Deep into a dream, the morning alarm rings like a boot camp sergeant banging two garbage can lids together. Time to get up. But maybe I can sleep in this morning. I have worked out every morning this week. This has been a solid month of training, and I deserve to sleep in.
Then you mumble to yourself the words you have been repeating each morning since you started: “Remember Why You Started” and immediately you find yourself up and getting ready to go to the gym.
Remember Why You Started
Remember why you started is a simple mantra that if repeated every day and at the start of any endeavor will reel you back to your Big Fat Why when you get sidetracked.
Notice I said when you get side tracked. You see, it’s not a question of if, but when. Our Why will be critical.
Seth Godin wrote a very interesting book on the topic, The Dip, where he addresses our challenges as we identify our Why. Remembering Why you started in the first place keeps you excited to get going.
Godin says, “The dip is the long stretch between beginner’s luck and real accomplishment.” It’s easy to be in excellent health, maintaining your perfect weight and feeling strong. What’s hard is getting there.
Thrill of Something New
At the beginning of a new regimen you are excited to start feeling healthy again and as you start to lose some weight in the first couple of weeks, you are feeling great!
But then you hit the Dip: obstacles and temptations start to appear virtually out of nowhere. And you find yourself being drawn back to old habits. The how and what are critical aspects of the big picture, but that will take you only take you so far. It’s the why that keeps you moving forward and motivated as you slip deep into the Dip.
Focus on the Process, Not the Outcome
John Maxwell suggests you think of it as your “why power.” This will help to keep you going when it all becomes challenging and you find yourself down and discouraged.
Maxwell goes on to say “When you make the right choices, however small, and do it consistently over time, it can make a huge difference in your life. If you remember why you’re making those choices, it becomes easier.”
Stay focused on the process and not the outcome. Let’s use losing weight as an example. On my own personal journey, I recall a particular Monday morning at weigh-in time. I was really excited after a solid week of eating clean and crushing my workouts. I stood on the scale and with absolute horror looked at the numbers staring back up at me. My weight was actually up 2.5 pounds!
How can that be? To say I was angry and upset was an understatement. So I let it bother me for about an hour. And then I went right back to eating clean and working out the very next day. I focused on the process so my outcome – my Why – will be obtained.
Commander Mark Devine, Navy Seal, Seal Fit Academy, said it best: “Success is defined by choice, and its small choices, not the major ones that make the difference between good and excellent.”