We are just over a week into New Years resolutions, hopefully yours is going strong – if you made one. One of mine has been to actively learn more. Through books and podcasts, I am trying to vary my learning between exercise, nutrition, and mental health/motivation education.
Last night I read a section of Tom’s book that really stuck with me. To paraphrase, when people create goals (New Years Resolutions, year-end goals, etc.) and they don’t accomplish them right away, or don’t see progress toward the goal they will often think or say “I have failed”, and give up on their goal.
Instead, think of it this way; You didn’t fail. You succeeded at producing a result. Make appropriate changes, and keep on fighting toward your goal.
How should you apply this? Maybe your goal is to lose 50 pounds this year. Say after 2 weeks of hard exercise you jump on the scale and see no weight change. 2 weeks FOR NOTHING!
Not so fast.
First, maybe your body composition changed (2 weeks would be pretty quick), or more likely, you maybe could’ve been a little bit better with what you are putting in your body.
In the above situation, you would phrase your 2 weeks not as “I have already failed, I suck, I give up.” but as “Okay, 2 weeks down, my result was no change in weight. What can I work on more this week to improve my progress?” Maybe you rocked going to the gym, but still struggled with your food choices and quantity.
Keep hitting the gym next week, and maybe focus in on your nutrition a little more. Then re-test your methods. New result? (Yes/No) You either keep truckin’, or change your methods again.
Now, it is pretty well-known that it takes time and effort to see lasting results in the health and fitness industry, and you can’t keep scrapping your entire game plan each week if you hit a little bump in the road. Think of it more as a scientific experiment, or use the scientific method.
First, we create our “hypothesis” – If I workout 3 days a week and eat in a caloric deficit 6 out of 7 days per week, with one little cheat day here and there, I will lose 50 pounds by the end of the year.
Then we set up our methods – 60 minutes, 3 times per week, plus 2, 30 minute cardio sessions. 2000 calorie diet per day, with a focus on proteins, vegetables, healthy fats and whole grains.
Next, we “run the experiment”. After 2-3 weeks maybe test the results. Say no weight loss has occurred. Maybe check body fat? Or measurements? If still nothing, re-evaluate your methods. Maybe you didn’t stick to 2000 cals per day, or maybe you missed out on the gym 2-3 days.
What ever it was, you did NOT fail – you just found a result of your current actions.
Test, re-test, re-evaluate, make a little tweak, and keep on fighting toward your goals.
Failure is NOT an option.
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Stay healthy my friends,