4 steps to finding motivation
We’ve heard from lots of people over the last few weeks, and there’s been some common themes through a lot of what we read.
Firstly, for newcomers, reading about other people’s results gives anyone starting a little more reassurance that it’s worth doing, that they’re not the only one crazy enough to try this out. I really appreciate people coming from this angle, because I know how hard it can be to get moving on something, even after you’ve decided it’s a good idea.
There’s another key group who are well into their slow carb and exercise phase, who have seen some results, but who are finding the going a little bit tougher than they’d hoped. It’s only natural to want to see great results week in and week out, and it can be discouraging if you see good results one week, and then no results the next.
For both groups, I think there’s great power in a few simple steps. These can be useful for those just starting, or those who have hit a wall.
Step 1 – Decide on the BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal)
There’s no point in doing something just for the sake of it. Committing to something that requires ongoing action means you’re going to need a valuable reminder sometimes about why you’re actually doing this. For me, I start off not with the goal in mind, but with the reason in mind. ‘Why am I doing this’ is my first question. The answer needs to be important and life changing. For those who read the book, this is the key behind the ‘Harajuku moment’.
Mine: I am doing the Four Hour Body for fat loss and muscle gain so that I can feel more strength in my body, and feel more alive with energy, which has been a goal for years, especially since I had to go gluten free.
Step 2 – Set the end point
This is the fun part. Right now, your only focus is to figure out the measurable parts of where you want to get to – and define them specifically. This is the ‘what’ that answers the ‘why’ – they work together. ‘A bit stronger’ doesn’t really cut it here. We need concrete numbers or facts, so we can check along the way. Dream big!! This is not the time for compromises, or setting ‘realistic goals’. I find that idea just insulting to anyone who is taking the time to commit to something like this. If you’re going to the effort, then set some BIG goals. They’ll help you keep on track too.
Mine: I want to weigh 175 pounds, with 10% or less body fat by April 30, 2011. I want my average week to include 5 energetic days. I also have cm measurements of key body areas on my fridge – the numbers I want to be seeing when I’m finished. (This is 10 pounds heavier than I ever have been, lower body fat that I’ve been recently, and is a short time period. Perfect.)
Step 3 – Figure out the best approach
Here’s where all that reading comes into play – where you set your knowledge in action. This isn’t just about what you’re going to eat, or what you’re doing at the gym. This is about the complete picture. Map it out – sketch it, then color in the bits inbetween. It could be something like ‘a lifestyle aimed at weight loss that includes slow carb meals with 3 cardio sessions per week’ – that’s a good outline. But you need to include more details – so, let’s go with ’4x slow carb meals, mainly black beans and chicken, 4 hours between each, 3x 25 minutes running Monday, Wednesday and Friday’. Now that’s starting to sound like a plan you can follow without thinking.
Mine: I will use a slow carb diet as base – 4x meals per day, 4 hours apart, 1/3 brown rice (uncooked) for lunches 1 and 2, protein shake 1/2 morning and night, PAGG, creatine, l-glutamine, Occam’s Protocol workout sessions by the book – increasing rest days as the weights go up, no cardio allowed, walking only 3 times a week maximum.
Step 4 – Relax and execute the plan
This is the easiest part, but also where a lot of people fail, so listen carefully and I’ll let you in on a secret.
Get dumb and get relaxed.
You’ve done the hard work, you’ve done the planning. You have your goal set, and most importantly, you know why you’re doing this. All you need to do is follow the plan. Don’t rearrange it, don’t adjust it. You’re too close to the trees now, you can’t see with perspective. Stick with your plan, like a robot would follow their programming. If you need to adjust, or even think at all, then your Step 3 wasn’t thorough enough. If you really think you’re not on your way to success, then re-assess and start all over again. But start at Step 1. Generally though, it’s only impatience, or disbelief that sends you away from a good plan. Stick to it, and check your progress after the calendar time you gave yourself. Then you can create your next plan, starting from Step 1.
All you need to do now is measure what you’re doing, keep good records, and follow your plan. Whenever your plan says you are finished – be it calendar based, or measurement/weight/other number based, follow your plan until you’re there.
And that’s it.
As you can tell, in fact the 4 steps here are about how to achieve success. These actually can be applied to anything you want to achieve in life that requires ongoing effort – be it school, work or health. Once you have started following your plan, knowing you are on your way to success is a very powerful thing, especially with the ‘why’ in mind, and finding motivation will be a simple question and answer routine. Motivation will no longer be the unanswered question that can derail even the best ideas and plans. With these steps behind you, motivation will come naturally and you won’t have to fight for it.
All the best with your Four Hour Body, let me know how you’re doing!
P.S. Remember to share this with friends, family and colleagues – you never know who might be interested (hint: almost everyone!).
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