I smack my lips together. I force a smile. Mmmmmm……this beat juice is……delicious…..
5 years ago, I bought a juicer.
I had watched a documentary about a guy who practically lived off of juice alone. And I was immediately sold.
Liquid gold, I thought.
THIS is what’s missing from my life!
I made crazy concoctions using aaallllll the vegetables that children deem “disgusting.”
And for 2 solid weeks, I convinced myself that…..seriously! The second you take a sip, you can just feeeeel the nutrients hitting your cells.
My enthusiasm faded.
And 2 years later, I discovered the juicer at the back of my cupboard.
The second I saw it, guilt washed over me.
Oh ya. That thing! Jesus. I should really use it.
I pulled it out, and got back into the routine for a solid 7 days.
Then hopped off the train again.
The juicer effect
THIS? Is the juicer effect. The experience of letting guilt drive your behaviour.
And ANY time you do that? The behaviour dies a (not so) slow death.
And I mean come on. We all have a “juicer” in our lives. And no, I don’t mean Brad Pitt in Fight Club…..ladies….(hayo!)
I mean the thing you’re doing, because you feel guilty NOT doing it.
Most often, this appears in the form of exercise.
“OK, ok, ok. I’m having this LAST sprinkle donut, and then it’s GO TIME. For real. I’m doing this.”
You buckle down hard. For a bit. But then the second those cringy, uncomfortable, guilty feelings start to fade?
You go back to being the “real you.” The default setting. The person you believe yourself to be, deep down inside. Even if the person you believe yourself to be, isn’t so hot.
Because it is our BELIEFS that determine our actions….and it is our actions that make up the screenplay of our lives.
And let’s be real. Our willpower will only ever last as long as it takes our pain….our guilt….to ware off.
It’s like holding your breath under water. Your true self is bound to surface. It must.
And your true self? Is who you believe yourself to be.
It’s like the guy who practically aced his SAT test, after goofing off and skipping class his whole life.
“Huh….I guess I’m smart.”
He starts putting in the work, gets his MBA, and becomes a billionaire.
Years later, he’s told he was given the wrong score. It was actually way lower.
But who cares?! He believed himself to be “the smart guy.” And he changed his actions to reflect that belief.
If you’re telling yourself, “I’m lazy.” “I’m not good enough.” “I’m unloveable.” “I’m not smart enough…..” Guess what? You start acting (even subconsciously!) in ways to support those beliefs.
You wanna be a better version of yourself? Good! Me too!
Do a little digging, and check out what you BELIEVE to be true about yourself.
But how do we “get at” our true selves?
Strip it Down
You wanna get at your belief system? You’re gonna need to strip it down, baby.
And I mean like……the equivalent of taking off alllll your make-up, and letting your hair down, wild and loose.
Who is THAT person?
Ask yourself. What do I believe about myself?
And don’t just go with….I’m a mother….a baker….a candlestick maker.
Wring that lemon OUT, and get to the good stuff.
It takes a bit of willingness to get raw and real.
But once you peek behind the curtains of who you SAY you are……that’s when the magic happens.
Do some journalling. Create stillness. Get outside. Listen to the breeze. Go for a walk. Stop multi-tasking for like…..20 mins.
My trick for digging deep? Have a creepy conversation with yourself. I do this all the time. I talk to myself in the car. Or when I go for a walk. And I legit put words to my thoughts. Out loud. Like a crazy person.
It’s like….the difference between THINKING “I love you,” and SAYING “I love you.” It means something totally different in your head, than it does out loud. So speak the truth, darling. It might sound different than it does in the echoes of your mind.
Build it up
OK, you’ve got a better idea of who you BELIEVE yourself to be. Now what?
HERE is where you define who it is you WANT to be. And this? This! Is equivalent to getting behind the wheel.
None of this “I’m a juicer” bullshit. That ain’t you! And you know it!
Once you start getting clear on where it is you want to go, your actions, your motivations, are less likely to be jerked around by guilt, and other hoodlum emotions like anxiety, and fear.
Do the same zen-ing out steps you did to find clarity on who it is you believe yourself to be, and start visualizing an upgraded, first-class version of yourself.
Like, the version of yourself that would be played in a movie-version of your life.
