Life’s hard. Progress is hard too, but it’s worth it. Whether it’s training, nutrition or another part of your life, there are a bajillion books, videos and websites out there telling you about the myriad of options and routes to take, and it can be daunting to try to decide which is the best one.
It doesn’t have to be that way though.
The fact there are so many options show that there’s no single perfect way. What we need to do instead is find what’s going to work specifically for you and your situation, that you can do right now with what you have and start moving forward.
Good news - it’s easier than you think, and we don’t need fancy gadgets or a tonne of money. Just a little creativity and faith in ourselves. So don’t put it off a second longer. I’ve written these steps to show you what to think about, how to plan your next move and get you moving on up.
You’ll notice 2 of the 3 steps are action orientated - that’s because all the advice and guidance in the world won’t do diddlysquat until you start taking action in some way or another. Doesn’t have to be huge moves - I’m all for baby steps, just as long as they’re moving you forward.
Remember always: progress is progress, no matter how fast or slow, big or small. Just keep moving forward.
So let’s get after it and take the first step together.
1. Be Real
Face facts. Good and bad, take stock of where you are and what’s going on. We have some weird fear of facing up to what we’re not good at, and praising ourselves for stuff we are, and a lot of that comes down to taking these things as defining characteristics instead of a variable. Remember you have the power to change or enhance these things. So what you’re not good at something? Work on it and get better. You’re awesome at stuff? Sweet, keep it up you badass. Don’t need to tell the world about it, just as long as you’re honest with yourself so you know where you’re at.
Listen, don’t ever confine yourself to absolutes like “perfect” and “imperfect”, thinking like that drives people insane because there’s always another level or another layer or a different perspective; complete perfection becomes unattainable, so the only other option is failure. Which sucks. Alternatively, look at things from a more realistic perspective: chase better, not perfect. This removes the walls on the “fail/perfect” prison, giving us space to make improvements and look at things differently. With better, no matter how small the progress we’re improving. With better, we can win each day. With better, we can focus on one thing at a time instead of getting swamped by options and becoming paralysed by overanalysis.
Fun fact: Paralysis by analysis is my favourite bit of psych rhyme-age.
Anyway...Don’t be afraid of weaknesses or issues. Face them, accept them, work on them and turn them into strengths. Remember your strengths and what you’ve achieved too. Remember why you’re doing this, why you’re here, why you’re moving forward. Remember who you are and believe in yourself.
When working on these things they might not change overnight, but who cares? Improvement counts no matter how small an increment it is. Remember, babysteps are fine - as long as they’re steps FORWARD.
So let’s get moving.
2. Prioritise and Finish It
Decide what is most important to work on and what action is going to either get you started or give you most bang for your buck. Then do it. It’s not enough to just think about it, act on it. It’s not enough to give up halfway, finish it. Adjust course or the action if necessary, but finish it.
“Problem!” you might be thinking, “We’ve all got a thousand things that could be worked on, how are we supposed to pick just one?”. Well the way I see it we can only truly focus on one thing at a time - I don’t care how well you think you can multi task, focusing purely on one thing lets you get it done quicker and better than if you’re trying to spread your focus on a bunch of stuff. This leaves your effort thin and stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread. So pick one, and get to work. Don’t waste time over-thinking it, just pick one and go.
But what’s the best thing to pick? What’s the right decision? That’s part of the fun - who knows, really. Maybe it’s the big thing that frees up time for everything else, maybe it’s the little thing that get’s the ball rolling and gives you confidence about tackling the challenges ahead.
Absolutely ask for advice and find out what actions other people have taken - more knowledge means more informed decision making - but at the end of the day you’ve got to do something, and the quicker you act the quicker you’ll know if it was the right decision or not. You always have the power to adapt and change course along the way.
Go do work.
Now we’ve picked and are getting after it, we’ve gotten a win in the bag. Now to make it a habit.
3. Win Each Day
By win, I want you to be doing something that gets you closer to at least one of your goals. So you’ve picked something and you’ve started working on it, so what’s next? Do it better. Improve it. Beat what you did last time. Could even try something new - you’ve never done it before, or haven’t done it in a long time, so you’ll automatically have done better than before (before being nothing or 0).
Get a new rep PB, try a new nutritious food, read that article, send that message; doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you’re improving in some way and moving closer to a goal. We become our habits, so win each day and get used to achieving.
By all means, don’t feel you need to do the same bit of work over and over again forever. Do some research, talk to people about ideas, experiment! Get those creative juices flowing and try something new - imma say again, you have the power to adjust course and correct along the way.
So that’s it: take a good look at where you are, pick something, start working on it, and improve on it every time you work on it.
Don’t overcomplicate things. Get after it.
“But what if it doesn’t work? What if I make a mistake?” - that’s life. Mistakes happen, things go wrong. Remember that you’re strong enough to handle it, and creative enough to find a way forward whatever happens.
Worst case scenario? You’ve got an interesting story to tell, which is more than you’d have if you’d done nothing.
Now quit procrastinating, and get after it.