Maximum Effort

One of the things that held me back and I can see holding friends and colleagues back is the effort required to effect change, the world today is an on-demand environment where we have become accustomed to ordering now and receiving now or within a couple of days at most, unfortunately that is not how life works, change takes time and patience and that is where the majority of us fall down because we change an aspect of our lives and when that change has not had the desired outcome in a week we start looking around for something more effective or at worst simply stop and give up on our dream or goal, often reasoning that the people who have what we want were lucky or had some advantage.

What we don’t see is that these people may have been working at whatever it is for years, I wanted to share a couple of tips that I used to manipulate my inner narrative and make progress.

Change of Vocabulary

All too often I used the phrase “I am going to try” or “hopefully this will work”, to try something I reasoned was to accept that it might fail, also because you are only trying something you don’t give it maximum effort because you are not invested in it’s outcome, similarly this goes for hopefully while hope is not a negative emotion by any means it isn’t committed it is not absolute and so if it fails it is not such a monumental event.

I spent a long time trying to get back to the gym, trying to get my studying done and trying to stick to a diet, and guess what I wasted years trying, to be honest it was my lovely wife (the woman in the pictures that accompany some of my posts) that inadvertently changed my outlook on it, she joined slimming world and instead of saying I will try and support you by eating the same and following the plan, I simply said that I will support you by following the plan, to date I have lost six and a half stone, this has taken ten months and has led to me being back at the gym and moving toward being in the best shape of my life.

So I began with replacing trying with doing, hope with make it happen and instead of going on a diet, changing my diet, use words that provide a positive course of action as opposed to leaving the outcome to an outside force.

Believe in yourself

Dead easy to say, not so easy to do, and to be fair I more mean trust yourself, I spent so long questioning myself and my abilities that I managed to scare myself into not taking any action at all, if you think about it I imagine that you, like me juggle a million and one things each day just to keep ticking over and maintain the status quo, and we do this without thinking and without questioning if we are able, because we have to do it, my suggestion and what I have been doing is changing my perception of the status quo, accepting and realising the uncomfortable nature of stagnation and staying where I am and using that to move from “I need to change my life” to “I am changing my life because I have to” having to do something, I mean truly having to do something allows us to trust that no matter what the outcome we will do our best and work as hard as we need to, after all if you can’t trust yourself who can you trust?

End each day with an evaluation

Change as I said is slow, it takes time and effort and can be painful especially when playing against our need for instant gratification, it is all too easy to think that you are not getting anywhere or you are not learning a subject because you are not at your end goal, I realised that knowledge and progress compound, they build on what went before, so if your aim is to, say, learn to build a website and yesterday you knew nothing about it but today you know how to structure the HTML to create a page then that is progress and it should be viewed as such, this also follows with nearly everything else we do in our lives, if we want to lose weight and get in shape, each cardio session or each rep moves us further to that goal and it will become easier the more we progress, the brain and body are amazing at adapting to anything we choose to do to, help yourself as I did by allowing it the time to do so, so I now end each day by thinking about my goals and what I have done to move closer to them, being honest some days it is nothing, not a thing and others it is the tiniest shift, and then there are days that all the effort compounds and I move over a mile stone.

The important thing to remember is that if you are not happy with where you are, as I wasn’t it will not change without you doing something different and that takes effort, so if you are putting the effort in then you think it is a worthwhile cause, and if it is worthwhile then it is worth maximum effort, I have stopped attempting multi-tasking and compartmentalised my activities based on the goal I am pursuing and then put everything I have into it, and it is really paying off.