Have you ever tried to get in shape so many times, you just gave up?
It's very common. So many people feel like their barrier to fitness is a psychological one — like the gears just aren’t catching to produce motion.They feel stuck, frozen in this body, slowly deteriorating. Do you ever say to yourself:
- I want to work hard every day.
- I want to be progressing in my program.
- I don’t love my new gym. It’s fine. It just doesn’t feel like mine.
- I want to lose fat, gain muscle, and gain vitality.
- I want to stop drinking alcohol and smoking cigars completely.
- I want to eat only meat and greens. ONLY.
Then, you just find yourself failing?
Here's how to escape the hell of feeling like a failure. Here's how to break through failure by achieving your goals, maybe even for the first time:
1. Carve out your groove.
Know the exact path you want to take in each scenario. Assume that if you have to improvise the act — if you have to make up on the spot what exercise you’re doing, what time, which piece of equipment, when you’re doing it, how long your rest is, what your goal is, you can safely assume that you’re not going to do it at all.
2. Review your goals in the morning.
Have your goals somewhere permanent. Maybe even laminate them, or make them your phone background. Don’t just “remember” your goals. Write them somewhere that can’t be erased, and that you must see daily. Visit them. Reflect on them. You don’t need to have a huge emotional moment every day, but you do have to resolve anew every day: I’m doing this and this and this.
This step involves producing a tactical artifact for your motivation, for your dream, for your why. You need something you can hold in your hands that communicates all the necessary information to your brain about what you need to do today, why you’re doing it, and the Heaven/Hell that you could create by complying or not.
3. Write down your progress.
Whether it’s strength, muscle, fat loss, or endurance, track your progress. How much weight are you lifting for this exercise? How many times? How is that better than last time? If it’s not, how can you make it better? How much do I weight? How do I look compared to last week? What definition can I see that I couldn’t last month? What was my cardio time? What was my distance?
Write it down in the same journal or app every day. Track it. If you don’t track your progress as you’re doing it, next time you will have to make up all of this information from scratch again. No. Today’s data sets the bar for tomorrow’s performance. Fitness is you vs. you. The less you track today, the more emotional energy it’s gonna take to be consistent tomorrow. The more you track, the easier it will be to hit it tomorrow.
4. Write your personal heaven/hell.
Along with your goals, write down your personal Heaven and your personal Hell. I’m not talking about theology. I’m saying: Take time just once, in the beginning, to write a few paragraphs on the dream you want to turn into a reality, and the hell you want to avoid or escape. Take time to look deeply into the eyes of your Heaven and your Hell. It could even include pictures of what you want to look like/not look like.
Now print out your Heaven and Hell and make them a part of your goals. Make them an artifact. Because the fact is: You Heaven is possible, and your Hell is real, but your everyday lethargy and fatigue wants you to think they’re not. Your inner Dilbert is saying to you: It doesn’t matter what you do. You can’t really change. You can’t really make a difference with your actions. Life goes on. You’re too weak. Blah blah blah. No. That’s a lie. Show it the light of your dreams. Hold your lethargy’s feet to the fire of your own personal hell. Make yourself hungry with desire and sober with fear. And pursue the path that takes you toward your dreams and away from your nightmares. Because your actions today are making one of them real, and not the other.