December 21, 2020 Jacob Watts

Holy yes-of-course-I’ll-pay-the-extra-for-that-Guacamole, we’re down to the last two blogs! That seems pretty crazy to me. We’re probably not too far away from some big publisher getting a hold of all these blogs and making into a world-famous book. But you guys are the lucky ones that get to read it all ahead of the rest of the world!

This week’s blog is something that should be pretty relevant with the new year approaching. For whatever reason, it’s an arbitrary day that people decide it’s a good time to try to change their habits. Maybe it’s partly because of all of the over-indulging that occurs over the holidays. Maybe this is just me and my simple brain trying to simplify a complicated issue, but I firmly believe (after spending much time thinking about it) that the primary reason people struggle to make relatively permanent changes to their habits is that they don’t truly know what they want.

Primarily I think people don’t spend enough time in thought about what they want and they don’t go far enough to figure out the depths of what they want. For example, one might say a goal for the coming year is to lose 30 pounds. It feels really good to set that goal. In fact, your brain has a similar reaction when you say you’re going to do something as it does when you actually do something! I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t have a goal like “lose 30 pounds”, but I am suggesting that there should be a strong reason to go after any challenging or worthwhile goal.

Which brings me back to my original question. Do you know what you want? I keep using “lose 30 pounds” as an example but this could be lifting a certain weight, looking a certain way, be in commitment club every month, whatever. You have every right to say you want to lose 30 pounds, but do you know why? Is it because you truly think it will make you a healthier person? Or is it because you aren’t happy with how you look? Maybe both? Do you want to deadlift double bodyweight? Why? With any challenging goal there will be difficulties along the way. There will be lapses in motivation. People are inherently driven by their basic needs and if their basic needs are met it is very difficult to force ourselves into uncomfortable situations. Once those moments do happen it is crucial to have the strong reason easily accessible at the forefront of your brain.

I want to reiterate that if you have truly thought about it and you have decided it’s worth your time and effort to pursue something like this, then by all means, go for it! But do you know what it’s going to cost you? In the fitness realm people often look towards goals like these because they believe that accomplishing them will indicate that they’ve improved their fitness. Improved fitness = improved health, right? Well, maybe.

I won’t keep going on that point but I am going to recommend a strategy. If you have anything you want to accomplish next year, think about why you’re going to dedicate your time and energy towards that. But also, maybe even more importantly, think about what accomplishing that goal will cost and do you actually want that thing? If you take some time to map out what the steps towards that goal actually look like, you will start to get a better idea of whether you actually want that thing or not.

So if you have something coming up that you want to start working towards, just take some time to think about it and if you need any help working through it, let one of us coaches know! We’d be happy to help.