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Hello, Health Investor!
Welcome back to another episode of The Health Investment Podcast!
You may have noticed this episode is quite short cause it’s another bite-sized one!
As you may remember, in addition to interviewing doctors, nutrition coaches, founders of health-promoting companies, etc., I also do solo episodes in which I answer YOUR questions (like I did in last week’s Q&A) and also bite-sized eps where I share helpful tips and insights relating to nutrition, sleep, stress management, movement, and mindset.
Today, I wanna chat about giving up—or, I guess about NOT giving up.
Throughout the episode, I’m gonna to use weight loss for my example since that’s what I help my 1:1 clients with, but really the things I’m gonna share can apply to any goal you’ve set for yourself.
In fact, let’s do this… Take a moment to think of a current goal you have—or even one you recently had that you gave up on. As I talk about weight loss as an example, you keep that goal in mind so that the ideas and quotes I share with you can really hit home!
Alright, now that you have that goal in mind, time travel back to the moment you set the goal in the first place.
Whenever we set a goal for ourselves, we feel super MOTIVATED and EXCITED, right?
Let’s say you’ve decided to lose weight. You’re sick of carrying those extra pounds around because they’re holding you back from looking and feeling your BEST, so you make a New Year’s Resolution.
This is YOUR year!
This is the year you’re going to lose 20 pounds—and actually keep ‘em off!
You’re ready to do whatever it takes.
Your newfound motivation to make this positive life change drives you to do all sorts of things!
You create a color-coded, healthy grocery list. And you sign up for a gym membership and start going every other day. Instead of buying your usual sandwich, you start packing salads for lunch. And you stop drinking soda. And when you’re out at restaurants with friends, you don’t eat the fried appetizers they order; you get deviled eggs instead.
At first, doing these things doesn’t even feel like a burden or sacrifice. Because, again—you’re excited to be doing them! This is YOUR year!
BUT, after doing allllll of the healthy things for a solid month, you weigh yourself. And you’ve only lost ONE pound.
Annoyed, you hop on Instagram—because Instagram is always the solution, amirite?
While scrolling the squares, you see your friend Becky. Becky made the SAME New Year’s Resolution you did—in fact, she’s your accountability buddy! You’ve both been working out 4-5x/week and ordering deviled eggs instead of nachos, but somehow Becky has lost 8 pounds.
What is even going on?!
Why does Becky get to have all of the success?
You feel frustrated beyond belief and decide that the sacrifices you’ve been making just aren’t working. So why keep at it? Why even try?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in this headspace MORE than once in my life—and for all different goals. Again, this loss of motivation and excitement can—and will!—happen for any change you’re trying to make—in your career, in a relationship…literally ANY change or goal.
That’s where these next insights come in handy.
I seriously cannot WAIT to read the entire book because he has sooooo many gems to share when it comes to goals and habit change.
The first point of his I want to share with you is this: We can’t be so reliant on motivation.
Like willpower, motivation is a finite resource. Most likely, there’s not enough of it to carry you through to the point when you reach any goal.
So, once it wanes…what then?
This is the point when many people give up. No more motivation? No problem! I’m over it.
In order NOT to give up, Clear suggests that we focus on DISCIPLINE, not motivation.
Think of all of the things you do day in and day out that you’re not MOTIVATED to do, but you do them anyway—out of DISCIPLINE.
You brush your teeth. You shower. You take your kids to soccer practice. You cook dinner. You vacuum. You unload the dishwasher. You pull weeds.
Do you feel particularly MOTIVATED to do those things? Probably not! But you still DO them.
So, when you’ve been trying to lose weight for an entire month and start to lose motivation, rest assured—that’s NORMAL. And it happens to everyone!
But that loss of motivation does NOT mean you’re on the wrong track. It just means it’s time to shift into “discipline mode” so that you can stay the course and meet your goal.
Because if you keep on keepin’ on, your success will be inevitable.
