This article is about getting fit, making more money, becoming insanely productive, and living a happier, stress-free life. These are all changes that you can make today, if you’re willing to implement the simple steps in this article.
So How Do You Motivate Yourself To Change Your Lifestyle?
Here’s what usually happens when we want to change: let’s say the goal is to lose weight and get fit, my favorite example. Why do people struggle? It’s not because they’re lazy, or unmotivated, they struggle because they lack the critical element to success. That critical element is ¨balance;¨ let me explain.
In order to make progress, that is, to go from where you are to where you desire to be, you have to change; this is self-evident. But ¨how¨ we change is the critical piece that is often overlooked. You can’t just ¨change,¨ it’s not that simple, the ¨how¨ is the important part.
Imagine your goal is to become a raw foodist (one that eats only raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc.), but you currently consume McDonald’s for breakfast, Burger King for lunch, and Taco Bell for dinner.
If you tried to make the change from being a fast foodist to a raw foodist ¨overnight,¨ then you will likely snap your ¨capacity to change¨ rubber band (see my article on the Addictive Mind). Let me repeat that, you’re going to snap your ¨capacity to change¨ rubber band. You may be able to be consistent as a raw foodist for a few days, maybe even a few weeks, but eventually, you will feel the enormity of the task, and you will retreat back into your comfort zone.
You Want To Motivate Yourself. You Want To Change. So What Do You Do?
You could make small lifestyle changes, right, but that won’t work either. Why not?
If you make changes that are too small towards your goal, then you won’t see significant results, and you won’t be motivated to continue, once again, you will retreat back into your comfort zone.
Your changes have to be drastic enough so that you can see the benefits, but not so drastic that it snaps your rubber band. Your goal should always be balance: to do enough so that you’re challenged every week, but not so much that you quit.
Let’s say you want to be more productive. You may consider getting rid of all of your televisions. But once again, if you watch television five hours per day, you may not want to give it up overnight. If you do attempt to give it up overnight, you will likely snap your ¨capacity to change¨ rubber band. Instead, try reducing your television time by one hour over each of the next five months. Allow your rubber band to stretch gently, keeping it intact.
But what do most of us do…we want immediate results, overnight success, we want to go from being at Level 1 (for the past 30 years) to being at Level 10 tomorrow. But you can’t go from eating Burger King everyday all day to eating broccoli everyday all day. That’s too much, too soon, and in all likelihood you will pop your rubber band.
You can only grow, develop, change, and get better at a certain speed. The key is to push the outer limits every week, enhance one more thing, get a little bit better…until it becomes second nature, and eventually you will arrive at your intended destination.
This process will work for any goal, from living a stress-free life, to writing a book.
People always remark to me that my diet is so ¨extreme,¨ they don’t see how they could ever do something like that. But the reality is that my diet has evolved over the past few years, what I eat today, is not what I ate ¨yesterday,¨ I had to work towards it, the same is true for you. You must evolve.
Remember, you don’t just become a healthy, fit, well-adjusted, confident, successful person overnight. You take one goal at a time, and you challenge yourself every week, without over extending yourself. You do what’s reasonable for you. What’s reasonable for me is not necessarily what’s reasonable for you. I have different time commitments, and different challenges. But if you commit to get a little better every week, you can accomplish whatever you really want to. One thing at a time, one week at a time; I like to say, you can do anything, but not everything.
So begin right now, challenge yourself this week, reduce your television time, make one important change to your diet, workout for 10 minutes every day this week, don’t pop the rubber band, and in time, you will astound even yourself.