So let me give you some insight into the kind of person I am, or should I say ‘used to be’ as I’ve taken my first small step to change.
Let’s say my goal is to make serious GAINS. Like I want to be bigger, stronger, toned from head to toe in order to tag my pictures on Instagram with ‘#fitspo #shredded #girlswholift #eatcleantrainmean’ and the list goes on. So being the kind of ‘go-getter’ I was, on making that decision I’d sign up to the gym and decide to go 5 times a week, order a £40 protein shake, buy new gym clothes and stack my fridge with chicken and lean beef. I’d even go calculate some macros and maybe buy a workout guide or two. Basically, I’d do the absolute most in hope that my results would be bigger, better and appear sooner than stated.
This mentality would last for about a week or so, 3 at the max, before I’d eat a 5 pack of doughnuts in one sitting, make a load of excuses as to why I can’t go gym and delete my macro food tracker app because my iPhone needed more space. This mentality didn’t end at the doors of fitness and body goals; I’d apply this method of instant change to every part of my life.
I confided in a friend about how much this attitude of mine annoyed me and they responded with a nugget of wisdom:
‘It is better to take many small steps in the right direction, than to make a giant leap forward only to stumble backwards’
And that was it, right there I knew that I’d got it all wrong. I’d made unsustainable life changes in good stead, only to burn out when the results weren’t coming fast enough. In the context of my analogy, if I actually decided to go to the gym twice a week or do a few home workouts and cut down on carbs rather than eliminate them; then maybe I’d still be on the fitness journey now. (Disclaimer: I know little to nothing on gains, gym, food or whatever – this analogy is purely for illustrative purposes)
If you’re trying to make a lifestyle change that’ll last, make the decision big but the action small but significant.
If you don’t read but you really want to become a book-worm (big decision), don’t force yourself to try and read a book a week. Instead, just read a page or 2 a day for the first week, then 4 pages a day on week 2, 5 pages on week 3 and so on and so forth(small, progressive action). As the weeks go by it’ll become a habit and before you know it, you’ll start itching to finish that book you started (better than anticipated result). The aim is to constantly build on a series of progressive, small but incremental steps.
Remember: “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones” – Confucius
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…’ – 1st half of Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)