This is another cool point Clear makes: Instead of focusing on your current position or results—and instead of comparing your current position and results to Becky’s!—ask yourself, “Am I on the right trajectory?”
When you focus on your trajectory rather than your current status, all you have to do is keep making small changes and let TIME work for you.
You see, TIME is always on your side. If you keep taking your lunch, exercising, avoiding soda, and ordering healthier options at restaurants, it’s only a matter of TIME before those choices pay off!
Clear says that “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.” Which is great news because that means the small things you do each day don’t just add up…they compound!
And really, the changes you make can be—and should be!—small!! Clear says it’s enough to get 1% better every day. If you try to revamp your entire lifestyle overnight, that’s not gonna be sustainable.
The small, seemingly insignificant choices you make each day compound. Eventually, the impact of each small choice will double, triple, and even quadruple!
You just have to wait until you reach YOUR tipping point, but the tipping point is different for everyone.
Becky’s tipping point came sooner than yours, but that doesn’t mean your day won’t come! It absolutely will!!
And until your day comes, remember that comparison is the ultimate thief of joy. Since you now know it’s normal for it to take TIME before you see awesome results, try not to compare yourself to others while you’re going through the process. Cause that’ll just make you miserable and more likely to STOP whatever it is you’re doing.
Okay, so to summarize what we’ve learned so far about achieving any goal—like weight loss!
- Your motivation WILL wane. So don’t rely on motivation. Instead, focus on discipline.
- Also, rather than dwelling on your current position and the results you’ve NOT YET seen, focus on your current trajectory. Maintain the course you’re on and let TIME work for you cause, when ya do, your success will be inevitable!
The final thing I want to share is a quote from Jacob Riis. Clear kinda summarized Riis’ words in a podcast interview, but I looked up the full quote—and ever since I’ve learned it, I’ve thought about it almost every day!
Here it is:
When nothing seems to help, I go back and look at the stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it — but all that had gone before.
Apparently, the San Antonio Spurs have always had this quote hanging in their locker room to serve as a constant reminder of the ideas we’ve just talked about.
It’ll always be “all that had gone before”—the little things we do each day—that matter.
Again, believe me when I say that I completely understand how easy it is to look around and think that others are just lucky and have “overnight success,” but Clear says that’s just not true.
Some have called Clear an overnight success because of his awesome book, but they don’t see that he was writing high-quality, long-form articles for YEARS before his book was published.
Any person who has had seemingly overnight success has actually been chipping away at their goals behind the scenes—day by day, month by month, year by year. We just don’t SEE that. Not even on Instagram!
People tend to post pictures of their successes, which can make it SEEM like those successes happened quickly. But they didn’t. It’s just not as fun to post pictures of the day-in-day out.
Think of a team that wins some championship. We see pictures and videos of the awards ceremony, but we don’t see pictures and videos of the players doing thousands of reps to grow muscle, waking up extra early each day, practicing through injuries, and so on.
No one wants to see images of the boring day to day…so no one posts those!
The reason I wanted to do this episode is because A) I have a small obsession with James Clear and wanted to share his work with you so that you can be obsessed to, and B) I KNOW how hard it is to accomplish a lofty goal—like losing weight, keeping it off, and getting to the place where you feel truly healthy!
Each and every one of the clients I coach one-on-one hits a point where they feel like giving up and just going back to their status quo, but they DON’T give up…because I don’t let them!
I share with them the ideas I’ve just shared with you, they keep at it, and then they see incredible results!
I hope this episode was helpful. The cool thing about learning new ideas—like the ones Clear shares about habits—is that you can’t UNLEARN them!
Now that you’ve learned all of these things, you’ll know them for life! So hopefully you’ll find it easier to stick with the goals you set for yourself from here on out!!
If you think a friend or family member could benefit from everything you’ve just heard, share this episode with them! Let’s get these ideas out to as many people as possible so that giving up on goals becomes a thing of the past 🙂
Thanks for being here with me today—see you next week!
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