Making Gains for a Bright Future
When you plan on making gains there are a few things you need to do. We’ve already talked about a couple of them. One, setting SMART goals. Two, be courageous enough to set Big Audacious Hairy Goals. And the third thing you need to do is Leave Your Comfort Zone.
Making gains on your goals means you need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Why is this so hard? Because staying in your comfort zone is, well, comfortable. But it’s essential to push yourself if you want to make any progress.
Now what exactly does this mean? How do you you actual get out of your comfort zone? One of the easiest ways is to say no. You heard me correctly. Say no. If you’re goal is to lose weight then you need to be a fanatic about saying no. No to non-healthy snacks, no to soda, including diet soda, no to the treats that are in the break room at work. Just Say No!
Want to Make Gains? Start Being Honest With Yourself!
I’ve heard it many times. I’ll ask, do you drink soda? “No, well only once in awhile”. Or do you do a lot of snacking? “Never, well mostly never”. Now I’m not here to judge. I’ve actually been there myself. I know how hard it is. But when I lost 85 pounds there were two things I did. One, I never missed a workout. And two, I always said no. I didn’t eat foods I wasn’t supposed to. I didn’t partake in treats at work.
It’s funny because I’ve seen other articles about how to diet and still keep your friends. And the thing is, I can’t imagine losing a friend over a food choice. I have been in the break room at work and receive a comment or two as I looked at the nutrition facts on a treat that was brought in to share, so yes I have to have a bit of a thick skin. But I’m in charge what food I put in my mouth, nobody else. So that means I check nutrition facts. I bring food with me places. I check menus ahead of time before going to a restaurant.
Yes, it may be uncomfortable when everyone else is enjoying dessert or an alcoholic drink and I’m just hanging out with my water but I just have to remind myself that I’m making gains. I have goals and BHAGs and I’m going to to be successful.
Friend or Foe?
A number of years ago I went on a canoe trip through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area with some friends and my mom wanted me to wear a life jacket while I was canoeing. I said I would and she looked at me skeptically and asked me what if my friends made fun of me?
I just told her I was comfortable enough in my own skin. And that someone laughing at me, over something trivial like wearing a lifejacket, because my mom asked me too, wasn’t going to make me change my mind. Furthermore, I told her if someone made fun of me for wearing a lifejacket, then they really weren’t my friend to begin with and didn’t deserve a second thought from me.
The same is true for those who make fun or try to drag you down or dissuade you from meeting your goals. They aren’t your friends and don’t deserve a second thought. Of course someone you absolutely need to get along with is yourself. You can’t write yourself off as a bad friend and walk away. So you need to start being your best friend. And I mean today!
Making gains isn’t just about meeting goals, or hitting a goal weight, or getting a six pack. But it’s about making your life better all around. We’ve been talking a lot about saying no. But you also need to say yes. Say yes to a better you.
Healthy food choices? Yes please! More energy? I’ll take a double serving of that all day long. The greatest thing about making friends with yourself and staying on track with your goals and BHAGs is yesterday’s uncomfortable zone is today’s comfort zone.
This is exactly how you make gains. By making yourself get uncomfortable you make changes slowly but surely. The thing about making gains and is that it’s something you can continue to do throughout your life. Gains aren’t a one and done. It’s a lifestyle. The greatest thing about making this a lifestyle change is that the more time you spend out of your comfort zone the better you get at it. Pretty soon being uncomfortable doesn’t seem that uncomfortable. It’s just how you live your life.
But it’s all about making choices. You have to be willing to make tough choices. And you have to be willing to stick to your goals. Sometimes it may feel lonely, but I found that is usually short lived. When I first started my healthy lifestyle I didn’t quite understand all the ins and outs myself. Therefore, I wasn’t able to fully share my experience adequately with my friends. And because I didn’t quite understand my journey they couldn’t be expected to understand it either.
That’s the thing about lifestyle changes. There isn’t always a clear map of the road ahead. And we don’t always have an X that marks the spot. Sometimes there’s going to be a detour, some things will be tried and tossed aside as a not-for-me. And some things you’ll try and think, why didn’t I do this 30 years ago. But that’s the great thing on going on a lifestyle journey. Half the fun is trying new things and seeing what works for you.
The other great thing about lifestyle changes is sharing it with friends, family, co-workers, strangers. Anyone that will listen. There’s a joke going around: How do you know if someone is Vegan? They’ll tell you. I can totally relate to this joke, because before my journey I was extremely unhappy. I had no zest for life. And now I can’t wait to wake up in the morning to see what the day will bring. And who doesn’t want to share that kind of love? I know I do and I love hearing others stories about their adventures. Let me know in the comments below about how you made gains in your life.