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In the fourth part of our 'achieving your goals' series, lifestyle coach Effie Parnell-Hopkinson explains how to stop ‘trusting the process” and build momentum for long-term change.
Opportunities are everywhere and if you wait until you are ready then you will be waiting for the rest of your life. Most dreams will never come true and that is the hard truth, but it is not because the dreamer isn’t worthy, or intelligent, or that their idea is bad. It all comes down to one simple fact: you just don’t want it badly enough! This is particularly common when you go about setting your fitness, health and diet goals. The end results and the glorified ‘after’ pictures you see on social media are far more appealing compared to the realisation of the amount of work that it is going to take to succeed.
Success has many opponents: time, inexperience, fatigue, poor mindset and lack of confidence. However, upon the discovery of the fact you do have to concentrate your efforts on exercising more regularly and watching your diet, what do you do? You just wait. You wait until tomorrow, until Monday, until next month, until you’ve been paid, but nothing is more damaging to your goals than inertia and the thing that you are lacking is drive.
Drive is the juice, it’s the love of the work, it’s not going out with your friends, it’s exercising when you said you were going to exercise, it’s preparing healthy meals when it would just be easier to get fast food, it’s failing and standing back up again, and again, and again. When you have drive, it’s all or nothing and this can be yours, but it is up to you to build your routine and develop habits that will move you closer to your goals. This will be exactly where the world comes to a grinding halt because at some point in our lives we are all told to ‘trust the process’ and that ‘all good things come to those who wait’, i.e. inertia. Inertia is defined as the tendency to do nothing or remain unchanged. How can we expect change to happen or move closer to our goals if we are doing nothing about it? Trusting the process will never work and patience will undoubtedly take away your hopes of achieving your goals and reaching success.
Accepting that things take a long time to accomplish is very different than sitting back in a position of inertia and letting things play out. It is vital to understand the difference between patience and recognising that achieving big goals takes time and you must play the long game. This is where momentum comes in. Generating momentum is the key to overcoming inertia and generate positive, forward movement. Some people believe that momentum is the act of putting in 100% effort, relentlessly, all day every day however this is simply not true. It is far more rewarding and educational to take 100 steps in 1 direction than it is to take 1 step in 100 different directions. It is about concentrating your efforts in generating momentum in the right direction and this is where we can begin to tie in my other articles in this series: the importance of goal-setting, creating motivation and owning the outcome. As with anything, it is absolutely necessary that you take action on these points and create urgency with everything that you do. This is how you start to build momentum.
If you have determined what you want to achieve with your health and fitness goals, set out the path to get there through creating mini-goals, established the source of your motivation and have adopted a “no excuses” mindset through taking ownership and responsibility of your actions, then you are already beginning to generate momentum.
Remember, all of these elements will grow and evolve simultaneously so whilst at first it may be hard to concentrate on improving one of these things, over time and through the continuous effort of layering on these skills and mindsets they will all work together to create drive and momentum. The drive that will get you out of bed in the morning to exercise, the drive that will help you choose healthy foods over calorie-laden foods, the drive pushes you through the last mile of your run or the last set of weights. All of which generates the momentum that keeps you going no matter what and this is how you will create long-term sustainable, healthy and positive changes to your life.