“How do you keep motivated and stick to a plan despite upsets?”
It’s actually quite simple if you understand and do what I’m about to share.
Really, really, really simple. You ready?
Know in advance that you’re going to have upsets and plan for them accordingly.
Here’s how most people do things…
Let’s say you’re starting a diet as so many people do so many times. Here’s another question on this that speaks exactly to this…
“hi logan any thoughts on the best way to use mental toughness with regards to diet as we all seem to struggle with weight loss we start of strong with good intentions then soon slip in to the usual habit of slipping up on the weekend eating rubbish then feeling guilty thinking ok ill re-start on monday only to repeat again at weekend then end up beating yourself up because your not mentally strong enough to continue to get were you want to go any thoughts or ideas would be welcome.”
And it can get even worse than that. Eventually, this pattern will permanently kick you off of the diet, or even trying at all.
Trust me I know. I’ve eaten the half-gallon of ice cream in a single setting. I’ve been there.
I’m paraphrasing, but I liked what Dan John has to say about this. It’s the equivalent of getting a flat tire on your car, so you go puncture the other tires and then light the car on fire!
Yep, us humans make some very irrational rationalizations.
While diet is a common example, we could sub out workout plan and missing a workout for much the same result.
Oops, I missed a workout. I might as well never go to the gym again!
And then we rationalize. Oh, I didn’t really have time to work out anyway.
Plans and setbacks occur in just about anything.
So here’s the secret…
You’re going to slip up!
Admit it. You’re human. You’re fallible.
You are going to screw it up.
So if you’re following a new diet, what is your plan of action not for IF you screw up and eat something you shouldn’t, but WHEN.
Is it to binge the rest of the day but then restart the diet the next day?
That is fine IF you recognize it ahead of time.
If you pre-decide.
This way you can feel okay about it, rather than beating the crap out of yourself for doing so…which tends to make you feel worse and likely to abandon previous plans.
Ever say this to yourself? “I’m a hopeless human being, what is the use.” I have!
If you admit your fallible and make a plan of action, it becomes that much easier.
And here’s the secret second step. Then you go about on reflecting on what occurred.
What triggered the craving? What triggered the mindless eating?
Is there anything that you can do that would make it easier to stick to your plan next time?
Is there anything that you can do that would give you more mental toughness to stick to your plan next time?
There is no failure, only feedback. So put it to good use!
Even if you have 1,000 upsets, if you’re putting that feedback to good use you will be moving forward on your plan…and your mental toughness.
Trust me. I’ve consumed the whole sleeve of cookies when I’m supposed to be fasting.
Too many times to count…
But that was years ago. The upsets become less frequent.
The triggers become smaller and smaller.
Sticking to a plan becomes all the easier.
Nowadays, a 24 hour fast is nothing to me. And I can’t remember the last time I “slipped up” doing so.
But boy do I have many past examples of upsets.
Still, even if you yourself are perfect, life will throw something at you that will completely disrupt your plans.
What’s the quote… “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”
Like, say a pandemic!
Or your house burning down!
I’ll admit it, I didn’t plan ahead of time for these eventualities. But having planned for setbacks many times before, I was quite adaptable to these crazy circumstances.
And that, my friends, is antifragility.
All the failures and setbacks in the world can serve to make you stronger.
If you want to go deeper, there’s still time to pick up the pre-sale special on The 10 Keys to Mental Toughness and Antifragility.