But don’t just do it once. Come on. You love re-runs. I know you do.
Re-run the shit out of your vision. Journal about it every morning. And tell other people where you’re headed.
THAT is how you start making those new beliefs, a little more…..true, real, and engrained. You’ve gotta do a little mind gardening, and plant that seed. On purpose.
Last step in this 1-2-3 cha-cha? Give your brain proof that you’re smart enough to ace your own SAT test.
Set yourself up with new experiences in order to prove that…..hey…..I AM the person I want to become…..just a few paces behind.
Sure, maybe you’re not rockin’ a six-pack….but you’re someone who works out on the regular.
Maybe you’re not a NY Times Bestselling author…..but you write a blog post. Every. Fucking. Sunday. Ahem.
Take action as a means towards a goal
Get behind your success by tackling what is motivating your behaviour. Beliefs about who we are can hold us back….or propel us forward. And REAL progress….REAL steps forward will hinge on your ability to take action as a means towards a goal….rather than a means to avoid pain.
Stop the juicer effect in it’s tracks, baby.
Unless you love sipping brussels sprouts. No judgement.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve liked my music loud. Extremely loud. In fact, I once went to a concert, and couldn’t resist standing anywhere other than right beside the speaker. I had temporary hearing loss for 24 hours. But still. It was SO worth it.
I love to feel the beat. Music moves my soul.
And if you’ve ever been in a car with me…..or cooked with me…..or had a shower with me (ok, that’s a very short list of people, but still)….you know, I like it cranked the fuck up.
My love of music is deeply ingrained.
And I blame my father.
When I was little, we would have Sunday morning dance parties, and he would turn the volume to the max on our 3 ft. high living room speakers. Robert Palmer. Phil Collins. Elton John. Aerosmith. The soundtrack of my childhood.
Music is the ultimate form of expression for me. I make it. I move to it. And I listen to it to pump myself up, wind myself down……get myself in a hot-and-bothered mood, or to act as the catalyst for my tears.
When I find a song I like, I listen to it 100 times over. Also? If you want to know the ultimate form of torture for me, it would be to force me to listen to a good song….then require me to not move a muscle.
I like my music the way I like many things in my life. Extreme.
But even so. I never start at max volume. You ever sit down in a car, turn it on, and get blasted by the unexpectedly loud tune-age? Ya. Not fun. And likely, it just made you pee in your pants just a little.
Extreme is amazing. But it’s something you build up to.
And sometimes, in life, we are so tempted to go extreme, right out of the gate.
You ever have an epiphany? A sudden jolt? A realization that if you continue down the path you’re walking on….you’re never going to become the person you want to become?
This place of dire-ness. Desperation. And critical clarity. It is the very birthplace of motivation.
But it never lasts.
Because that parched feeling. That need to change. It can be pushed down. And brushed aside. Especially when you’re tired. Or you’ve had a bad day. And Ben and Jerry’s just this once is what you deserve.
You want motivation to last?
Move forward. Then give it a chance.
You know those kind of people who chase shiny objects? Ya. Don’t be one of them.
In order to stay motivated, you’ve got to give yourself a chance. And I mean like…..6 months. Not just a couple of weeks.
Stay the course.
So many people dive in, realize how hard it is to keep going, then give up. Shit is hard. Yes it is.
Pick your destination, then drive. Move. Go forward. No matter what.
Don’t convince yourself that you need to “get your ducks in a row” first. Fuck the ducks.
Take action, and keep moving.
Turn up the volume. Slowly.
Also don’t be one of those people who goes from zero to sixty right away…then burns out.
Focus on building momentum.
With any new endeavour, we all feel like we suck. There’s a huge amount of imposter syndrome. And there’s always a certain level of embarrassment with learning something new.
But all experts started out as beginners. And you have to be willing to go through that learning curve.
Don’t get all “full-costume, lights, camera, action” right away.
Add new skills. One on top of the other. And build your confidence, one brick at a time.
Be willing to “be the amateur.” And don’t expect perfection. Or overnight success.
You want it? Put on your patience hat, missy. You’ll ride that bike down the hill. And guess what? You’ll get faster and faster the further you go.
Have a (snow)ball.
