It took me a long time to learn the lesson I'm going to share with you today. Many of us resolve to make positive change when the year turns over. Today I’m going to share with you an all to familiar scenario that I've seen play out time after time.
With over 15 years coaching and training I have seen it over and over again. Hell, I’ve experienced a number of times myself. Sometimes I’ve been successful and others I’ve failed miserably. Every time I’ve learned something about myself and how we operate.
Here’s the most common scenario that I see play out. The easiest and maybe most identifiable example might be going to the gym or getting in shape so I’ll use that, but this plays out in all areas of life and transcends the New Year:
It’s January 1 and we head to the gym. The place is packed because it seems everyone and their mother has resolved to “get in shape” for the New Year. I call this the honeymoon period where everything is easy and motivation is high. We get a few exercise sessions under our belt and we’ve been making great choices with our eating. We’ve set a bedtime because we know how important sleep is to success in all walks of life. Because we’ve created a plan and our motivation is still high, our stress levels are low. We are making progress and getting closer to what it is that we want in life.
Then… Something comes up. It’s not even anything big but something throws us off our game. All of a sudden we have to make some choices. It’s been a long week and you’re tired from three weeks of exercise and will power, a friend is having a birthday party and wants you to celebrate until two in the morning, there is a family birthday party surrounded by cake and ice cream. The list goes on and on.
As I began my transformation journey more than five years ago I came up with a powerful message to tell myself. “Once you’ve made the overlying commitment, you don’t need to do that again. Your choices might get you further from what you’re after from time to time, but your overlying commitment has been made.” You see, we all make decisions that get us further from our goals sometimes. That’s human. If we can accept that and look forward to making the next decision towards our dreams and honor our overlying commitment, we’ll always be moving towards what we want in life.
The problem lies, not in making 1 choice that gets us further from our goals, but stringing those choices together and falling right back into the patterns we resolved to shift in the first place. In my experience, this happens between weeks three and six. Knowledge and anticipation are power and if you can anticipate when the bumps will come and prepare for them before they arrive, you’ll be setting yourself up for success. Once you've prepared, it comes time to honor your overlying commitment and discipline yourself to take committed action towards your goals and dreams at every opportunity.
This is a message that has taken me years to deliver to you and so many failures I won’t even begin to count. I’m sure that my journey of failure is not over yet but I can assure you that when I do fall, I’ll be getting back up again stronger than ever. Don’t stop. Keep going. Persevere especially when the going gets tough and go out there and BE successful.
Jon Howard - Athlete and Entrepreneur