The Key to Consistency
Tarletta Williams, Marketing Strategist
Not another post about SMART Goals.
Ever wonder why it’s so hard to commit to change?
In the beginning, you’re sure-fire confident. You grab your pen, your paper, and a calendar and you decide that this time, it’s going to be different. This time, you’re not gonna back down. You’re gonna stick it through and it’s totally gonna work. And then something happens. You look back three months later and see that it didn’t quite go down that way?
1. Set Yourself Up for the Win!
Your ability to stay motivated is a big indicator of whether or not you’ll be able to see your goal through. It’s about finding your motivation. (No, I’m not going to go into a long speech about understanding your why.) I’m talking about self motivation, the kind that happens in your brain.
We are all made up of these natural instincts, fight, flight, or freeze. By now, you have a pretty clear idea of what your brain would tell you to do if you were faced with fighting an armed robber or grabbing that last size small off the rack. But did you know that the same battle happens when it’s time to decide whether or not you want to exercise in the morning? Seriously.
Your brain is designed to tell you to do things that you know you’re good at. If you’re not a seasoned runner, it’s probably not gonna like the idea of jumping into 5 miles/day.
To help your brain cope with the change, you have to train your brain to believe that you can do this, and yes, it takes a little bit more than putting your hands on you hips and saying it to yourself in the mirror.
2. Check Your Mindset
Do you ever find that you absolutely hate yourself for trying to make yourself better? Don’t worry, yet again, you’re not alone. By the time I hit day 10 of a relentless five am alarm, I’ve had the same thought more than a few times.
So here’s the problem. Much like your brain doesn’t like being reminded that it hasn’t learned to do something, it doesn’t like spreading the news to your body either.
If you’re constantly thinking to yourself: why am I doing this to myself, this totally sucks, and what’s the point anyway, your brain will revert to the path of least resistance and you’ll fall off the wagon, fast.
3. Prepare Yourself
Ok, so you’ve found a starting point for your goal and you’ve found a reason to keep hope alive, now for the ‘you’ part.
Before you head off to buy some new workout gear or sign up for that new meal plan, this has absolutely nothing to do with that. This is more about your environment than your closet.
When your brain has to push out the extra effort to make change, it doesn’t like it. Again, the path of least resistance usually wins out, and willpower has its limits.
Your brain doesn’t just consider the amount of work to do something. It relies on the number of connections and decisions that are required to finish it.
Have you ever decided that you’re going to go to the gym three mornings every week, but you never quite seem to make it? Or on Monday, you decide that you absolutely have to try this new restaurant this weekend, you’re excited all week, and then you find yourself on your couch all day?
That’s because your brain has spent all it’s energy trying to decide what you’re going to wear, what machines you want to use, what traffic is going to be like, or if you’re like me, all the other stuff I’ve gotta get done before the day ends.
Your brain works on convenience. That’s why habits are so powerful.
So that’s it!
If you try any of the things mentioned, or can totally relate, leave a comment. I’m interested to know. And if you can’t tell by this article, I’m totally human. Chat soon!