Contributed by: Michael Devon, NASM-CPT
Learning how to stay dedicated when obstacles present themselves on your journey for success can be the key to a successful anything; weight loss, rehabilitation, building a business, improving yourself, or graduating from school. Whatever your reason or goal, you must develop a habit of perseverance to get what you want and once you get what you want you have to be consistent with your good habits to keep it going. Developing these types of good habits will cause you to take a more proactive role in reaching your goals; especially if you find previous obstacles created turmoil in your habitual nature.
So what habits should you spend time working on and developing and what habits should you work on breaking? To answer this, begin with the end in mind, have a vision of how you want to see yourself in 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, etc. Visualize and imagine how you want your life to be and then set “do-able” daily goals for yourself. The steps you know you need to take to accomplish these goals are examples of the good habits I am talking about. Spend more time doing the right types of habits; this will simultaneously cause your bad habits to diminish in your life. Once you are consistent with whatever those healthy habits are, continue to perfect those habits, and then add some more challenging tasks that will cause you to develop more positive habits and progress you towards the life you want for yourself.
Habits (good or bad) can define us if we let them, so we must seek to replace our bad habits with good habits. Replace watching tv with reading a book, replace going out to eat every night to cooking at home during the week, replace your social hour with an hour of exercise. Think of what you must do to get to where you want to be and what you value the most out of life. Next, think of what you’re doing now to help you get there. Are there any things in your current routine that you should replace.
Self evaluate your current situation and see if your habits line up with your core values. If they do then keep doing them and make sure you do them consistently, working to improve each day. If your current habits aren’t working for you to accomplishing your goals then replace one bad habit with a good habit that will improve your current situation. For instance if you see yourself being in optimal health and looking fit in a year but everyday you come home after work to sit on the couch, watch TV, and order delivery food then you must change these habits because doing this over and over each week puts you further and further away from your goal. Create habits that will move your closer to your goals. Make an effort to watch less TV, make time to go to the grocery store, spend time preparing your food at home, and dedicate a portion of your day to some form of exercise or body movement. If you start doing these new things on a daily basis no matter your energy level, your mood and energy level will be sure to increase and you’ll be setting yourself up in creating new healthy habits!
After days and weeks and months of making an all out effort (perseverance) to develop these new habits you will begin to see the results. You will notice the results slowly at first and then more and more as you remain dedicated (consistency) and self evaluate your progress, or lack thereof. Self evaluation is extremely important because if you see that you are improving then you are on the right track. Once you self evaluate and find that you aren’t making what you want happen then that means you must try harder because your level of performance is not enough, seek to find out what you must change to get to the next level.
Greatness is a lot of small things done well day after day, week after week, and year after year. What I am saying is that success does not happen overnight, in order to change your life and get what you desire you must work at improving yourself daily by developing life changing habits.