It’s a little over 24 weeks until competition day. That’s still SIX MONTHS away! As quickly as time passes, I know April will be here before I know it. Still, six months away, there’s no need to be so strict with everything yet, right? When I’m eating out of tupperware and people ask when the show is, they look confused, like why am I “dieting” now when the show isn’t until spring? I don’t have a lot of weight to lose, so why not pull back and be “normal” for a while?
When we think about a diet, we are normally thinking about eating a certain way for weight loss. My current diet, however, isn’t for that purpose. I’m eating to gain muscle, which still doesn’t mean I can just eat whatever whenever. Doing that would cause extra body fat gain, which I would just have to lose again closer to the show. Even though my goal is that far away, the things I’m doing now impact whether I’m actually going to get there in six months. I COULD just forget about it until January 1 and then buckle down and get serious, but I guarantee the end result wouldn’t be as good.
When the goal you’re trying to reach is further down the road, there’s no doubt it’s harder to be motivated. Or if your goal is really big, for example, you’re going to lose 100 pounds, it can be hard to stay focused on that. It feels like it’s going to take such a long time, it’s really discouraging! So how do we keep that laser focus, that discipline, how do we keep our motivation to keep working toward a goal that feels so far away we can barely see it on the horizon?
We have to remember that if we aren’t actively working toward that goal every day, we won’t ever get there. The finish line will keep getting further and further away until one day the hope is gone and all that’s left is regret that you never did the things you wanted to do. With the weight loss example, you generally know what you need to be doing. (If you need a plan, get with me and we’ll chat!!) You know you need to eat a certain way and exercise. If you aren’t doing these things 90% of the time, you’re just pushing your goal further and further away.
My first hack for staying on track with a big goal is CHUNKING. Chunk up a big goal into smaller goals, ones that don’t seem so distant. 100 pounds is a lot and is going to take a long time to accomplish, but 5 pounds is something you can knock out in a month. It might not feel like much, but it’s the first step. You can’t lose 100 pounds without losing 5 pounds first, and then 5 pounds again, and then again. And every time you lose 5 pounds, you’ve reached a goal. You’ve had success, which makes you SUCCESSFUL, which gives you confidence to keep going. Success leads to more success!
On the way to your intermediate, “chunk” goals, your daily goal should be the PROCESS. Every day, follow the process. Without question. Do not wake up and ask yourself if you feel like working out. Get up and go do your workout. Know ahead of time what you’re going to eat for the day. If someone offers you a donut, don’t think it won’t hurt to have it and you will make up for it later. Replace that thought with “eating this donut will not get me closer to my goal.” What’s more important, a donut that makes you happy for 30 seconds or your goal? If the donut is more important, why even have that goal? If you’re not willing to work toward that goal every day, is it even a goal for you?
Last, don’t look to motivation to help you with the process. I’ve heard people say a million times, “I just don’t have the motivation.” Motivation is unreliable and fleeting. It isn’t there when you really need it, so just forget about it. Motivation will let you down. Discipline won’t. Discipline is getting things done when it’s inconvenient, when you don’t feel like it, when you’re sad or tired or feeling lazy. Discipline gets you through when motivation doesn’t show up. You’re an adult. You’re in charge of what you’re going to do with your time and what goes into your mouth, so make the decisions that align with your goals and then follow through whether you want to that day or not.
You deserve to feel good about yourself. These goals and dreams are on your heart for a reason. Go get ‘em!!