Years ago I was a personal fitness trainer. I used to tell my clients that if they want to work out regularly start by committing to just walk through the door. They can give themselves permission to just do that. Make that the win. Or just come in and work out for 5 minutes. People would sometimes laugh and say that sounds like a waste of time what good will that do? What is the point?
Most all our behavior is a habit. Take a complex behavior like driving a car. Have you ever had the experience of driving somewhere and then completely forgetting how you got there? That was a habit at work. By just walking through the door of the gym you are starting a new habit. If you just do that enough times a new habit is formed. Once the habit is formed you no longer have to rely on willpower which is not enough to make lasting change.
I remember one of my teachers saying “The way to be successful is to be successful”. At the time I didn’t really get it. I remember thinking, “how can anyone be successful if they are not already successful?” The secret I came to realize is in how you define success. The way we define success is always up to us. Since we get to choose what success means, we get to use it to our advantage. We can choose to define success as some huge accomplishment or you can define it as showing up to the gym day after day. The problem with only defining success as some big goal is that until you reach that goal you are “failing”.
If you want to be successful at anything start by setting the bar low. Really low. If you look around at anyone who has achieved great things you will notice a pattern. Almost all of them started out by doing something very modest, taking that first step and then taking the next again and again and again.
Those small steps add up. You might as well get started with it now. What’s the small step you will take that will make you successful today?