This morning, on my way home from a 5am workout at the gym, my mind went into motion. I was thinking to myself, ‘wow, I’m at the end of my 13th week of healthy eating and working out. I feel better, I sleep better, my blood pressure is where it was when I was in my 20’s, and I have more energy than I have had in many years.’ Well that got me thinking about why. Why is now different? I certainly thank Coach JC and his team at Dynamic Sports Development for the encouragement and guidance. He has a tremendous program. But why did his program work and not the ones I have tried before? Yes, his program is fantastic and I highly recommend it, but previous programs were great as well.
The “how” is out there in abundance. We have more information access today than ever before. How many times have you searched the internet for how to; fix a home appliance, or repair your car, or craft something at home, or do some neat trick on your computer? We can find just about anything we need learn “how” to do in a millisecond. So, why didn’t I succeed sooner? Why did it work this time?
Then I realized, the difference wasn’t an outside influence. Of course outside influences have a tremendous impact on us. Coach and his team plus the guys that I entered the challenge with certainly influenced me in a positive way. But, those influences will only have as much an impact as we will allow them to. So, the real difference, the real change, happened on the inside. I finally won the battle in the mind in two ways.
First – I changed how I talk to myself. My ‘self talk’ went from, “I’m over 50 it’s too late for me”; to, “I’m still walking, it’s never too late”. I went from, “I just don’t have time”; to, “I will make time”. I went from, “changing everything about the way I eat is too big of a hassle”; to, “a whole new nutrition plan is well worth the work”.
Second – I changed my thinking about commitment and sacrifice. To make my new “self talk” a physical reality, I had to commit, persist, and endure every day. I had to be content with trusting that the work will pay off. I had to get past the first few weeks where I felt the struggle and inconvenience without seeing visible results. That’s where we usually drop out. Once I started seeing results it got much easier to keep going. Now it’s my normal and it’s not inconvenient or a struggle.
What is your “self talk”? What are you saying to yourself? What are you telling yourself you can do and can’t do? What are you telling yourself is or isn’t possible? Of course there is some level of reality. Telling myself at 52 that I can be an NFL player is probably not very realistic. But outside of those extremes, anything is possible. What is your dream? Accept that it CAN become a reality. You must believe it in your mind. That’s where the real limitation is so don’t let it limit you anymore.
When you do go after it. Understand that, the ability to endure the early stages where you are putting in all the work but aren’t seen results YET, winning the battle in the mind is what will get you through. Your goals will be achieved daily, not in a day. My friend Coach JC says that you have to “stack the wins”. What that means is, you have to set small goals that lead you in the direction of the big goal. If it’s a degree, set semester goals and win them one at a time. If it is losing weight, set monthly goals that will incrementally get you to your ultimate goal. If it is a high leadership position on the job, set incremental goals that lead you there.
Because leadership is developed daily, not in a single day.