I love bread, sausages and beer. I have a healthy diet, but I do enjoy these three things and I don’t think that I could ever give them up totally as part of any nutrition plan. They would be on my “I won’t list”. We all have one of these lists, even though you’ve probably never thought of it.
We always talk about what we will do to be healthy and how you are willing to achieve your nutritional and exercise goals. For example,
- I’m going to exercise 4 days per week
- I’m going to hit my calorie goal every day
- I’m getting up an hour earlier each day so I can work out at 6am
That’s great. We do need to identify those qualities, those markers within us that can create habits that will reinforce the positive behavior and give us a growing awareness of how far we are willing to go.
However, there is something else that you need to factor in; your capacity for succeeding is also dependent on what you are not willing to do. Mine is bread, sausages and beer. What won’t you give up? Where will you draw the line at pushing yourself? Examples on your “won’t do” list could be:
But there’s something else you need to factor in: your capacity for success is also predicated on what you are not willing to do. What you won’t give up. Where you draw the line at discomfort. Yes, your list of things you won’t do. Examples:
- I won’t eat vegetables
- I won’t stop eating cheese
- I am NOT running
- No high intensity exercise
- I can’t get up at 6:00 am to exercise. That’s too early
- I won’t lift weights because I’ll get “bulky” (you won’t)
It is important to look at this list as definitive statements are an indicator of our mindset. Because of this, we need to take a minute to examine them for clues.
Here is an exercise for you to do: take a piece of paper and write at the top: I WON’T and then fill in 5 lines below with things that you are not willing to do in the pursuit of a healthier life. Just write them down. Don’t think about “why” at this point, just write the important points.
Once you have finished take a look. Consider if all of your points are definite “won’ts”. If they are then keep them. If you are unsure whether they are definite then ask yourself these questions:
Why are you unwilling to?
What would that mean to you? To your life? To your family?
If you could give it up for a short time would that be ok? Could you survive and how long for?
You may have some understandable points on your list. For example, if you are a single parent then “going for a run before work” is probably not achievable. However, what about points that fall into a “middle ground” or definates that do not have a concrete reason? You may refuse to do weight-training as you do not want to bulk up. Could you seek advice from someone who could give you a programme to allow you to weight-train without any possibility that you will increase bulk. With these “middle ground” points, there is often a way of removing them from your list with a bit of help.
Writing your list and then analysing it is a great way of getting to know yourself. It will make you think about your mindset and behaviours and help you to visualise the following: the road to success has two yellow lines running down the middle, dividing it in half (those lines represent what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do). A little further down the road it splits into two. One fork takes you to success, the other doesn’t. However, to take the road to success you must be on the right side of the line at that point.
And the secret to this? Successful people will do the things that unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Say it again; “successful people will do the things that unsuccessful people are not willing to do”. So, all of those things in your “won’t do” list may be holding you back from being successful.
Success is not an easy path to follow. It never has been and never will be. It requires smart planning, sacrifices, consistency, re-evaluation, willingness to adjust and perseverance when life gets hard. There will be hard times, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get through them. You just need to be determined.
So, want success. Figure out what is holding you back, and work on it. You might find a hidden key to a door you need to unlock. Good luck!
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