When you're motivated to crush it, "do just one thing" is the last piece of advice you want to hear.
Your motivation is higher than Sasquatch riding a unicorn on the moon, and you want to ride that wave all the way to six pack abs and GI Joe arms.
Likewise, when you're lacking motivation but you know you need to make a change, the advice to 'do one thing' doesn't exactly light a fire under your butt.
Doing one thing lacks the appeal of a Complex, life-altering fitness plan.
Those plans have pizzazz. Those plans look like they'll get you from A to Z.
But doing just one thing? That doesn't sound like it'll do anything at all.
Its not sexy. It's not shiny.
But it works.
Lets allow our completely made-up friend, Yakobe, to show is how.
Meet Yakobe. A handsome devil, currently 36 years old and looking to step up his game.
Yakobe is motivated as hell. While motivated, Yakobe plans out his training and nutrition.
He's going to workout 6x per week for 60-90 min. He's also going to eliminate junk from his diet, eat 1g of protein per pound of body weight, and get all his carbs from vegetables and rice.
He can't wait to Crush it.
But Yakobe doesn't realize planning your program while super motivated is like grocery shopping while starving.
You end up with a lot more than you need, and often more than you can handle.
5 weeks into his plan, Yakobes motivation takes a nose dive.
Motivation is sneaky like that. Always coming and going without the decency of a heads-up.
"Aye Yakobe, it's your pal, Motivation. I'm gonna head out for a few weeks to visit my cousin on the Jersey Shore. See ya when I see ya."
Yakobe falls out of his groove and misses a couple workouts. He feels awful about it and can't stop focusing on his failure to execute.
It gets worse. He stops tracking his food, his calories creep up, and his protein intake dwindles.
Yakobe is only human (not really, he's make believe), so some missteps are understandable.
But in this case Yakobe took on too much too soon. A common Mistake.
If he chose just one thing to focus on, that one thing would have received all his focus and effort.
That means he would have:
1. Stuck with it long enough to see results, which ignites further motivation. When motivation wanes, executing one thing is more realistic than maintaining a lifestyle overhaul.
2. Solidified that 'one thing' as a habit. Once it's a habit, it's automatic.
3. Proven to himself that he can do this. Success in one area gives you something to hang your hat on, and provides you with the courage to take on more.
Oh, Yakobe. Next time, focus on executing one thing. Crush it, then build on it.
How about the person who isn't particularly motivated, and doesn't know where to start?
Let's call her Innana. 27 years young, her friends describe her as a 'wallflower'.
Innana is stuck. She wants to start, but she isn't sure how.
Every time she considers a new workout or nutrition plan, the thought of overhauling her life is too daunting to follow through.
She might fail, proving to herself and others she isn't cut out for this.
The thought of starting with just one thing sounds doable. But is it really going to get her from A to Z?
Innana doesn't think so. And she's right.
But that's ok. Because nothing gets you from A to Z.
In fact, the thing that gets you from point A to point B probably won't get you to C or D.
So Innana is afraid to start because she's overwhelmed with options, all of which require a lifestyle overhaul.
It's scary, and it doesn't feel realistic.
But if Innana picks one thing she knows she can do, and puts all her focus and effort into it, she'll experience the same things Yakobe did.
Shell stick with it, shell get results, and she'll build the confidence to take on more.
How To Pick Your 'One Thing'?
Use the following criteria:
1. Make it something you believe in. If you buy into it, and it gets your juices flowing, you'll put your whole heart behind it.
2. Make it something you're confident you can do. It doesn't matter how big or how small this 'thing' is. What matters is that you do it.
3. Your 'thing' should match your motivation.
Let's say you're like Yakobe- motivation coursing through your veins.
In that case, make your 'one thing' more aggressive.
A 4 day per week workout plan, or tracking all your calories, for example.
Maybe you're more like Innana- you know you need to make a change, but you're don't have the motivation.
That's ok. Start small.
Make your own lunch instead of eating out, or go for a 20 min walk to wind down after work.
Starting with 'one thing' doesn't have the juicy appeal big, extravagant fitness plans have. But it's often the most effective way to make long-term progress.
And the way that 'one thing' will snowball into more things will blow your mind.
Now, is choosing just 'one thing' always the way to go?
Not necessarily. My clients and I often start with several new habits. But that comes with the support, structure and accountability of our coaching program.
Many others are able to take on a multi- faceted fitness plan that sticks without the help of a coach.
But if you find yourself highly motivated, only to fizzle out after 5-6 weeks, choosing just 'one thing' may be what you need to make long term progress.
Or, if you lack the motivation to get started, doing 'one thing' will build your confidence and ignite your motivation. This foundation of confidence allows you to take on more, and make impressive progress over time.
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