Motivation is a desire to do something. A desire. And if you’re waiting to like the thing that is hard to do….think again.
Instead, allow yourself to fall in love with the results. And let that fuel your fire.
In chasing every dream. Every goal. Every personal best. There comes a critical turning point, when you start experiencing success. You see little victories. And you start winning.
THAT is when the snowball you are building really starts to form. Because then, and only then, will your motivation become self-fulfilling, and sustainable.
But don’t make the mistake in thinking that once you make a snowball, you can stop pushing. That snowball has endless potential. And if you keep moving, it will keep getting bigger. There is no end. There is no finish. There is no done.
So please. Feel free to live an extreme life. I’m in full support of going big, or going home. But ease into it. So that you don’t just do the “going home” part, and forget about the “big” part.
Now, excuse me while I hit “post,” finish my coffee, and hop in the car. I’m in a fabulous mood. And I have some serious steering wheel drumming to get to. Yes I am that person. And I can’t wait to pull up next to you at a stoplight.
As the story goes, cows are cowards. They sense a storm coming, and they start running the other way. They plod along in vain, trying to outrun the rain. And wouldn’t you know it? They get drenched anyways.
Bison on the other hand, are wicked smart. They sense a storm coming, and they run right into it. As the storm passes, they make their way to the other side in record time. They see what’s coming. And they go towards it. Head on.
Whether it’s true or not, the analogy of facing our problems, is sound advice.
But how do we do it, in practice? How do we turn towards the dark clouds, with open arms…..when every part of our lizard brains is telling us to run the other direction?
You want my advice?
Learn to manage your emotions.
It’s about keeping fear in check. And not letting our minds run wild with “what if.”
Just the other day, I was talking to a girlfriend of mine, and she confessed that she was a “scale-watcher.”
She said that she was obsessed with the number on the scale lately, and that it was starting to feel unhealthy.
“I get it,” I said. Just this morning, I thought to myself…. “hmmm…..are my pants fitting a little tight? Did they just come out of the dryer? No they didn’t. Holy shit. Don’t tell me. Don’t even fucking tell me.”
For women especially, health is incredibly emotional. And the tiniest change in the wrong direction can throw us right off.
Our body image is tied to our self-worth, in a way that men just don’t experience. And all too often, “fitness” is measured in pounds and inches. Which means….the pressure is on!
When it comes to health, I am deeply passionate about tackling mindset first. And emotions are a big part of that. Because, as the saying goes, whether you think you can, or you think can’t, you are right.
Just like a boyfriend, you have to build a relationship with your fitness. It ain’t never gonna work if you hate every second of the date.
Sure, maybe you’re looking for a one night stand, for kicks. But if you want long-term health? You’re gonna have to deal with the tough stuff. The “I’m not good enough” moments. And the "I can't do this” days.
Ready to walk towards the storm, and turn your emotions into your very own superpower? It is my belief that it all starts with a little seduction.
First Base: Stop Lying to Yourself
We lie to ourselves. All. The. Time. Probably because we are the easiest people to fool.
Deep down, we know exactly what we need to do. And yet we blatantly go against that truth, and rationalize our decisions constantly.
I’m going to workout tonight. I’m going to start tomorrow. I’m going to sleep in, just for today.
Be honest with yourself about what you want, and be realistic about how you’re going to accomplish that thing.
Second Base: Trust Your Intuition
No matter how many times you try to bury your intuition, it will always keep coming back. It sneaks up behind you, and whispers in your ear: “trust yourself.”
Do what you love. Move in a way that feels good to you. Push it hard when you feel like you've been hunkered down and sedentary for a bit too long. And take your foot off the gas when you feel overworked and exhausted.
Check in with how you feel in your own skin. Check in with your energy level. And check in with your level of self-confidence.
Movement is primal. And intuitively, it is something your body craves. Tap into that urge. And let your body be your guide.
The Home Run: Do The Thing
If you want to survive your own emotions, put yourself in the jungle until you’re no longer scared of the lions, tigers, and bears.
Fear runs us, more than any other emotion out there. And no matter how many times we run the worst case scenarios, nothing replaces actually doing the thing.
You have to prove to your own mind that you will not die. Because once you have faced fear, rejection, and embarrassment…..and survived…..you are literally overriding the “fight or flight” response in your brain.
