How many times have you told yourself you’ll start again on Monday? Don’t get me wrong, I love the freshness of a new week and the clean slate that appears to come with it. It’s …
How many times have you told yourself you’ll start again on Monday? Don’t get me wrong, I love the freshness of a new week and the clean slate that appears to come with it. It’s easy to convince ourselves that Monday will bring new motivation and a chance to finally get it right, but we often forget that we will still be the same person on Monday. There’s nothing quite like a fresh start, except when we bring a stale plan and attitude to it.
Waiting for another day won’t change our habits or the way we approach our plan. In fact, every time we tell ourselves it’s okay to start over the next week, the more likely we are to fail again the next time around. As Max De Pree says, “In the end, it’s important to remember we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” We can’t do the same thing over and over and expect different results. We must take new action in order to change.
We all desire the implementation of healthy habits to be a stress-free experience. There are things we can do and rules and systems we can put in place to make it easier, but it’s never going to be effortless. We must let go of the expectation that it will be easy because that mindset will lead us back to the same path and place we’re in right now. We’re hardwired to take the path most traveled. Forming new habits is like walking through the woods where nobody has ever walked before. It’s difficult to see the way, you’ll probably get covered in plants sticking to you, and there is a lot of resistance. It’s easy to turn back and take the path you’re familiar with, but you’ll end up at the same destination.
Changing our habits requires us to constantly make tough choices and to set aside short-term satisfaction for long-term results. It requires us to let go of the idea that anything less than perfection is unacceptable. One of the biggest mindset shifts we must make in order to improve our consistency toward our goals is to begin prioritizing imperfect consistency rather than inconsistent perfection. Although it seems counterintuitive, it’s actually much more beneficial to show up and do half of what you’re supposed to do rather than do nothing at all. Showing up and giving our best effort day after day will get us much further than only showing up when we can be perfect. Our best will look different from one day to the next. I like to use the rule of thirds to check in with myself. If one-third of my days are really hard, one-third feel neutral, and one-third feel really great, then I’m on the right track. If too many feel great, I’m not challenging myself enough. If too many feel really hard, I may need to scale it back a bit.
This brings us to the difficulty level of our current plan. When it comes to formulating a plan to get us to our goals, we want to make sure it is realistic enough that we will actually do it, while also being challenging enough that it is beneficial to complete and it feels rewarding. This balance can take time to achieve and probably will come with a plan that is more rigorous than you think you can handle.
We are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for, and the only way to find out what we can do is by trying. If you are having a hard time sticking to your current plan, I encourage you to consider that you may not be challenging yourself enough in ways that are truly rewarding. It’s easiest to show up as our best selves when we are faced with a challenge and a deadline. If this resonates, think about how you can make your plan harder, more fun, and more rewarding.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here