Have you ever set a goal or simply wished to pursue a long standing dream? Have you ever begun on a journey only to see your energy fizzle out, just in a few days or weeks?
If yes, don’t feel dejected! You’re not alone! We’ve all been there.
For most people it typically goes something like this. They come back from the holiday season, where they were all consumed by the festivities and they kinda caved in and before they realized, they put on a few extra pounds!
It’s that guilt many people face in January or February that makes them want to “do something” about those extra pounds. Trust me, most people at this point, genuinely want to “do something” about the extra pounds, they have put on. They want to lose weight and get back into shape!
We’ve all been there and I don’t blame you for feeling guilty. It’s normal!
However what happens next is also equally disheartening. Here’s what happens when you’re consumed by this guilt. You are casually browsing the internet and an Ad pops up on YouTube where a shredded male (or toned female) literally appeals to you to “do something” about those extra pounds. You mind picks up the cue. You are super motivated to “do something” about it. Your mind is urging you to “do something” about it.
Before you realize you’re looking for gym memberships! Obviously the people at the gym know you too well. They are running an “excellent promotion” to help you “get into the best shape of your life”. Is it a coincidence that the gyms always have the highest sign ups in the beginning of the year than any other part of the year? No absolutely not! They know it pretty well that people’s typical new year resolution is to “do something” about those extra pounds!
It’s no wonder you sign up for the gym membership!
Now this brings me to the next interesting thought. How do you feel when you sign up for that gym membership?
Didn’t it feel awesome? Didn’t you feel you took the first step in the right direction? Didn’t you feel you “accomplished something”, almost to the extent that you might even begin to “feel” a little light already. Okay! That might be exaggerating. But you get my point.
After the initial “win” your mind wants to experience more such wins. So here what it actually makes you do.
You hop onto Amazon and the next thing you know, you are ordering a nice pair of shoes, workout gear, FitBit or Apple Watch, water bottle, gym locks and what not. After all, you need to “do something” about those extra pounds. These are totally justifiable purchases! Oh did I forget those Bluetooth earphones or air pods! You need them totally!
So you wait until all of these items show up next day at your front door, after all what’s Amazon prime meant for. Isn’t it? You put them all on and head out to the gym. It might be your first visit to the gym (or one after a long long time). You’re pumped up! You wanna hit that cardio workout and won’t exit the gym until you feel you can’t walk back to your car! Isn’t it a great feeling? The muscle soreness, the sweaty body and just the fact that you were able to finally “do something” about those extra pounds! It feels awesome!
So far, everything seems to be going great. You got everything lined up, you gym accessories are all there, you even have finalized the workout schedule by downloading that app on Apple Store which teaches you different exercises and it only costs $4.99 per month! Isn’t that appealing? After all, you need to “do something” about those extra pounds! So you don’t bat an eyelid and simply buy that app. Kudos! You congratulate yourself on yet another win! What’s better, you aren’t even working out and you are still making progress. You’re freaking, killing it!
A few weeks have passed by and you are consuming all the information about nutrition, proper form during an exercise, dumbbells vs barbells, split workout or compound movements, etc etc. You can’t take your mind off this topic. It’s totally consumed you. You almost fantasize being in a gym even when you are working at your desk. You check yourself in the mirror in the washroom to see any noticeable increase in muscle or weight loss. Damn! It’s addictive!
You’ve been able to hit the gym regularly (maybe 4-5 times a week) and you are proud of yourself. After all, you are taking action to “do something” about those extra pounds. However you now notice that your mind is craving results. I’ve been “investing in my body” for over 6 months, I need to see the results. I better find myself a few pounds lighter. You simply can’t wait.
So you hop on that weight scale (like you’ve probably been doing right from that 1st gym session) and notice the scale hasn’t moved much since day 1.
I am sure you know how that feels. It’s a sinking feeling!
Instead of a drop in weight, you might even notice an uptick in your weight! Wait! Did I just gain more weight since I hit the gym? WTF is going on? This gym thing isn’t probably working out.
This probably is about the time you start to feel disillusioned about the whole gym workout routine you had long craved for. After all you did “do something” about those extra pounds. You not only signed up but also religiously did all the workouts too!
What could have possibly gone wrong?
This is where you probably gonna make your first biggest mistake!
You start to second guess the effectiveness of the workout routine itself. After all if you don’t have anything to show for after 6 months, what makes you think, things will improve anytime soon?
No matter what, the feeling of being stuck, simply doesn’t seem to go away!
It’s in this unfortunate moment, you begin to think about giving up. All the time spent in the gym working out, waking up early or eating that “balanced diet” to cause calorie deficit, all seems to be in vain. For most people it’s this disillusioned feeling that no matter how much they exercise they will not make progress, is what makes them quit!
Hold that thought for a moment!
Now replace this whole gym workout and losing weight example I just gave you with your finances. Imagine you woke up one day and what you wanted to “do something” about, was your finances!
You wanted to:
- Pay off all the debt
- Build an emergency fund
- Start saving for retirement
- Control your spending through budgeting
- Purchase the right insurance so it covers you and your family adequately
- Learn about investing
Your wish list can go on and on. Now imagine you took some steps to “do something” about them and followed up with actually some concrete actions.
Some of them could be you went ahead and signed up for a budgeting app or cut up your credit cards or attended the investing seminar on the weekend. You got all excited about the steps you are taking to “do something” about it, in the hopes they will show results immediately!
But you still feel stuck and not seem make any visible progress after 6 months. Again, you begin to doubt the process! You begin to question the effectiveness of the steps you took.
What if you are just close to turning things around and when it was just the right time to double down on your actions, you give up? How unfortunate! Isn’t it?
The next time you feel stuck or can’t see any visible progress on your goals, make sure you are not just giving up. Do yourself a favor and do the following:
- Is there anything your doing incorrectly in the process?
- Are you measuring the right things?
- Are you really stuck or it’s just that the results of your hard work haven’t begun to show up?
An arrow needs to be pulled back before it can soar.
Have you ever been in a situation like this? Did you realize how close you were to success before you gave up? What did you learn from it?
Please share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.