Let Nike be your guide. And just do it.
Commit to movement. Stay consistent. And override the “I can't do this” mindset.
Fitness is a “game of inches.” But not in the way that you might imagine. It’s not about your dress size. Or a number on the scale. Fitness is about inching your way through the hard days. Walking through the dark clouds. And managing your emotions, so that your body can do it’s thang.
When I was little, one of my all-time favourite board games was KGB.
Now, KGB is a bazaar game. It came out during the height of the Cold War. And so there was a sliiiiiiight bias against the USSR.
The ultimate goal of the game was to expose the evil Russian double-agent, amongst a sea of badass CIA agents. Sneaking in and out of rooms on the board. Trying to track down the one person who was turning off the power switches.
I can remember being super pumped when I got to be the double-agent. All of a sudden my eyes would narrow. My voice would deepen. And I’d speak with a slight Gorbachev-y accent.
My cover was blown every single time.
But daaaamn I loved slipping into the identity of a sinister spy.
From a young age, we are all told who we are by the outside world. And even before we have any sense of self-perception, others are putting us into very particular boxes.
She’s musical. He’s sporty. She’s shy. He’s outgoing.
Even my 4-year old daughter is quick to label a Fisher Price character as “the naughty boy,” because he has a furrowed brow and a frowny face.
We all make judgements. And there’s something innate about our desire to quickly categorize people.
As we get older, we start to form our own beliefs about who we are. And our identity becomes a slowly simmered co-creation between us and the people around us.
But every label that is assigned to us may or may not ACTUALLY be true.
I have a sweet tooth. I’m bad at math. I’m a shitty baker. Maybe…..maybe not.
Ok, that last one is hard to contest. I once baked cookies, and accidentally doubled the sugar. In case you’re wondering? Yes. I did give those cookies to 3 year old children. But don’t worry. They weren’t MY children.
Identity is a funny thing. Because really, it’s all in our heads. And although some of us are “naturally gifted” in one way or another…..we often seek out evidence to support who it is we think we are.
Perception becomes reality. Reality becomes perception.
And before you know it, you're half-way through the movie Inception, completely lost, because you ran out of the room for 3 minutes to pop another bag of popcorn.
During this time of year, when the calendar turns, many of us are filled with an electric sense of emotional energy. Ready to make the year ahead “our year.”
But for anyone looking to achieve some big goals in 2020, I think the best place to start, is with your identity.
True behaviour change is identity change.
And guys, once you start to see yourself as a different type of person, you won’t have to force yourself to do things.
The goal is not to run a marathon…..it is to become a runner.
The goal is not to write a book……it is to become a writer.
It is easier to stick to a habit once it is part of your identity. And once you decide that you’re the type of person who….say……consistently hits the gym (and other people reiterate that idea)…..any choice you make that goes AGAINST that identity, brings a little discomfort into your life.
I’ve always considered myself an athlete, and so the months after I had my first child, I felt absolutely LOST. I wasn’t able to workout like I used to, and there was a huge gap between who I thought I was…..and who I actually was.
Throw in the new role of “mother” that is thrust upon us owners of brand new babies…..and you’ve got a full-blown identity crisis.
I sunk into depression. And it wasn’t until I was working out on a consistent basis again, that I felt like “me” again.
Annnnnd then…..just when I thought I was safe, BOOM. An epic break-up.
Now, I’m not someone who believes that I need someone else to “complete me.” But my god, a big part of my identity was: lover, partner, confidant, creator of romantic surprises, and giver of epic orgasms.
Living the “single” life robs me of that part of my identity. And no amount of mom-ing, friend-ing, or self-love-ing will change that.
But just as it took time to build my identity as “mom” I am now flexing my patience muscles, with regards to love. I am reminded that “lust rushes, and love waits.”
And that’s truly the key with any kind of identity change. Particularly when it comes to health.
You want to own the “healthy and fit” label? It’s gonna take time.
Change almost never happens in the “overnight success” kind of way…..even though from the outside, it may seem that way.
Even Justin Bieber….the YouTuber…..put in tons of behind-the-scenes work before he made it big.
The results of success tend to be highly visible. But the process of success is often hidden from view.
