As discussed many times on this blog, the problem that we often have is not a lack of tools and tactics, it is a lack of discipline and motivation.
Yet still we see diet plans and exercise programs come and go, as people chase the next shiny object. There are new motivational conferences that revive the spirit for 24HRS or so, maybe even a week or two…
A great blog post might influence people to go to the gym, or to make a salad.
A particularly good health, diet or nutrition book might stimulate a few weeks or a few months of progress.
The long term success rates of any tactics and programs is very poor.
Health and vitality is a way of life, not a tactic
Without question, the people who succeed in the long-term do not do it because of any temporary scheme that they have undertook.
The everyday stress of daily life results in a clouding of the senses, and the drifting of dreams into the distance.
Real change comes from mental clarity and the conviction of our decisions.
How can we have mental clarity when we are clouded by stress? How can we have strong conviction in our decisions when each new diet or program seems to create more new choices and decisions than the last?
How can we stay motivated to exercise when the weakness caused by stress actually feels like physical tiredness?
Make permanent decisions when it comes to basic health.
The only way is to make permanent decisions, permanent changes. Make changes one by one, then stick to them.
A good sniff test of an idea is to ask yourself whether you can keep this a habit part of your life, permanently.
For example, if a diet program promises that you will lose, lets say 5 pounds a week just as long as you stick to it… Is that a long term prospect?
… If you weigh 200 pounds, does that mean you will disappear after 40 weeks?
Before you dismiss this as ridiculous, lets explore what will actually happen. This diet plan might enable you to lose 5 pounds a week for a few weeks… Sooner or later you will either fall back into old habits, or plateau, get frustrated and fall back into old habits.
This is what happens.
On the other hand, what if you were to ask yourself whether you could give up soft drinks or pastries, permanently?
If you are the kind of person who struggles with their weight, then soft drinks and pastries should not be part of your diet. Period.
You might say to yourself that pastries bring you so much pleasure…
- More pleasure than health and vitality?
- More pleasure than romance and adventure?
- More pleasure than the satisfaction in old age of a life well lived?
If you see your “fatty habits” as life pleasures, maybe it has been too long since you experienced some real life pleasure.
Can’t handle giving up soft drinks AND pastries? Pick one. Just one bad habit, food or drink in your life.
Hard to handle? Just pick one poison at a time…
Just pick one. Trash it. Resolve never to do this ever again. Keep going, relish the feeling of power and self-control as you tell people that you simply do not drink soft drinks but you would love a water.
After a few weeks, or even a month…
Pick another poison and trash it to the scrap heap of bad health memories, never to be revisited.
Will you have lost 5 pounds a week during this time?
But after a year you will have discarded 12 to 20 or your bad habits. Now you have momentum, your personal power is growing exponentially.
You hold the most important power that a person can possess.
Power over yourself.
Self-mastery is the basis for every other type of mastery. Now go out and live your life properly.