I’m not sure if naming this article wanting something badly enough is like giving yourself blue balls is a good or bad idea. Here comes all the creeper traffic. But screw it, let’s go for it.
It’s 12:27 pm on an overcast day in Huntington Beach, California. I’m alone – drinking an Americano at Portola’s coffee inside Pacific City.
This isn’t unique. This is something I do at least once a week. Some people don’t work well in a crowded environment but I do. For some reason the mix of conversations, the sounds of shoe soles and sandals meeting the ground, and low hipster music playing over the speakers get my creative juices flowing.
Regardless, my head is clear and I’m ready to write.
Wanting something badly enough is like giving yourself blue balls
Wanting something badly enough doesn’t make shit happen. Because wanting something doesn’t require you to take any action.
If you want something badly enough in life you have to want and accept the pain that comes with taking action to achieve it.
Don’t view success as the end result. This will only get you thinking about how you can get from point A to point B as fast as possible. When doing this you miss out on the learning experience from being on the journey.
Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room. Everyone would like that — it’s easy to like that. -Mark Manson
You’ve probably heard that it takes 21 days to build a good habit right (it doesn’t)? However, thinking about building your habits over a 21 day period might not be in your best interest.
The idea of just doing something for 21 days takes away from the real reason you are trying to do the damn thing. And deep down it’s because you want to get further away from some sort of pain or closer to some sort of comfort.
Although it can get you to push towards something for 21 days you may end up just trying to reach the end of those 21 days as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Thus, missing out on all of the learning opportunities provided over the course of that time;
You’ll miss out on those small steps, mistakes, successes, and events that show you progress and help to keep you consistent over the long-haul.
Remember high school chemistry?
Yup, neither do I.
Mostly because the only thing I cared about was getting a passing grade by any means necessary. Preferably one that was fast and required the least amount of effort. As a matter of fact, that’s how I thought about all of my classes.
Guess how much chemistry I remember… 0️⃣
I never took the time to actually LEARN. The only thing I cared about was getting an A.
When most of us have a goal the only thing we can think about is the end results. We get so fixated on what we’re trying to achieve that we forget to fall in love with the process.
Here are some examples that James Clear gives us:
- Many people see health as an event: “If I just lose 20 pounds, then I’ll be in shape.”
- Many people see entrepreneurship as an event: “If we could get our business featured in the New York Times, then we’d be set.”
- Many people see art as an event: “If I could just get my work featured in a bigger gallery, then I’d have the credibility I need.”
But if you get fixated on only the end product you may just lose sight of all the magic that’s happening along the journey. If you want to improve your exercise and eating habits you have to fall in love with the process of exercising consistently and preparing healthy meals.
This is something you will have to figure out on your own. For me, music while exercising and cooking help me to fall in love with the process.
Doing these things with loved ones also creates some joy for me while participating in exercise and healthy eating. Being outdoors is another way I fall in love with the process and finding fun ways to be more active in my life.
- Dance classes
- Walking the dog
- Biking to the bank or grocery store
- Playing tennis or some other sport
Wanting to change something badly enough? You don’t need to change everything at once
You’re probably really excited about getting started and making some positive changes that will improve your life. But I also bet you’ve felt this way before only to lose that mojo a week or two later. Thus, find yourself starting all over again.
Wanting something badly enough, all-or-nothing, 30-day quick fix kinda programs can be helpful, but often leave you frustrated and burned out. We’re talking about making changes that will stick and last a lifetime.
The reality is for most of us… This is going to take a while.
The biggest problem when trying to make health and fitness changes are consistency and persistency. Most people don’t do what it takes consistently or long enough to actually give themselves a chance to make progress.
They bounce from one workout to another, and from one diet to another diet – blaming the method for not working for them rather than taking responsibility for not implementing the method the right way.
Make one small change at a time, measure your progress with that change, and adjust based on the results that you’re seeing. This is a journey – it will take some time. Trust the process.
Want something badly enough? Get the basics down first
Most people don’t do the basic things consistently enough. A lot of people say that they do but how do you really know? Are you keeping track?
Get focused on doing the basics things more consistently and then fine-tuned to meet your individual lifestyle, goals, and needs.
- Eating protein and veggies with all meals
- Getting quality sleep
- Taking time to de-stress regularly
- Moving your body consistently in ways you enjoy
Think of it like this. Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, and Wolfgang Puck didn’t just wake up one day and make perfect Beef Wellington or savory Soufflés. Nope, they first had to learn basic knife skills and simple cooking methods. Then they practiced these things until they got them right – moved on and fine-tuned their craft.
Establish basic habits is what produces 80% of your results.
You are in control. Focus on your behaviors
I don’t want you to get wrapped up in outcome goals like losing 50 pounds. I want you to focus on the behaviors that lead to those outcomes.
For example, if your goal is to lose 50 pounds what will you need to do (what can you control) that will lead to those results? Maybe exercising 3 to 4 days per week for 30 to 45 minutes? How about eating vegetables with each meal and cutting back on the liquid calories you’re consuming?
Those are things that you’re in control of. You can’t control what the scale says but you can control what you decide to do each day.
Want something badly enough? Ask what pain you want.
This is the one area in life that I seem to excel in. It’s taken some time but I’ve built a body that I’m proud of. A body that moves the way I want it to move. Feels the way I want it to feel. And looks the way I want it to look.
My body and my health are where they are not because of a specific diet or a rigid training program. But because years ago I accepted the pain and tradeoffs that come with living a healthy (ish) lifestyle for me.
I say healthy (ish) because your definition of a healthy body might be different than mine. I want to see my abs. You may not care about that. I want to be strong enough to rock climb. That may mean nothing to you. I want to be able to do backflips, the splits, and hike hours and hours without feeling exhausted.
I’ve accepted the pain of cooking the same a few meals every Sunday. And I’ve accepted the pain of eating those meals 90% of the time when everyone else around me is drinking and eating other things.
Wanting something badly enough… no thanks. I’ll take action.
Wanting something badly enough and want to change it? Check out online coaching. Custom training and nutrition to help you build a body you’re proud of.
Photo by Cobro on Unsplash
Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash