I've found that in order to change something, whether it's a belief, habit or even an entire philosophy, I must first become consciously aware of my existing situation.
- Once I'm aware of my situation, I need to become aware of my options for change.
- Once I'm aware of my options, I must make a definite decision to change.
- Once I've made my decision, I must focus on that course of action.
This may seem straightforward enough, however, I've spent the majority of my life with little to no conscious awareness of myself or my actions. Then when I became consciously aware of my situation and decided to change, I spent more time thinking over my options. When I eventually "sort of" made a decision to focus on one option, I wouldn't fully commit to it because I'd still be thinking about the alternatives. This lack of awareness and assurance left me in a state of “limbo” while I jumped between my options and made very little progress towards my goals.
It was kind of like my goals were buried treasure and although I had a treasure map, the X on the map wasn't clearly defined. I had a vague idea of where to dig, however, instead of digging straight down in one spot; I dug several small holes in a generalised area, never digging far enough in any one place for fear I was wasting my time or making a mistake. In the end, all I had to show for my effort was exhaustion from digging a number of shallow holes!
To provide context, when I became aware of the deterioration of my health, fitness and physique, I sought out my options for change. Once I had the options in front of me, i.e. nutrition, training, mindset and overall lifestyle plans. I had to make definite decisions to change and on which approaches to apply. The problem, however, was in my inability to make definite decisions and stick with them. I lacked belief in myself, my goal was vague and I feared “digging in the wrong spot” because I wanted to do things perfectly.
How I solved my problem
- I got serious with goal setting. The X on my treasure map went from vague to laser targeted.
- Once I had an exact goal, my options for change narrowed themselves down to appropriate selections automatically. Each option was guaranteed to get me to my goal so long as I stuck with it. This gave me a greater sense of confidence in my decisions.
- I overcame my fear of digging in the wrong spot. This added to the confidence in both myself and decisions I made.