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Success is a Matter of Habit

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I have recently been reading a book about the role of goal setting to success. The beginning of the book posed a thought that really resonated with me.

Why do you think that some people have still been trying to reach the same goal they started years ago and others have completely transformed themselves?

Talk about someone throwing cold water on me. I have been trying to reach the same goal for decades! Of course over time the goal has expanded. First it was to lose 50 lbs, then 75, 100, etc until today where I have 120 lbs to lose before I reach a healthy weight. While I have achieved small measures of success, none of it has been long lasting. I get on a short run and do great and then I get distracted by one thing or another. That doesn't mean that I have been a failure; but rather I just haven't made success my habit.

I realize that while my goals are important they are almost always unfocused. Someday I will lose all that weight. Someday I will not have to buy clothes in a plus-sized boutique. Someday I will be able to do that high intensity workout. While there isn't anything wrong with these "someday" goals, I have to make "right now" goals in order to reach my someday ones. In order to lose that much weight what does it take every day, every week, every month for me to stay on track. I'm not looking for the quick fix so my priorities must match these goals and be realistic not only for the short term but also for the long haul. I don't have to get it right the first time but I do have to commit to stay with the forward direction and not fall into the laze of "someday".

As an all or nothing girl this will not be easy. I want results now and it is hard to accept that the days when I can only do 10 minutes of exercise are still successes even if I planned on 60 minutes. I know I will have days that I want to give up, and days when nothing is going as planned. I will accept this as my journey, not a failure, but instead view this as another opportunity to reach success tomorrow. I will stop living my days as the somedays waiting to happen and instead live the today that is in front of me. I will take opportunity to reach for success until it is no longer an effort but just another habit.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I think my "all or nothing" mindset was what had me trapped for years, too. Once I began to live the 80/20 rule that Spark discusses, I had a lot more success in so many areas.
    1920 days ago
    I am an all or nothing girl too, and it was frustrating for me to learn that my body WON'T lose weight if I try to lose too quickly, or eat too little. "Too little" being under about 1500 calories at my current weight of 160, and more like 1900 calories when I was around 225 lbs (and higher than that, of course, at 255 lbs, but I didn't count calories at that point). What really helped me was making small daily goals. I gave myself one day off those goals every week, as a break or failsafe, and I tried really hard at them. They seemed simple to most people: drink enough water, get enough sleep, eat one fruit and one veggie every day, exercise every day. They were difficult, but after about six months, I could add more water, more exercise, more fruits and veggies, until today, almost two years later, it's normal/common for me to eat 5 freggies a day, and to exercise six days a week usually for an hour, etc. Because habits aren't formed overnight, and they are definitely not formed in 28 days despite the myth. Habits are formed after months and years of work. And if you lose slowly - a pound a week, tapering to half a pound or so when you get closer to goal - then those habits have time to become permanent, and the weight stays off forever, which is wonderful! Good luck to you. :)
    1920 days ago
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