What bad habit do all successful people defeat?
How many times do we say we are going to do something and we don’t. Maybe what we were going to change seemed too small to need attention. It lacked importance in our everyday life. What happens when we stop holding ourselves accountable to small tasks? Does it carry over into other parts of our lives?
What would happen if we committed to doing something for a week.
Why does it take someone else to hold us accountable, like a boss, a workout buddy, a coach?
For me, it started out small so small I didn’t even realize it happening....I would say to myself “I will start my diet tomorrow, start my proposal tomorrow, wake up early tomorrow,” and then push it off to the next day. I didn’t know it then, but this was absolutely the most dangerous thing I have ever done to myself.
Procrastination, everyone does it, a lack of self discipline is harmless, right? I found out very quickly that I was completely wrong. My feeble attempts to “diet” after my athletic career ended, showed me that. I jumped all into a restrictive diet for about 5 days, I would have a “cheat meal”... which would turn into a cheat weekend... eventually quit… then start the cycle all over. I dove all the way into the diet again and again, “committing” to the diet in its entirety and my lack of gradual progression almost guaranteed that I would fail.
Something I didn’t know, was that most people can’t change their nutrition... cold turkey. It’s almost always a gradual change, a change that takes time, years actually. But every time I would throw myself into another “diet” and fail, I never held myself accountable, and my word meant nothing. I had allowed myself to fail over and over and now I was encouraging that behavior and creating a habit. The more I did it, the easier it became.
This behavior translated into my everyday life, making my productivity decline, but the most detrimental part was my self-image started deteriorating. I began trusting myself less and I quickly stopped believing when I said I was going to do something. I started bailing on my friends more, procrastinating on work, and started questioning myself.
This is the worst feeling in the world and is completely toxic. I felt like I was having a mental boxing match with myself everyday and I hated it. I talked to some experts and very successful people about it, and honestly it’s extremely common. This was the advice I received… commit to something for 1 week.
I always struggled with my water intake, even through my collegiate sport career. It was becoming detrimental to my health and it seemed a relatively easy place to start as my first week commitment. I would start drinking more water, starting this second… for 1 week. I wrote it down and committed. This time I wouldn’t fail.
So that is what I did. I planned out and calculated how much water I should drink a day and scheduled it out in my planner to drink three 32 oz bottles a day. Each bottle needed to be completed by a specific time, making my goal extremely simple, measurable and attainable. And I started that second and just did it. I felt lazy some days, and I definitely didn’t like drinking the water in the beginning, but I kept reminding myself to just do it. You can do anything for a week.
Everyday I marked it off, and with each check mark, I felt better and more confident. I started looking forward to checking off my water intake. Now so much so, I don’t even need to check it off anymore it’s just a way of life. I moved this one week concept into other areas of my life. The next step for me was diet. I did the same thing and now a few years later my diet is closer to where I want it to be. By accomplishing something small, doing something I said I would do, it inspired me to do more. It led me to start making better dietary choices, one step at a time. Gradually, I began modifying my nutrition and making smarter choices more consistently.
This simple check mark held me accountable and made me stand up to my own procrastination. I started trusting myself again and it multiplied so quickly in every other part of my life. It completely changed how I was living and made me believe in me again. I now have a six pack, I work for myself, I feel free and confident, I can do anything. Committing to something for a week can truly change your life… I know it did mine.