It’s easy to get overwhelmed by our goals, dreams and aspirations. Maybe you want to get in shape for an upcoming trip, be a better parent, improve your financial situation, or build a business. Or, hell, you’re swinging for the fences like I am and want it all!
No matter how lofty your goals are, know this; you can fucking do it. Even more important? You should fucking do it. If it’s truly important to you, stop making excuses and make it happen. Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that all you need are positive thoughts (and 4 easy payments of $19.99 plus shipping/handling) in order to do the thing you want to do. It’s going to take work. Don’t let those self-absorbed Instagram “fitness,” “lifestyle” or “business” experts fool you. There’s no hack for this shit. Sure, there are ways to condense timelines and hit goals faster, but that’s for another day. It’s going to take hard work to achieve the results you’re after.
However difficult, I do believe that success for most folks is simple. Between all of the audiobooks/podcasts I’ve listened to, interviews I’ve hosted, books I’ve read and events I’ve attended, I can tell you that anyone with even the slightest bit of success followed a very simple formula to turn their vision into reality. They built the shelf, then stacked the wins.
Aristotle once said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Now, add that concept to one of my favorite quotes of all time from the late Bruce Lee: “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Think about it. If all we do is sit there and think “I want 6-pack abs” or “I want to retire comfortably” or “I want to be a better parent,” we quickly get overwhelmed. Typically, our current state is lightyears beyond where we want to be and we get discouraged. It’s easy to get stuck here, I’ve done it more times than I want to admit! This is where the shelf comes in.
The shelf is your habit or set of habits. Based on my experience, start small. Instead of “I want to get in-shape for my summer beach trip,” say “I will commit to 3 workouts a week.” Trade “I need to get out of debt” to “I will use x% of my income to pay off debt.” As we discussed in a previous blog post, the focus is shifting to the process over the outcome. Building a shelf of strong habits gives you the foundation needed for the fun part; stacking wins.
Do your best not to compare yourself to others. I know this is hard with social media and influencers documenting every second of their lives to show you how awesome they are (barf). If you go from a completely sedentary lifestyle to adding 5-minutes of movement a day, that’s huge. While it may not seem like much, stacking little wins are monumental for long-term results. Small wins build confidence. Confidence helps you stay the course. Staying the course helps you further solidify the habit “shelf” to stack even more wins.
Look, anything worth doing takes time and effort. However, if you follow this simple formula, you’ll realize you’re capable of a lot more than you previously thought.
Train your body. Feed your mind.