Yup, it’s official! Recently, I climbed my first 5.10 outdoors in Holcomb Valley! WOAH…talk about my mind being blown with pure happiness and satisfaction!
Ahhhh yes, reaching your goals is AWESOME!
But sometimes, you hit road blocks and don’t end up reaching your goals. That SUCKS because you feel horrible, defeated, straight-up lame, and most likely embarrassed.
I feel ya! I’ve totally been there, way too many times.
I finally discovered the best approach to reaching your goals. Not an aspiring rock climber? No worries, this approach can be applied to anything. So, read on!
Motivation makes you YO-YO!
Motivation is AWESOME! It gives you that trigger that is necessary for making a change, but it SUCKS at helping us reach long-term goals. Let me explain why.
Reaching my goal to climb a 5.10 has been a long journey for me. I first rock climbed back in 2007, talk about taking Y-E-A-R-S to reach this goal! This is because I was relying on motivation for the longest time.
I would have this amazing burst of energy to kick butt at rock climbing that could move mountains and freaking part the sea. So EPIC—I GOT THIS!
Then some time would go by and I’m not so stoked about it. I rather just stay home and watch How I Met Your Mother. Sorry Barney, no suiting up for me.
I would feel horrible, and just lame. I licked my wounds for several weeks (even months or years) until the next motivation typhoon would hit. Then, I would go at it only to just fall off the wagon AGAIN!
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
I would constantly yo-yo between these highs and lows. That is because motivation is highly dependent on what happens to you that day. It’s not reliable for the long run! This is because life happens: bad day at work, an argument, speeding ticket (oops), just plain emo(tional), and so on.
Motivation is like a psychopathic ex-lover. You get those amazing epic days where you are so high and some oh my gosh call 911 days. Obviously we want something more stable and long-term, so toss that psychopathic ex-lover and motivation out the window!
Building Habits Lets You Autopilot
Once that motivation typhoon hits you, I want you to ride it like there is no tomorrow. That stays the same.
What changes is DURING the motivation typhoon—create new systematic habits to help move towards your long-term goals. Then when the motivation dies out (and it totally will)—you can rely on your newly created systematic habits.
No dreaming big with your new habits either—start ridiculously small habits, then slowly build. That way you build small habits towards the right direction, while getting quick, small wins for instant validation and satisfaction.
Instead of the extreme, “I will go to the gym six days a week,” replace it with specific and small systematic habits like “I will go to the gym every Tuesday after work.”
That is exactly what I did. No matter what, I would not bail on building my weekly Tuesday night rock climbing habit. Then once you have done that consistently for a few weeks, you can bump it up to twice a week, and etc.
Also, create mini habits to help support the small habit. For me, it was always keeping my rock climbing gear in my car, getting my workout clothes all ready and packed the night before, going to bed early, and even wearing most of my workout clothes to work hah.
I also added push-ups to help build strength to my daily routine for rock climbing. Nothing crazy remember, seriously started off small with just three and slowly increased the reps when my body was ready.
Be a scientist, test and re-work the systems. Don’t just blame it on “laziness” when you can’t get something done. Go deeper down the rabbit hole, and ask the why to get to the root of the issue.
Was it because you were tired? Could it have been the lunch you ate? Maybe you had too much of those processed carbs? Or was it just because you didn’t get enough rest the night before? If so, change what you eat at lunch by taking out the processed foods or make sure you go to bed early the night before.
Overtime, the habits will subconsciously happen on their own—on autopilot. This is the BEST PART!
It is just like when you get into your car and automatically put on your seat belt (I would hope you already have this habit down). We never have to think or plan ahead to make sure we put on our seat belt. The same is also true for when you build systematic habits towards your long-term goals.
No more having to think and stress to do things, your mind will automatically process the habit and do it. It’s freaking awesome and a real game changer.
Now my question to you:
What small habit(s) do you need to do to reach your long-term goal(s)? Leave me a comment and let me know. I would love to hear from you!
Do me a quick favor: Share with 3 friends how they need to toss motivation out the window and start building habits TODAY!