Finish this sentence for me: If at first you don’t succeed…
If you were going to say, “try again,” you would have been right by conventional standards.
However, I’m not a conventional guy.
No, I don’t just think you should try again if your first attempt is a flop; you should take your failure as a victory. It implies that you’re challenging yourself. In place of the old adage, I’d say a more accurate and motivational iteration would be:
If at first you don’t succeed, you know that you’re after something worth accomplishing.
The path to success is paved with a lot of face-first tumbles; a healthy serving of embarrassment; a dollop of stress and, most importantly—the base that holds the recipe together— a generous scoop of persistence.
But when it comes to getting in shape, developing persistence is no small task; it requires a bit of persistence in and of itself. In order to get yourself motivated to follow through, you need to ask yourself a few honest, hard-hitting questions.
Is Your Goal Worth It?
Before you endeavor to work your butt off achieving something, ask yourself if what you’re working toward is going to improve your life enough to be worth the effort you’ll have to exert.
For instance, if you’re dieting to lose weight, but you only have five pounds to lose, is it worth the temporary uprooting of your entire metabolic and dietary cycles? Probably not. Upping you game at the gym while maintaining your same healthy, steady diet is a lower-risk, slower reward option, but wiser in this low-stake situation.
However, if you’re trying to shake off twenty pounds, a total overhaul of what you put in, and how you treat, your body is definitely called for. And won’t be a walk in the park, either.
It’s a matter of choosing the battles you force yourself to fight. Sagacious selection will make it that much easier to motivate yourself to stay standing.
Why Do People Fail?
A program called The Diet Solution Program Review cites most peoples’ main reason for failing to lose weight or get in shape as one simple thing:
lack of persistence.
Look, it takes weeks for you to notice physical changes once you’ve started working out; it takes those closest to you months, and people with whom you’re distantly acquainted and see infrequently can take months to notice… and may not notice at all.
The lack of reinforcement—from the mirror and your peers—makes giving up seem a lot more appealing than persevering.
And that brings me to my next point.
Why Do You Want To Succeed?
I think it’s important to preface this by saying that anyone who endeavors to adhere to a healthy diet and exercise regime does it at least partially for the physical payoff.
That being said, you should never embark on journey to change your body for the sole purpose of looking different.
Persistence is nearly impossible to come by when the goal you’re working toward is misaligned with reality. For instance—if you’re working out to get chiseled abs, you’ll probably give up after two months of core boot camp when your stomach doesn’t look anything like the picture from Men’s Health (or Women’s Health).
Getting fit means constantly being accountable, which means you have to consistently persist with yourself. The most successful fitness stories typically happen because someone had a deeper reason to get fit beyond just “looking good”.
What’s In The Way?
Finally, what’s stopping you from getting into the shape you desire? Really—take a look at the roadblocks, and be honest with yourself.
How many are imagined?
Your mind wants what’s best for you, but it’s also programmed to avoid discomfort and disappointment. As such, it’ll trick you into thinking that exercise is too difficult, or dieting too restricting, to actually stick to.
We’re what’s in the way of our own persistence. If you want to succeed, you need to stop out of your own path and set yourself on the track to success. Practice being you’re number one fan, searching for positive reinforcement in even the most challenging situations, and tell the little voice that says, “You can’t,” to find someone else’s subconscious to bring down.
About The Author: Dr. Mike Tremba has found every excuse imaginable to not exercise. Through a great deal of motivation found through others, and in places like the review of Truth About Abs, Dr. Mike has been blessed to develop the persistence to eat well, lose weight, and expand his world while helping others expand theirs. He lives in Mobile, Alabama with his wonderful wife Shari, where he continually challenges himself to better the lives of others.