Getting Started Should Be Easy
It’d be easy to blame this time of year on the challenges we face, particularly for our fitness and nutrition.
The days are shorter, the weather gets colder, and for some reason, the couch is 10x more comfortable. I won’t contest any of that.
But let’s consider summer. The days are longer, nicer, and for some reason, an ice cold drink is 10x tastier.
I can promise you this, there will always be plenty of reasons not to do something whether it’s eating the right foods, going to the gym, or getting enough sleep.
Trust me when I say that my internal dialogue goes through the same motions. More often than not, I’m talking myself into something and not out of it. Not doing something is my default.
I like to relax. I like to be lazy. I know this about myself.
But I also know how to use this to my advantage.
Don’t Rely On Motivation
Motivation is a funny thing. We often rely on it to get things done and blame our lack of progress on a lack of motivation. Motivation also creates a sense of excitement and possibility. When we’re motivated, we can do anything and everything. It’s a great feeling.
But, motivation is fleeting. If we only did something when we felt like it, we’d do it far less than is needed to create the outcomes we want.
Becoming the person we want to become doesn’t happen in increments of days, months, or years rather it comes from repetition and consistency. The more “reps” we put in, the quicker we become that person.
Some things we can practice weekly. Some things daily. Other things we can practice multiple times per day.
The important thing to both recognize and understand is that it’s not the result of that thing that matters, it's the act of showing up to do it.
This is why we can’t rely on motivation. If motivation isn’t the answer, then what is? Don’t you worry, I’m here to propose a better way.
Make It Easy To Show Up
If you take nothing else away from reading this other than the idea to follow, I’ll be happy.
It’s easier to keep going once you’ve started. That means the key is to make it as easy to get started as possible and that’ll make it much easier to keep going.
This is physics, after all. Something in motion stays in motion. Making it easy to show up makes it easy to stay in motion. This is momentum and momentum is one of the most powerful forces in our known universe.
How Do We Make It Easy?
Each skill, habit, behavior, and desired outcome is going to be a little different, and your unique set of circumstances is yet another variable. But, I like the “Two Minute Rule” that James Clear details in his book “Atomic Habits.”
Ultimately the notion is that any new habit should take less than two minutes to do. If it will take any longer, then it needs to be dissected further. The idea is to make it as easy as possible to get started.
Going to the gym can be challenging. Putting on your workout clothes is easy.
Meal prepping for a week can be challenging. Splitting a Sunday meal in two, one for now and one for later is easy.
Drinking enough water throughout the day can be challenging. Drinking a small glass of water right when you wake up is easy.
Each of the latter parts of the three sentences above takes less than two minutes to do but primes you for the next action.
“Stay Below The Point Where It Feels Like Work”
I love that line from Clear’s book. But like most things, it’s easier said than done especially when we feel like what we’re doing is so simple that there’s no way it could be helping move us closer to our goals.
But, that initial action isn’t designed to help you make progress toward your goals. It’s to set you up for the actions that follow.
Consider this, you’re much more likely to go to the gym or even work out at home if your gym clothes are already on.
You’re much more likely to eat a healthy meal if it’s already prepared.
You’re much more likely to continue drinking more water throughout the day if you started with one glass in the morning.
The first action gets you started, it puts you in motion, it sets you up for everything else that follows.
That’s the point of making it easy to get started. Once you’ve started, it’s much more difficult to stop.
The Reverse Can Work Against You
We can’t ignore the fact that momentum can work against us. I’m sure you’ve experienced a “spiral” or two here and there.
You make one “wrong” move and the next thing you know it’s been three weeks since you’ve made it to the gym and you’ve all but forgotten what a vegetable looks like.
We’ve all been there which makes it even more important to make it easy to get started. In this case, we need to make it easy to re-start.
One mistake will rarely make or break you. Slipping up is not the problem. All-or-nothing thinking is. The “bad” gets more attention than the “good.” That’s how we’re wired.
Have you ever had a “perfect” day only to completely throw in the towel with one slip up? Why would we consider the day a loss because of one miss when we have so many other little wins to reference?
The answer is irrelevant but what we do about it is not. The easier it is to get started, the easier it is for us to re-start.
So what if you indulged a bit too much at the office? Right when you get home, put on your workout clothes.
So what if you stayed up a little too late the night before? Pour yourself a nice glass of water right when you wake up.
So what if it’s Wednesday and you realize there’s nothing to eat at your house. Order the best thing you can from your favorite restaurant, pick it up on your way home and cut it in half, so you have lunch the next day.
Less Is Better Than Nothing At All
Remember, it’s not about how much you do once that’s going to help you become the person you want to become. It’s about how many times you do it.
Something must be established before it can be improved (another quote from Clear, though slightly revised).
Doing less than you hoped is going to beat doing nothing at all 100% of the time. Doing less is still doing something. Doing less still puts you in motion. Doing less can help you do far more than you ever thought possible.
Let’s Bring This To Life
It’s easy for me to tell you this, but you need a way to be able to put this into practice. Yes, I included a few examples above but that’s rarely enough.
What you need is a simple system for creating lasting change which is exactly what I put together with my Habit Tracking Success Journal.
This isn’t just any journal; it’s a complete coaching program packaged up into one 120-page workbook.
Each Journal starts you off with a Transformation Guide. When you pair this with the Digital Learning Center I created, you have everything you need to make it easy to get started and keep going.
The whole system will walk you step-by-step through everything you need to look, feel, and perform at your best. It’s designed to take you from knowing what to do (information) to doing what you know (implementation and repetition).
If you want to become a healthy, happy, fit person, then my Habit Tracking Success Journal will show you how.
Don’t wait. Become an HDHU Hero. Become the Hero of your own movie. Get your Habit Tracking Success Journal and get started today.
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