How do you find the consistency to keep doing what you know you need to do day after day after day after day?
Great question. I’ve struggled with it all my life. How do I get myself to consistently do what I know I need to be doing?
Like anything else, it’s all a mental game. And the best way to win the mental battle is by using everything in your arsenal at once. To do a variety of things to get you to perform like you know you should.
I use all of the following techniques…
1- Focus on the dream. Focus on what drives me to act.
2- Write the goal down and read it daily.
3- Constantly visualize how great it will feel when I reach my goal (to get my desire for gain working for me).
4- Visualize how awful it will feel if I don’t reach my goal (to get my fear of loss working for me).
5- Using positive affirmations whenever a negative thought enters your mind.
6- Sharing your goal with people who support you to build positive pressure.
Doing all of this is simple but not easy. But it works.
I will illustrate all six techniques by telling you what I’m doing to get myself back into “fighting weight.”
It all goes back to the dream. It all goes back to your “Why?”. It all comes back to having a burning desire that drives you to consistently and persistently do what you need to do.
You need to figure out what drives you. Then you have to develop a burning desire. Your focus should not be on the process. Your focus needs to be on the dream. By the way, “Think and Grow Rich,” this month’s book of the month, is all about developing a burning desire.
When I was training for the Olympics it was a lot easier for me to eat right and to be in the gym six days a week. The Olympic dream was so powerful that it got me to do whatever it took to get the job done.
In order to keep myself driven I used both positive and negative motivation. I constantly visualized how good it was going to feel when I made my Olympic dream a reality, and I visualized how awful it would be if I didn’t make it.
Sometimes what drove me to go to the gym was the thought that if I didn’t, there was going to be some German competitor hitting the gym today and I didn’t want him to get ahead of me.
After the Olympics, there was no longer any driving force to get me to go to the gym. There was no driving force to get me to eat right. Consequently, in no time I put on a lot of weight. I just could not get myself motivated to go to the gym.
In fact, I started coming up with great reasons not to go. I rationalized (read – telling yourself a rational lie) not working out by telling myself that I needed that time to work on building my speaking business. I was working very long days, but that was no excuse. I had become sedentary, and not only did I not reduce my caloric intake, I probably increased it.
I tried all kind of things to get myself to watch my weight but I did not stick with anything because there was no driving force.
Finally, I realized that for the last year I had been focusing on the process without a dream. I needed to tie a huge reward and a huge penalty to losing or not losing X amount of weight by a certain date.
Remember, your goals need to have a date to create urgency. And they need to be written down and read daily.
I love to travel. And my family is due for a vacation. So I tied losing weight to a family vacation.
The pressure is on now baby!
My focus in not losing weight. It’s on the vacation!
I also changed my mindset on how going to the gym affects my business. I’ve come to the realization that I have a lot more energy when I’m working out. Believe it or not, after working out, my body is energized for 3-4 hours. Plus I’m more mentally alert. I guess the ideal would be to work our early in the morning, and go out for a jog or a bike ride at lunch to get energized for the afternoon.
So I have changed my perspective. Instead of looking at it as time lost, now I look at it as a way to get me to work at a peak level.
Another technique I use is saying positive affirmations to push my food thoughts away. Every time I think about food I say, “I’m a lean, mean, speaking machine!”
Believe me, It works! Last night I was at a bookstore and I noticed that somehow I had wound up in the “Cookbooks” section! It’s like I’m being tested! I was actually leafing through a cookbook dreaming away before I realized what I was doing! I put the cookbook down and said my new mantra, “I’m a lean, mean, speaking machine!” and got out of that section as fast as I could.
Today, while driving through Houston, I passed hundreds of restaurants. The whole time I was wearing my new phrase out!
Another thing you want to do is to put some pressure on yourself by telling others about your goal. That’s exactly what I’m doing by writing this article. Now I have people watching me to see if I really do it.
So fight it on all fronts. Develop the habit of controlling your thoughts or else your thoughts will control you!