Just Knowing What Do Do Isn’t Enough
- I have the motivation to gain muscle and lose fat, because I want to feel good and look good.
- I need to exercise for 4 hours each week, 3 days cardio, 3 days weight, 1 day rest.
- I will eat 5 smaller portion meals each day rather than 3 bigger meals to curb my appetite cravings.
- I check in with my sister each day, who agreed to do the same things with me so we encourage each other.
Fast forward 3 weeks – is it so hard to follow through on this commitment to myself. Wait, what went wrong here?
Surprisingly, the problem isn’t your motivation! All the goal setting, planning, coaching, support, cheering, encouragement, and positive thinking in the world buy itself is not enough to reach your goals.
What’s the problem? Read the article below
Psychological research has shown that people who are able to create healthy habits don’t have more discipline, they have more self-compassion. Instead of beating themselves up for not being perfect every time, they ask how things could have gone differently. This takes them out of “I’m a lazy loser” mode and into problem-solving mode. Instead of thinking “I should have just dragged my tired butt out of bed and forced myself to go to the gym,” they think, “I was really tired today and it caused me to oversleep. I should try to get to bed earlier next time. Is that realistic?” They don’t see the situation as a problem with themselves; they see it as a puzzle to be figured out.
I call this a Problem-Solving Mindset. The Problem-Solving Mindset is powerful because it takes emotions out of the equation and forces you to address the reality of the situation. Rather than judging yourself for being lazy, you can acknowledge that you were tired and ask why.
Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep or have too many demands on you at work. What can you do so that you can feel well-rested when you wake up in the morning? You have self-compassion by acknowledging that oversleeping is a consequence of being tired and that being tired is normal when you don’t get enough restful sleep. Oversleeping doesn’t make you lazy; it means you need to figure out how to give yourself the fuel and rest you need to function at your best.
Instead of being harsh on yourself and performing worse under the pressure, you must take care of yourself so that you can perform better. There’s no value in beating yourself up. If your best friend or child were struggling with a similar situation, would you just assume they’re hopeless and give up on them? Of course not. You would be kind, listen to their concerns, do your best to point out the positives, and steer them toward the answer. You must treat yourself with the same dignity. Not only do you deserve it, it’s also the only way to solve your problem.
The healthiest people practice self-compassion when something they wanted to accomplish doesn’t go the way they’d hoped. This gives them the mental clarity and emotional distance to adopt the Problem-Solving Mindset and have the best shot at getting it right the next time.
Article & image via