When you want to throw in the towel...read this!
Whatever goal you are about to set yourself or one that you are working towards understand that it gets hard. The struggle is definitely real! If it was easy then everyone would be doing it.
Here are 5 tips to help you when your willpower is burnt out, your motivation is non-existent and your energy is at zero!
So let's base the goal you have set on say losing weight as this is what many of my clients are looking to achieve. First you need to dig a little deeper and ask yourself why you want it (at least 5 times)! As this will get to the root cause (if you are honest with yourself) but it will also increase the flame of desire of setting the goal in the first place. The why needs to be important enough for you to find that extra grit when the going gets tough.
Make sure you write this goal down or better still have a visual representation of it and keep it in a place that you can look at it every morning and evening to re-affirm your reason why. This could be a photo of you a couple of dress sizes smaller or the body of a person that you aspire to look like.
The first change will be in your beliefs, as you need to visualise that you are in that body already, what does it feel like, how does it move, what confidence does it give you, does it make your feel more attractive. All these thoughts are in our head and our brain does not know the difference between the future and the present. So when you continually wire your mindset to think this way, you will start to believe it and when you believe you can achieve.
Then all you need to do is follow these 5 tips to ensure success:
1. Have patience
This is one of the biggest reasons why people quit because they don't set a realistic timeline for their goal. There's a mismatch to what they think should happen and what actually happens. Remember if weight-loss is your goal, then it didn't creep on overnight, so it's not going to disappear that way either! By making a promise to yourself that you will show up no matter what and by being consistent you WILL make progress. Once you start seeing some progress it will fuel you to keep going but also the habits you have begun to form will become more ingrained.
2. Make time for your goal
Often we let ourselves off the hook by not prioritising our goal and making the time to schedule a workout, prep our food or get to bed early. As the saying goes 'fail to prepare and then be prepared to fail'. You need to block out your diary in advance for all of the above just like you would for a work meeting, a visit to the dentist or doing the shopping!
3. Celebrate your achievements
As the saying goes...'Rome was not built in a day!' so if we are only going to celebrate our achievement at the end, we are likely never going to reach it. Breaking the goal down into smaller parts, allows us to celebrate each and every workout completed, every good food choice we have made and the abstention from that glass of wine or bottle of beer! (Our ability to make good decisions under the influence of even just one drink are lessened). Be proud of your strength of resistance and the good habits that you are laying down which will eventually be wired to into your subconscious mind (making it become easier over time). Every workout done will reward you with a dopamine hit (the feel good factor) making you want to repeat it.
4. Understand that roadblocks are just that!
You can choose to let a roadblock become a wall or you can figure out a way to overcome it, by going through, over, under or around it. Often these will teach us the most about the journey and about ourselves. Try to find the opportunity as every adversity will carry a seed of greater or equivalent benefit! Make no mistake though, this will be where you want to throw in the towel. You may be filled with overwhelming pessimism thinking, why the hell did I start this anyway, I'm not good enough or you will look to shift the blame as to why this isn't for you anymore.
This is known as the 'Valley of disappointment' and everyone will slid into it (even successful people). However, this is where the mindset comes into play (your reason why, the visual image you have of completion). You have to dig deep and find your resilience to keep going. This may not be because it is tough, it could be that you have become bored. As in reality to be good at anything, we need to practice daily discipline and this is where the majority of people quit. They get out the same side of the 'Valley of disappointment'. Author James Clear of Atomic Habits states ' The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom'.
To be amazing you have to be prepared to do amazing things. Are you prepared to accept defeat or are you determined to keep that promise to yourself and see it through to the end.
Surround yourself with the right people
You don't need to be a martyr and feel like you have to go it alone. It takes great courage to reach out and tell someone you are struggling. By having the right support network around you will ensure that you don't fail. As they will help carry you either emotionally, spiritually or mentally and you will of course do the same for others when required. As humans there's no better form of happiness than helping someone else. So don't be afraid to ask for support. This will undoubtedly help you reach the finish line and emerge out the 'Valley of disappointment' the other side.
The goals we set ourselves will continually change as we move forward. So it is important to enjoy the journey and celebrate the person it has made you become. You will have more confidence, self belief and increased self esteem because you committed most importantly to yourself and proved what you are truly capable of.
Remember the race isn't a sprint, it's a marathon...you've got this, just keep going!