One of my recent coaching clients, let’s call him John, joined my program with a goal that many of us can relate to: he wanted to see his abs. It was a clear, tangible goal that he was excited about.
But as we began our journey, it quickly became apparent that he was struggling to maintain the habits needed to reach this goal.
Each missed gym session, every break in his diet, made him feel more defeated.
I was there to encourage him, to remind him of the power of persistence and consistency, but he began to skip our calls.
When I asked him why, his answer was a familiar one:
“Showing up to the calls without having done what I needed to do made me feel bad.”
It was a self-defeating cycle, one that seemed to be leading him towards giving up entirely.
But then, we had a conversation that shifted everything.
We started to talk about why improving his health was so important to him in the first place. This reminded him of the deeper reasons why he had taken the plunge and joined my coaching program.
In the beginning, like many high-achievers, John had bitten off more than he could chew. When he didn’t hit his lofty targets, it was demotivating.
After all, if you’re not making progress, why keep going?
But here’s where we pivoted.
We set a small, achievable goal: show up to calls, no matter what. Even if he could only make a 15-minute call. The habit we were looking to establish wasn’t about hitting the gym or maintaining a perfect diet; it was about showing up.
Once we locked in that habit, we began to build from there.
Slowly but surely, John started to transform. He went from feeling constantly defeated to experiencing progress. He lost weight, felt less stressed, and, perhaps most importantly, gained a sense of confidence that he could achieve what he set out to if he just kept showing up.
So, what can we learn from John’s story?
Key Lesson #1: Start Small
High achievers are no strangers to big goals. But when it comes to establishing new habits, starting small is the key. The first habit to establish isn’t necessarily the one directly tied to your goal, but the one that helps you build consistency. In John’s case, it was simply showing up to the calls.
Key Lesson #2: Build on Consistency
Once you’ve established a small habit, you can start to build on it. For John, once he was consistently showing up to calls, we could then add more habits related to his health and fitness goals.
Key Lesson #3: Persistence is Key
Even when you feel like you’re not making progress, remember John. His story reminds us that persistence in maintaining your habits, even when you’re not seeing immediate results, will eventually pay off.
John’s journey was not unique. We all face similar struggles when trying to create new habits. It’s in the small, consistent actions where big changes happen. It’s showing up, even when it’s hard, that leads to transformation. In the end, it was John’s commitment to the process, his willingness to show up, that led him from a place of defeat to a place of confidence and achievement.
Key Lesson #4: Rediscover Your ‘Why’
When the going gets tough, remind yourself why you started. Like John, you need to constantly connect with the deeper reasons behind your goals. Your ‘why’ will provide the fuel to keep you going when times get tough.
Key Lesson #5: Embrace the Journey
Progress is not always linear. There will be setbacks and obstacles along the way. But it’s these challenges that make the journey worthwhile. Embrace them as opportunities for growth and learning.
So, are you ready to take the first step?
Remember, it doesn’t have to be a giant leap. It just needs to be in the right direction. And once you start moving, don’t stop.
Show up every day, no matter what. Slowly, you’ll start to notice changes, and before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals.
As an achiever, you’re not defined by the goals you set, but by the habits you cultivate to reach them.
The power of habit is not in the size of the changes we make, but in the consistency with which we make them.
So, here’s to showing up, to taking those small but mighty steps, and to the incredible power of habit.
To paraphrase Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
It’s your secret weapon in the quest for success. Harness it, and there’s no telling what you can achieve.
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