What to do When Nothing is Going Right
A wise person once told me when nothing is going right… go left.
We all know that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. If we want to change, whether it involves losing weight, improving our fitness level, or change in any area of our lives, we have to change our habits. We have to change the way that we do things that contribute to our goal and desires. The good news is that you don’t have to change everything to see results and you don’t have to do it all at once.
In the book, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, author James Clear talks about the notion of getting just 1% better. While that certainly doesn’t sound like the kind of improvement that will lead to big results, Clear points out that if you could just find ways to improve by even 1% each day, then after a year you will be 37 times better! This is an example of continuous improvement. Making improvements that, on their own are hardly noticeable, but over time, lead to big results. Improvements can mean doing something right (moves you towards your goal), or not doing something that is wrong (eliminating actions that move you away from your goal). When talking about weight loss, this might mean consuming 100 less calories each day for a week or adding some more protein or fiber to your diet by eating a few more ounces of lean protein food each day or adding a serving of vegetables to a meal each day.
James Clear also talks about focusing on systems instead of goals. What does this mean? During the many years that I have been helping men with weight loss and maintenance, I have observed that most focus on their final goal, whether that goal is to lose weight, become healthier, gain more energy or gain greater fitness levels. As Clear points out, goals are important. However, a goal is a destination. It is important to have a clear goal in mind, as it gives us a direction, but in order to achieve that goal, we need to focus on the systems or habits that we develop that will move us along the path towards that goal.
Every person who starts on a program to lose weight, has a goal to lose weight. At the same time, some achieve that goal and some do not. So, it isn’t the goal that determines success or failure. Rather, it is the daily systems that one puts into place.
It is our daily small practices that that lead to new habits and these new habits move us towards that goal. The good news is that we don’t need to make huge changes! Just focus on continuous improvements that are in line with your goal and, in time, with patience and persistence, you will find success! And guess what? By focusing on small changes that you can apply consistently, you will replace old habits with new ones, leading to the ultimate success of, not just losing weight, but keeping it off! Try it for yourself.
When nothing is going right… go left!