With all of the Olympic hype coming to an end, I have realized that these games were not only a celebration of sports, but also a celebration of where I am at in my life compared to four years ago. I found myself constantly reminiscing internally about where I was at in my life when the Olympics were held in Vancouver in 2010.
Heck, I hadn’t even met Mike (my husband) yet!
I was 23 years old, and although I had an idea of what my life would become, it did a complete 180 only six months after the 2010 Olympics ended. I look at myself today and see the precise goals I have set forth, and the extreme dedication and effort invested in these goals that I put in every day. And I’ve got to say, I’m pretty damn proud and pleased with how my life turned out.
Reflection on how far we have all come is such a crucial step in this life, because it not only gives you insight on the past (with all this new knowledge we have) but it also gives you an appreciation for how things are today. And these past two weeks have been a great time for me personally to reflect.
In the past four years I have completely transformed my relationships, my body, my job, and my life as a whole. But how did I get here?
It’s all about momentum folks! My life’s transformation didn’t happen overnight, but it was something that grew and grew and will continue to grow my entire life. Nothing is ever finished improving, why would we want it to be? The important thing to realize is that change is achievable, and it is within each and every one of us, but we need to be willing to accept the positive changes in our life before they can occur.
If you want to change your body, then start making little commitments to change your body! If you want to change jobs, start making little commitments to change your job! What about your relationships? Those can all be improved upon or changed entirely too! It all comes down to how much you are willing to put in for this change.
Yesterday I was reminded of my first ever fitness goal: To not have my thighs rub against each other when I walked. I was willing to do whatever it took to get these results. Today, I am about 13 weeks out from my first ever bikini competition, and that will require a body fat as low as 10%, so I have obviously evolved a lot since that goal!
This evolution is all due to momentum. I began with one goal, and when it was achieved then I wanted more, so I made another goal. When that was achieved I went to the next level. There is no limits to our potential, and each goal that is achieved proves that, so we begin to build confidence in our abilities, and learn to push ourselves further, to the next level.
This momentum occurs naturally in life. Scientifically, momentum is simply the product of the mass and velocity of an object. Mass is the physical body and the body’s resistance to the force, and velocity is the rate of change to the position of the body. We can use this as a basis for how to create momentum in our own lives. Can you see how we can either help or hinder momentum in our lives by resisting change, therefor resisting a change in direction within our lives?
The very first thing we must do to create change in our lives, is by mentally accepting that change is wanted, and being willing to make that first push. If we stop resisting, and making excuses or limits for ourselves, our bodies will be fully receptive to this force within making this change. This goes for any area of your life.
Once acceptance is reached and you have no resistance within, the next step is to plan your move. Just like momentum, it will be more difficult to completely change your lifestyle 180 degrees in one move, but if you begin your journey with a more subtle push in the right direction, the momentum may occur more naturally. And once you begin that shift in momentum, it will be easier to increase the change in direction as you go! Have you ever done the “I’ll eat whatever I want until Monday and then I am going 100% hardcore, full-on diet mode”? And how difficult was that to stick to? (Not Easy at All!) Wouldn’t it be simpler to adopt little changes throughout your day and gradually add them on as you become more consistent? Your results may not come as fast, but you’ll actually be able to stick with the program for the long-term rather than losing a few lbs right away, and then falling off the wagon completely and having to start all over again! We’ve all been there, believe me!
If you have a set goal for your body, all it takes is one little commitment to start this process. It can be as simple as changing your breakfast to something more healthy, and maybe being physically active for 30 minutes 3x a week. That doesn’t sound too extreme now does it? But the thing with momentum is once you begin, it’s so much easier to continue on that path, because momentum already has you moving in that direction. From there, you might decide to increase your physical activity, because you start feeling more energetic and strong lately. Then once you’ve increased your physical effort, you’ll read how important nutrition is to your results, and you figure “why not maximize my results if I’m already putting in all this time into exercising?” So then you change your lunch too. And so it continues..
My change to eating a pescatarian diet is a perfect example of how momentum naturally shifts. Mike and I decided that we would experiment with this diet change, but put no pressure on it’s success. It was simply an experiment to see how we would feel, as we did research on the cultures who live the longest and what they eat for longevity. We said from Day 1, it wasn’t a concrete commitment, and if we ever felt the need to eat meat, we would! And pescatarians eat seafood, so we were only cutting out animal protein.
After about two or three weeks, I felt fantastic, better than ever actually. So much better that I had zero interest in eating animal protein ever again. I actually began to resist eating seafood too. A simple commitment to trying something that might increase our health turned into something much bigger: a commitment to ethical treatment of animals. It was not my intention, and it’s not my intention to change your opinions of anything, but when I made one commitment, it grew and became much more. I haven’t gone full vegan yet, but I wouldn’t put it past me. But in the interim, I am drinking almond milk, and will only eat eggs that are free run, so I know the chickens get to live good lives too!
So as you can see, in order to make change it is not necessary to make huge drastic changes from the start line, but rather start with a few small commitments and go for those. When you’ve accomplished those, or become more comfortable with a new habit, then add on a little more. And before you know it, you HAVE made a drastic change overall, but you’re not overwhelmed with the transition because it was gradual.
Another great way to supercharge change is by making your goals public. Whether that is speaking to a friend about it, or posting it all over Facebook. Accountability does two things to humans: It makes our goals REAL, so we can’t simply opt out when the going gets tough, and it also makes us follow through with our goals. Why you ask? Because humans have the basic need to remain consistent. Consistency to humans means stability and honour, and if we tell people we are going to do something, and we don’t, we feel pain for being inconsistent. So if you are really serious about accomplishing a goal, don’t keep it in your head where you will never be held accountable for it.. Get out there and tell the WORLD that you’re going to do it!
There’s a reason I started getting serious results after posting blogs on Mike’s old DML Fitness website and that’s because I made it public, and every time I considering straying from my fitness plan, I would think of all the people who were made aware of my goals, and if I didn’t accomplish them I wouldn’t just be letting myself down, but essentially everyone I told as well. It was a fantastic motivator for me, and I know it will be for you too!
Better yet, why not start a little group with a few of your closest friends, and you can all make a goal and accomplish them together? They don’t have to be fitness goals, you could be searching for a new job, seeking a new relationship, house hunting, or anything else you can think of! And you can all meet up on the same day of the week or month and keep each other posted on your progress! It’s that accountability that will get you there, and unfortunately self-accountability is not always enough!
There is no better feeling than following through and seeing results, but the issue is many of us don’t remain consistent enough, and don’t give our results enough time! But by committing to small goals, accepting it will take significant time to create new habits and taking those down one by one, you see results by sticking to those little commitments, which in return push you to achieve more. And the bonus with making your goals public is that people can follow up with you to keep you motivated, and when it’s time to celebrate, it doesn’t have to be a party for one!!! Invite your friends over to celebrate all of your little victories!
You wouldn’t expect to plant a seed and have a garden growing the next day would you? And it’s not a one-step process, it takes time, practise and daily effort to reap what you sow. So stop with the limits you’ve put on yourself, and think of something you’d like to change in your life today.
The only thing standing between you and your dreams are the excuses you’ve given yourself for why you can’t have them! So think about what you’d like to change, and come up with a few little changes you could make today to start shifting your momentum into that direction. These can be as small as you need, but do SOMETHING to change today. And when you’ve mastered that, pick another step. Think of it as a stairway to your goals. You wouldn’t be able to jump 30 stories in one step, but if you take it one step at a time, it’s amazing how high you can get!
One step at a time, and eventually you’ll see how far you have come! Give it a try today!!
(Archived Feb 24, 2014)