No Time Like the Present
For a lot of people, the summer months are a perfect time to loosen the reins a bit when it comes to fitness and nutrition, and that’s OK. But with summer coming to an end, a lot of people now face a key inflection point.
Do you take inventory of where you are in relation to your goals and double down on making progress starting today?
Do you keep all things the same and just cruise into the fast-approaching Christmas, inevitably just putting your goals on hold until it comes time to set those New Year’s resolutions for 2022? (I’ve written plenty about the psychology of “Monday, January 1st etc.”, check out our blogs here and here for why we think January 1st isn’t sustainable)
It can be tough to hear but we’re almost at the final quarter of 2021. The year will wrap up soon and it’s up to you to decide how you’re going to end it.
I love the idea of compounding habits, the author James Clear (Atomic Habits) calls habits the “compound interest of self-improvement”. So let’s take a 1% improvement each day between here and Christmas.
“1%!? It will take me forever to reach my goal if I just improve by 1% each day”, but that’s exactly where you are going to fail. We often look for the new shiny novelty and quick fix that promises 40% in six weeks, but we typically get nowhere near that type of return in nowhere near that timeframe. But if we focus on the process and make small incremental changes daily, that’s where the magic occurs.
One small improvement each day this Autumn means you will be flying high in whatever you choose to be doing by Christmas.
Here’s a simple example:
Day 1 – Add vegetables to a meal you previously didn’t
Day 2 – Move more and get in some intentional exercise, like a walk for example.
Day 3 – Drink 2 litres of water
Day 4 – Write down your thoughts for the day and list things you were thankful for
Day 5 – Add a source of protein to a meal that previously didn’t have protein
Day 6 – Go for a longer walk that Day 2.
Day 7 – Prioritise sleep aiming to get at least 7 hours.
Think what types of habits you will accrue by day 100. None of the above are earth shattering, huge changes, just small incremental habitual changes that keep adding on top of each other. And if we manage to stack small habitual improvement on top of small habitual improvement we get big changes that cause an overall improvement in our lives. None of the above mean you need to live like a hermit or just eat chicken and broccoli, but they do mean you have to commit to the longer term changes and give up the fads and be consistent in your thoughts and actions.
We often think the chains that hold us back are physical, where 9 times out of 10 they are mental and we need to see these constraints for what they are.
As a colleague of mine (@angela_kerrisk) posted on Social Media over the weekend:
“In life, we can have results or reasons. If you are not getting the results you want, your reasons are the lies that you keep telling yourself.”
Your move. Let’s go!