Take the Stonecutter’s Credo:
“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”
The greatest returns are delayed. And working out is probably the most striking example of how the accumulation of small improvements equals a big payoff.
Be more concerned about your current trajectory, rather than your current position. And know that 1% improvements do add up. If you’re patient.
Sundays, for instance, are fucking hard for me. They are ripe with memories of what used to be. I keep wondering when I'll stop looking at the clock at 8:45 am, and not think about what he's doing. But when one of my best friend's asked me how I was doing today, I said....1% better than last Sunday. And she agreed. It is progress.
So take a peak at WHO it is you want to be. And start living as if you ARE that person. Even if it feels like you're a double-agent for a while. Be consistent. Chip away. And over time, the effort of living that identity will come naturally…..like putting on a seat-belt, brushing your teeth…..or blowing up the CIA headquarters.
In my early 20s, I was all about KFC.
It was the ultimate greasy reward on a Friday night, after an intense week of University coursework. And I loved every finger-lickin’ moment of it.
I was an English major. But don’t box me in. I took Astronomy 101.
And I only rarely had to pull out my prank glasses with open eyes painted on the lenses.
University is a slog.
And I am 100% convinced that a diploma simply represents one’s ability to “stick it out,” rather than knowledge acquired.
Ask me what I remember about the solar system.
The professor chewed gum.
That’s what I remember.
It is an experiment in endurance. And he who is willing to loose the most sleep, wins.
Endurance is rare. Yet enthusiasm is common.
Which means……there are MANY people who start things…..yet only a few who finish them. And in life, long term consistency beats short-term eagerness. Every time.
In fact, Steve Jobs once said, “about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from non-successful ones, is pure perseverance.”
What really matters, is staying with something, even after the initial honeymoon flush is over.
And trust me guys, the irony is not lost on me. This wisdom is coming at you from a divorcee.
But at the end of the day, I’m not willing to constitute the end of a 20-year relationship as a lack of endurance. And also…….I’m not perfect. Far from it, actually.
It could be argued that endurance is genetic. However, we can’t ever discount the power of our own minds.
My son Liam has a penchant for endurance. In fact, just the other day he challenged his sister to a 3-lapper around the entire park. She fell half way into lap 1 and burst into sensational tears. She has a penchant for melodrama.
I think some of us are simply WILLING to endure with more intensity than others. And WILL is absolutely something that can be strengthened over time.
Behind the glitz and glamour of success…..is boredom, loneliness, and feelings of discouragement.
And guys, the extent of our success is directly related to the extent of our willingness to endure pain.
Success has a price tag. And the fee is not paid in “I’ll give it a try” coinage.
You want to “get there?” Go all in. Commit to mastery. And stop being a dabbler who dabbles the shit out of every dabble-able thing.
I think the reason some of us fail to endure, is that we are simply unwilling to give something EVERYTHING we have. Because if we do…..and STILL fail? It’s a tough pill to swallow.
If we only dabble, and our project goes up in flames…..we have an out. “It was just a little something I wanted to try.”
Success comes with tenacity. Grit. And a WILLINGNESS to keep going.
Be choosey about what you pour your energy into. And then take no prisoners.
Even if Colonel Sanders is the one barking orders at you from behind enemy lines.
Being a mom is both the best and hardest thing I’ve ever done.
It's messy. It's beautiful. It's exhausting. It's life-giving. And every single one of us is winging it. Making it work by the skin of our teeth.
The last six years have been an absolute blur. But amidst the sleepless nights and the PAW Patrol re-runs and the bowls of spaghetti on the floor, I've learned SO much about how to live my happiest and healthiest life.
And the crazy thing is, my kids are the ones who have done the teaching.
1. Big things can happen in the blink of an eye
Kids grow and learn at a ridiculous pace. Milestones happen monthly. Weekly. Daily. And when you take a moment to look in the rear-view mirror, it is absolutely mind-blowing to realize how fast it's all going.
I can remember the day my son Liam learned how to walk. At breakfast, he could stumble his way across 3-feet of terrain. And by dinner time, he was nailing the entire length of a football field, like a boss.
Training wheels off. One good push. Two-wheeling all-star.
