Two painless ways to get back on the horse…

Sometimes, you lose sight of the goal. It happens!

Whether your personal goal is to:

  • Get in shape
  • Learn another language
  • Read more
  • Write a book
  • Spend more time outdoors
  • Keep your house tidy
  • Update your wardrobe

There are times when you are going to lose track of the goal and fall off the horse, so to speak. But you CAN get back on. Here below are some suggestions:

Have a core set of principles you can fall back on for support. 

For example, one of my main, ongoing goals in life is to stay lean and under 190 lbs. When I fall off the wagon, start skipping the gym, start ordering two desserts, etc. etc. and start tipping the scale up over 190 lbs…I fall back on the core set of principles that helped me lose 40 lbs. in six months and launched my fitness journey. Those are:

1.) Cut out booze

2.) Cut out sugar

3.) Cut out carbs

4.) Get in the gym five times a week

5.) When in the gym, destroy yourself and don’t leave until you’re drenched in sweat

I will not bore you with the details of my struggle to adhere to these principles. And I will tell you that the times when I’ve been able to stick to these principles — all five of them — are very few. BUT…the point is, these principles form a framework to guide me when I find myself lost and confused and frustrated.

“I weigh 195 lbs! What am I gonna do?!”

Turn back to your core principles. THAT is what you’re gonna do.

Whatever it is you are trying to do, maybe there is a way you can distill it down to a few of these core principles that will help you get back on track.

Never be afraid to start small. (Sometimes VERY small…)

So your goal was to learn Spanish before your big vacation to Costa Rica this winter. And it’s now two months away. You haven’t even opened the Rosetta Stone subscription you bought for $250 in months now. Here are your choices:

1.) Give up and admit defeat. You’re never going to learn a new language.

Verdict: LAME. This is the wrong approach. Give yourself more credit than this. You’re a badass! Badasses don’t talk like this.

2.) Start bingeing on Spanish lessons. Put yourself on a schedule of two, three, four hours a day…

Verdict: WRONG. You’re going to do this for exactly three days, and then something’s going to get in the way, and you’re going to stop. Then get frustrated, and start this cycle all over again.

3.) Start small. Open up your Rosetta Stone app (or whatever) and study for five minutes today. Just five minutes. Then do something else.

Verdict: I think you know what I’m gonna say…bingo. “But what am I gonna learn in five minutes??” Maybe not much. But…then again, maybe you will. But the important thing is, you’ve started. You’ve exposed yourself to the material in a non-threatening way and gotten your feet wet again. From there, maybe you can do 10 minutes the next day. Then maybe 15 minutes. Then 20 minutes, etc. etc. etc. until you find the joy of studying Spanish again and are progressing toward your goal.

Why does this work? I’m not sure. But for me, part of the difficulty of “getting back on the horse” is just moving past that first obstacle (which is usually the biggest one) of just starting the process.

Let’s say your goal is to read War and Peace but you just can’t seem to do it. Well, the first thing you need to do is open the book. So…just go open the book. Flip through it. Read something from the middle. The end. Read one paragraph a day for a week. Then maybe try to read one page per week, etc.

Remember: “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.”

Learn to make that single step, my friends. It’s so much easier than you think!

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