Wanting to change or start a goal happens at all different stages of our life. Sometimes we’re fully ready and prepared to succeed from day one, and other times (more often than not), we’re not ready, the timing isn’t right, and we don’t have all the things in place to succeed – but and this is a big but, this doesn’t need to stop you from starting. It doesn’t stop you from being able to achieve later on down the line. What stops us is quitting a few weeks in after not seeing the results we hoped for, or when we hit a wall, we feel stuck and quit on the process.
Let’s get real. If any, we don’t have any guarantees in life, and quitting after a few weeks of starting something – mainly because you haven’t got the results you expected is like saying everything in life is guaranteed. That just because we want something, we’ll get it – which isn’t true. If you’re someone who went to university, did you think that you would get one by saying you wanted a degree, you would get one? No, you had to do the work. If you didn’t go to university, did you think I wanted a job and just got one? Most likely not.
There was a crucial moment when my mindset shifted, especially towards how I was looking after myself. I lost two people in my family to cancer, and during this same period watched my gran lose herself to Alzheimer’s and my dad go through a life-saving and life-changing operation to remove his cancer. I struggled but always felt lucky that I was OK, and this experience triggered a more profound sense of responsibility to look after my health. With all the information we now have access to, I felt obligated to learn what I could to not fall victim to these types of illnesses through my own doing – I’m fully aware that there is no guarantee. However, I wanted and still want to try and break the cycle of cancer in my family. I wanted to do what I could to prevent it from happening and not leave it up to chance. I had a big realisation that I wanted to live a long life. I didn’t want to die early or get old in my 60’s.
Did I know what to do when I set this goal? No. Did I have the guarantee I would succeed? No. Was I going to see progress in a couple of weeks? No. Did I quit? NO!
I’m sharing this story to highlight that even to this day, ten years later, there haven’t been any ‘finish line goals’ or significant differences in how I look. A healthier lifestyle is an ongoing, habit-forming goal. And, even with a much healthier lifestyle, I still get ill from time to time. I’m pretty tired most of the time since I’ve had my daughter and recently overcame an iron deficiency.
It’s been a challenge from day one setting this goal, but it has become easier over time, and I’ve formed the habits and routines now that keep me track 99% of the time but even with this setup, I still don’t have any guarantee I will succeed at this goal.
The benefits of having a healthier lifestyle spill over into so many other facets of my life that I’ve seen results and progress in other areas of my life that I didn’t expect or plan for when I first decided on this change.
I’ve learned to love and appreciate my body for what it can do rather than focus on what it looks like. It might sound strange to some, but I never really connected to my body that way before. My diet has a real purpose: to help me achieve optimal health. It was the same with exercise. I started to exercise in ways my body needed to feel great, and that was and still is Crossfit and running, especially running in the mountains. My body is more about function, and this function is to get to the top of the mountain as fast as possible. It brings a sense of purpose, and it’s also given me newfound freedom; my body has taken me to parts of the world I would never have seen.
Something integral to sustaining this change and staying focused on achieving this goal was rewriting my story. It was rewriting this story that has changed everything in my life.
And you can change your story too; you don’t have to keep being the person that quits.
The questions to ask yourself are:
For those of you who know me, you know I don’t focus on quick fixes or hacks – what I share and want to share with you are real, tangible ways to change your life for the better for the long term.
What’s your key takeaway from listening today?
What small actions can you take today to change your story of quitting?
I hope this helps!
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