Until I had children, I never truly realized the possibility of progress that exists within a single day.
All too often, we assume that our big lofty goals are attainable only in a land far, far away.
But guys! Your health and happiness can be dramatically impacted in a matter of 24-hours. And you have the power to make it happen.
Sign up for that marathon. Go all-in on a plant-based diet. Commit to doing that full-day hike.
You can impact change in SUCH a short amount of time.
2. Small things are worth celebrating
On the flip side of that coin, my little ones have also taught me that there is so much beauty in the small things.
Just the other day, I was walking in the rain with my daughter Clara, and she was in absolutely no rush to get to the car. She was stopping to admire the raindrops on the puddles. She was spinning her umbrella. And she was dilly-dallying to her heart's content.
All too often, we are in such a rush to get to the next thing. Always moving, and rarely getting anywhere.
How beautiful it is to simply linger. Right here. And to stop chasing the next moment at the cost of this one.
How beautiful it is to appreciate the small things. Here and now.
Celebrate the wins. No matter how tiny they may seem. And don't cheat yourself out of the joy and happiness that is right in front of you, because you're too busy looking ahead to the next joyful and happy thing.
5 more lbs on the barbell. 3 more seconds in that plank. 1 more push-up from your toes.
Break. Out. The bubbly.
As a mom, I so often assume that I am the one who is leading the charge. Propagating knowledge. Shaping minds. But I am as much of a student as a teacher.
Here's to the little ones of the world, teaching us big kids how its done. To the big wins. The small victories. All of it possible in a single day.
A kiss on your neck, right below the ear. Mariah Carey hitting a high D. That one place on your couch where your surround sound system reaches its max effect.
The sweet spot.
It's a glorious place to be.
But for many of us, the sweet spot is something we never actually hit when it comes to fitness.
We either go balls to the wall......or we put on the brakes completely. Never quite finding the right groove. The right balance. The right level of consistency.
Because we come up with a goal. And then life gets in the way. And all too often, we abandon ship at the first sign of a slight detour.
Maybe you ate a piece of cake at your dad's birthday party (ah well, this diet is ruined now). Or maybe you missed your evening run because your had a late meeting at work (fuck it....my entire week is down the drain).
But guys, the sweet spot of fitness is out there.
And the key to finding it?
Getting crystal clear on your end goal, then reverse engineering it.
Find your sweet spot each step of the way, then turn up the volume, one notch at a time. Create a roadmap, and allow yourself the opportunity to take it one step at a time, rather than running full tilt, expecting that you'll be able to sustain your breakneck pace, all the way to the finish line.
How do you create such a roadmap? Here's how.
1. Define your destination
What does healthy look like to you? Do some journalling. Do some daydreaming. And imagine a scene of your life that includes the best, most healthy version of yourself. What does your day, your week, your month, look like? What do you eat? How do you work up a sweat? Where? When? Dream big. And do not sell yourself short.
2. Narrow it down
When you have a big dream, it requires you to say "no" a lot. Dreams require time, energy and space in order to make them happen. And we only have so much of all of those. One big lesson I've learned over the past year, is that you have to scale back in order to scale up. And it is so important to be able to prioritize what matters most. Give yourself the grace to let other seemingly important things take a backseat. Don't try to be superwoman. And let the laundry sit.
Most importantly, when your best laid plans get derailed, get back on the horse. Every time. Life is going to get in the way. So plan for the bumps. And give yourself a bit of leeway.
3. Hit rewind
Break down your ultimate fitness goal into very specific tasks and activities that will help you accomplish it. Remove the fluff. Remove the gristle. And simplify the process as much as possible. Give yourself permission to be a beginner, and try not to race to the blackbelt, right from the start. Step 1. Step 2. Step 3. Step 4.
Guys, if there's one thing my kids have taught me, it's the value of taking things one step at a time. My 6-year old son has the goal of becoming an NHL hockey star. And yet, he's totally focused on killin' his cone drills during practice. For now.
We've all got it in us to reach the high heights. But it's all about finding that sweet spot, challenging ourselves just enough, then building on that foundation, mile by mile.
Tucking yourself tightly under the covers so nothing can get you.
Skipping the bottom two stairs.
