’… ‘That is the only time a man can be brave,’ he said.”
Edit: Shortly after publishing this article I came across a great piece of advice from Christopher Sommer to Tim Ferris in the Tools of Titans book and thought it fitted in perfectly with this posts theme:
“Dealing with temporary frustration of not making progress is an integral part of the path towards excellence. In fact, it is essential and something every single elite athlete has had to learn to deal with. If the pursuit of excellence was easy, everyone would do it. In fact, this impatience in dealing with frustration is the primary reason most people fail to achieve their goals. Unreasonable expectations timewise, resulting in unnecessary frustration, due to a perceived feeling of failure. Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process.“
You haven’t come this far to only come this far!
I know slow or no results is frustrating, but you need to play the long game and keep on PUSHing.
Every time you start to feel frustrated and like giving up, I want you to imagine yourself ripping up big wads of cash that you’ve worked so hard to earn and save.
You haven’t come this far to only come this far. Don’t throw it all away!
If you want a bit more motivation, check out this blog post about the man on top of the mountain and how you won’t “get there” by accident.