Everyone gets carried away with giant dreams and goals. You want to be debt free, travel the whole world, have six pack abs, remodel your house, and have all new gear. You write out the goals and then schedule out a balls to the wall plan. You calculate everything down to the hour and the penny. You are going to be Zen in months. Maybe weeks. Better yet, hours!
On Monday morning you wake up hard charging for the goals. You tell your friends and family. You have this shit all figured out. When you lay down for bed that night, you are full of pride and accomplishment. People shouldn’t get paid to help you do any of these things. You just set your plan and get after it. Easy.
Then Friday rolls around. You have given yourself an allowance of $3 per week, you have been eating nothing but veggies and “clean” foods. You decide to treat yourself to a pint on the way home. You deserve it. Goal crushing five days in a row now. After your pint, someone offers to buy you another round if you stay. There is a pizza coming out for the table, too. So you have another pint. It won’t hurt anything. Eat some pizza. You are enjoying yourself, so you decide,- screw it, what is $3 and a few calories more? When you go to bed, you’re pissed that you went over your budget on money and calories.
You wake up Saturday and remember that you missed your goals yesterday. SHIT! You eat junk all day and go out Saturday night. You already blew the budgets so why not. You can start again Monday.
On Monday morning you’re a little less motivated. The same scenario plays out with a little less drive this time around. Three weeks later and you’re back to your same old routine. No lasting changes.
This has happened to everyone. EVERYONE! The question is why? The answer is simple; you’re trying to cut a tree down with a single chop. It doesn’t work that way. Nothing does. We tend to overestimate what we can get done in six months to a year and underestimate what we can get done in five years. You can either give one big ole swing with the ax and declare your victory or defeat, or you could take a small swing at the tree every time you walk by. If you go with the small swing approach, you will expend little to no perceived effort and the tree will fall before you know it. Now let’s apply that to life.
If you want to lose 10 pounds, that is 35,000 calories. You can starve yourself for a week and lose the weight, just to gain it back, or you can slowly change your habits. If you were to eat a breakfast that is 100 calories lower, and keep all other food intake constant, you would lose that 10 pounds in a year. That’s it. One meal that is healthier. It’s easy and you will hardly feel the change. You would probably get used to it very quickly and not even notice it after a few weeks. You are not your best efforts, you are what you consistently do; you are the average of your actions.
Make small changes. Make those changes habit. Make more small changes. Your life will change before you know it. You won’t even see it until you look back at how far you’ve come.