“I contend that not only can you laugh at adversity, but it is essential to do so if you are to deal with setbacks without defeat.”
(Author’s Note: I took a week off from writing this week, but still wanted to post some fresh stuff. Here is a post I wrote a few months back about dealing with obstacles when your achieving your goals. I’ll be back next week to finish the series on goal setting. Enjoy!)
When I started my life transformation on December 27, 2011, I was motivated and inspired. I saw great progress initially, and I was fueling my change with hours of audiobooks and reading, motivational speeches, and all kinds of good stuff. As a result, it was easy to write about what I was learning, because it seemed like every day presented a new lesson. Well, as time went on, my motivation waned, and I reverted to some of my old habits (nothing major just stopped listening to as much good material, started spending more time on Netflix, etc). I still saw some progress toward my goals most weeks, but other weeks I stayed at the same weight and had not improved in my other goals as well. This was frustrating and discouraging. I felt a few times that maybe it would be easier to just go back to my old lazy lifestyle. This was scary, because I knew this wasn’t what was best, but I felt really discouraged.
In hindsight, I see that this is a normal part of the journey. They say, “Old habits die hard.” And that is definitely true. Fortunately for me, I have a few really close friends that have rallied around me and helped me persevere. Tyler Knupp, Kyle Morrow, and Matt Espinoza all helped me refocus, reset my goals, and brainstorm ideas to help me stay on my healthy transformation. I’m really grateful for these guys that care about me and seek to help me. Darren Hardy talks about in each of our relationships we should be 100/0, be 100% committed while expecting 0% in return. This is difficult to do, but thankfully for me I have people like these 3 guys doing that in my life. Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked.
I got back to some of my healthy habits. As I was driving home today, I was listening to Drive by Daniel Pink. The book is all about motivation. The section I was listening to today hit me hard, because he was talking about what I am learning right now. He was discussing a study of military rookies and why some quit, while others had success. When they broke it down, the main determinant in success had nothing to do with intelligence or physical ability. The main attribute the most successful people had was grit, which he defined as the ability to stick to a path in order to pursue long term goals, or something to that effect. This really hit home, because that is where I have been the last 2 weeks. When I have struggled to stay motivated, and my results have been less than stellar, I had two choices, give up or keep going. Fortunately, with the support of my friends and family, I have continued on the journey. Dr. J said, “Being a professional is about doing the things you love, on the days you don’t feel like doing them” (again I might be paraphrasing). And, Jerry West said, “You can’t get much done if you only work on the days you feel good.”
I am excited for my Tuesday weigh in for the first time in a few weeks. I feel more committed to my goals and my success than I have in a long time. The two things I think are important out of my experience the last few weeks are: 1. You don’t succeed in a vacuum. If you want to improve your chances of success, put supportive people around you, who will encourage you, but will also call you out when you’re not sticking to your commitments. And, 2. We must build our grit. Most of the time I don’t focus on improving this, because I hadn’t necessarily understood how important it was. Don’t ask me how to build grit. That’s for someone with more experience. I’m a grit baby at this point, but I’m a work in progress. Every day getting better!