If there is something I hate it is the advice that in order to lose weight, we just have to eat right and workout.
As if it were that simple.
Listen, in order to get to the moon I just need to get in a rocket ship and fly there but I don’t think you will be seeing any pictures of Grind2Fit swag in space any time soon. Plus, it is almost accusatory. There is an underlying message that you can’t get your stuff together. Oversimplifying makes it sound easy and nothing could be further from the truth. In order to reach a goal, you are going to have to work. The more valuable the goal is to your life the more challenging the work will be.
So I want you to know that these guidelines are not easy but they are simple. Learning to follow them takes discipline, grit and commitment far beyond what you are currently capable of. You will have to grow into them like a pair of hand me down jeans. Because that, my friends, is the real nature of this beast mode journey of becoming a better version of you. It will change you. I promise you that if you can lock these four things away in your heart and mind and return often to them to refocus you will stay on the path and find yourself exactly where you need to be.
1. Appreciate the step you are on.
Nothing is so detrimental to your path as being so focused on where you want to go that you lose sight of the step you are on. People frequently get stuck in a case of “are we there yet?”. Where you are at is all a part of how you will get there. So, wherever you are, take time to acknowledge any success you’ve had. It doesn’t matter how far you’ve come. Any progress is progress. Also acknowledge where you’ve failed. Failures may be more important to success than winning but not if they are swept under the rug. Take time to appreciate the lessons your wins and your losses have to offer. I will personally guarantee you that until you do that you will continue to revisit those same steps over and over. Your goal requires that step or else you wouldn’t be taking it.
While you are doing that, be sure to cheer yourself on. This road can be tough! Yes, someday what seems so hard now will become your warmup but for now it will still kick your behind. That’s ok! You cheer for whatever size hurdle you can jump now because it is one of the steps and you did it! Be proud of yourself! None of us would look at a third grader and get mad because they can’t do advanced calculus. You must cheer here and now. Take joy in these accomplishments. They are the ones getting you to the next step.
2. Remember where you are going
You’d think this would be easy, but everyday life can get very messy and it is all too easy to lose sight of our intentions. Like the famous hare in the fable we are prone to wandering off and thinking we have all the time in the world. You do not. Those days will keep plodding steadily along and if you aren’t careful you will one day realize they bested you. Don’t let yourself get distracted. Keep a firm and steady gaze on what matters most. If your gaze wanders then you need to refocus it.
Don’t lose heart, friends. We all fail and make mistakes. I’m fully convinced that heartbreak and pain are an important part of any personal growing, but I would never seek it out. Those days are deeply trying. Don’t let them overcome you. You must stay the course. Yet I encourage you to listen to directions. Seek out advice. Listen to speakers and read books. Get help from outside sources. Sometimes you feel lost when you are right on course. It is important to know where you are when times get dark and necessary to follow the path when things are easy. Find a map to take with you. Many people have taken this journey or something similar. Make use of their hard work and follow their advice. You can’t just type this into your GPS and go. You are going to need a plan.
3. Believe you will get there.
Every single person out there that talks about achieving a dream will tell you that you must visualize it. Sometimes it can be so hard to imagine that we will ever make it. Make it a part of your routine to imagine it anyway. Think about what you’ll do when you make it. Play it out in your mind.
That is so much easier to do if you learn to accept the process. If you decide to make chocolate chip cookies there will be many steps that what you are making will look nothing like a cookie. Decide that you will become cookies even if you don’t look like it in the moment.
Do not allow negative talk to creep in from anywhere. Especially yourself. Healthy life advice and constructive criticism doesn’t always support everything we do but the difference is that those things push us away from things that are harmful to reaching a goal. They do not discourage you from growing. If something or someone is feeding negativity then you need to shut them down.
That also means you need to work on keeping only positive people as regular influences and voices in your life. I’m all for loving every human on the planet but sometimes it is necessary to unsubscribe from people’s issues. If they keep dragging you down to the mat or won’t accept help up themselves then you keep moving on. You are of no help to anyone if you keep letting them trip you up.
4. Adjust course as necessary
Finally, I must tell you that most of life is out of your control and you should be prepared to find an alternate route at any time. Things happen. Life happens. The more flexible and capable of rolling with the punches you are the easier this whole mess will be.
If you find yourself feeling frustrated, overwhelmed or defeated it may be time to reevaluate where you are at. Struggle is a part of the journey, but some struggles are a way of teaching us who we are. There may be a time you realize you don’t even want what you are chasing and that there is something else that matters more. That is OK! Do not struggle to become something you are not. It is ok to change course. Sometimes we need to get down the road a little before we can see ourselves more clearly.
Make sure you watch the road signs along the way. They will help guide you. The surest way to land in the ditch is to miss a turn. Keep your head up and your eyes on the road.
When you come upon a detour it can be frustrating, but you need to remember that detours guiding you away from unsafe travel conditions. That is the whole reason they are there. Honor them for what they are: Protection. They aren’t there to ruin your day. They are there to make sure you get around a danger safely.
Lastly, please remember that sometimes you just must go around. Life will sometimes drop a gigantic cow patty right in your path. You don’t have to just keep churning ahead in every occasion. There will be times you are really going to have to crawl through some muck and sometimes you are going to accidentally step right in it without even noticing and find yourself in one heck of a stinky mess. It happens. However, if your head is up and you see that stuff drop then by all means, take the opportunity to go around it. Don’t walk directly through it like some martyr as if you are locked into this thing. There will be times it is going to be hard, sure, but intentionally stepping in it should only happen if there is no other way. You see some mess you can avoid then, by all means, go around or step over it.
There really is no quick route to any goal that’s worth achieving but it doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. Sometimes the best way to take a step forward is to give yourself the grace to do so. If it matters to you then it is worth pursuing. Keep moving. Not everyone is going to understand it. Not everyone is going to support you. Sometimes it is the people closest to us or that we love the most who are incapable of seeing our vision. You must keep going. Even if you go around in circles a few times. You’ll get it. The only way you fail is by completely giving up.
And even that doesn’t have to be the end.