Having a strict dressing order you thoughtlessly adhere to -- underwear, pants, shirt, socks, jacket.
We all have weird habits. And oddly enough, we all have habits we didn't even TRY to form.
So why, then, is it so hard to tackle the good stuff? Meditating. Drinking more water. Getting 8 hours of shut-eye. Working out.
Why do we fail at the juicy lifestyle habits.....and yet buckle our seat-belt when we're moving the car a mere 5 feet?
Well, here's the glue, my friends, that will stick those good habits to the "done and done" column:
1. Hit the specifics
Who, what, when, where, and why. Set a goal, and then Sherlock Holmes the shit out of it. Get specific, and make a plan.
True story: Researchers found that people are 3x more likely to exercise if they make a specific plan for when and where they will actually do it. Put it in your calendar, and get yourself psyched to play "Pickle Ball with Geoff."
2. Rinse and repeat
New habits are haaaaaarrrrrd to form. And the biggest reason WHY they're so hard to form? They require effort. They require conscious choice. They require you to make a decision. Over time.....and only over time.......a new habit becomes routine....and at that point, the process is more or less mindless and automatic.
So here's the thing. You need to be consistent. You need to repeat that behaviour over and over and OVER again. And eventually.....and we're talking an average of 66 days.....that behaviour will become a true blue habit that you no longer have to think about.
3. Choose the 2-bite brownie
We all get gung-ho at times. "I am NEVER eating fast food again!" 2 weeks later? You're hitting the drive-thru incognito, pretending like you forgot about that bold proclamation....."cheeseburger with extra pickles please."
All too often, we make the mistake of biting off more than we can chew. Setting the bar waaaayyyyy to high. And then act surprised when we don't stick the landing.
Focus on small. Focus on manageable. And allow yourself to build that momentum.
Start with nailing one workout a week. A 9:30 pm bedtime on Sundays. A freshly-squeezed lemonade for this Friday's happy-hour.
Be consistent. Then build from there.
Health and happiness are not short-term projects. They are a way of life. And if you use the right strategies, and put in the work, you will see tangible results. Results just as tangible as consistently stopping the microwave 1-second before it beeps, so that you can pretend you're defusing a bomb.
I've got your back.
It all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to, has power over you. If you allow it.
Have you ever wondered what makes someone a killer athlete? A straight-A student? A phenomenal musician? Why does it seem like some people just nail it, while others fall behind?
It's tempting to chalk it up to good genetics. Natural ability. But the bigger piece of the puzzle? Mental toughness.
The research is out. And folks? Pure grit, mental strength, and overall perseverance is the #1 factor when it comes to achieving your goals....in every area of life!
Which is good news! Because there ain't much you can do about those genes of yours (aside from turn them into super cute cut-offs). Talent is so overrated!
OK. So you're ready to snag the role of Olympic flag-bearer. You're ready to develop super-human levels of mental toughness. How do you get there?
In a word? Consistency.
Babe Ruth once said, "It's hard to beat a person who never gives up." And I believe this to be 100% true!
This past weekend, I had the privilege of running a 10K race at Mud Hero with three genuinely bad-ass women. And even when every one of our limbs was weighed down in 10 extra pounds of mud, we ran the hill. We scaled the wall. And we backstroked through the muckiest muck in town.
We never gave it up.
And why is that? What is the one thing we all have in common? Practice with being mentally strong. We are consistent with being disciplined.
Mental toughness is like a muscle. It needs to be worked. It needs to grow. And it needs to develop.
And guys, if you're not used to pushing yourself, you will wilt when things get hard.
So do the tough stuff. Go one month without missing a workout. Meditate every morning this week. Grind out one extra rep each set at the gym today. Because you will never be able to think your way to mental toughness. But you can act your way there. Even with small wins, every day!
Mentally tough people don't have to be more courageous, more skilled, more intelligent, or more good looking (although lets face it, if you can drop it like its hot, and turn a few heads, it ain't gonna hurt you) -- mentally tough people just need to be more consistent.
Develop habits, practice fortitude, and find a system that will allow you to focus on the important stuff, regardless of how many obstacles life (or Mud Hero!) puts in front of you.
Be more consistent than everyone in the room. Flex your mental toughness. And you will have no choice but to rise to the top.