About 3 months ago, I was talking with a friend. We were chatting about age, being closer to 50 than 40 and about whether that meant that it was “all downhill” from here! We talked about health and fitness, strength, energy, speed and stamina and both agreed we were not what we once were. I said that we should do something about it. He agreed.
But he said it would be easier for me than for him. I asked why and he said, “Because you used to train every day when you were younger and you have incredible willpower.”
This comment interested me so I said, “Go on.” He then proceeded to tell me that he did not know anyone else who went out in all weathers and did gym work and running every day like I used to. No matter what else was going on in my life.
And he was right. Until I was about 30, I did. Every day. 7 days a week. Every day of the year. Apart from Christmas Day. And occasionally then too. Days off only for sickness and, even then, I often employed the mindset of, “Well, the exercise might do me good!”
But, and here’s the rub, behaving in this way required no willpower. It required no motivation. It required no strength of mind. It was not a major achievement.
It was just what I did. It was me. It was part of who I was. Like getting up in the morning. No more hardship than spreading jam on bread or unwrapping delicious chocolate bars.
It was firmly entrenched as habit.
It’s not like that anymore. I am not like that anymore. It took me the best part of 5 years to totally wipe out my good habits but since 35 I have been on a downward spiral as far as healthy habits go. I was right to change them at the time because they were not right for me at that age. They were unnecessary. Overkill. Problem was, I failed to replace them with any useful, new habits.
Nothing. Nil. Nada.
For sure, I know exercise is good. I know it is right. I know I ought to do it regularly. And I do some. I’m not terrible. But it is hard. Real hard. I fight the battles of feeling demotivated, struggling to find the time, not fancying the weather, chores to do, travel challenges, speaking commitments etc etc. I am sure many of you know these things well.
The issue is this…
Most of us know that we ought to do things. We know pretty much what to do. We often know how to do it. We know that getting into work a bit earlier might help. We know that we ought to be spending more time with our clients. We know that we should prospect more consistently. We know that we should spend more time learning and improving our skills and more quality time with our children, parents and spouses.
Shall I go on?
And we fight to do these things. We want to do these things. We strive to do these things. We try to do these things.
But stuff gets in the way.
And sometimes we do them. And sometimes we don’t. And that makes our results anything from bad to good… but not good enough. Not as good as we could. Not as good as we want to be. Not as good as we deserve.
The challenge is that most people fight to do the task. Every time. Time after time. It always requires effort. It always meets resistance. And it is usually a battle.
The key to success is to use that energy, use that motivation, use that drive… to create powerful habits. Because once you create habits you don’t have to try as hard. You don’t have to fight as much… because it is just what you do.
It is you.
When I work with CEOs, Directors, leaders and sales management teams this is what I help them do. Whether as a motivational speaker or mental toughness coach, I help them to build for themselves supportive and sustainable habits. The right habits. Productive habits.
Habits that get results.
I bet you already know what yours ought to be. What they’re meant to be. What they need to be. What habits could you do with installing? What habits would make a positive difference for you, for your business and for your life? Go on, think about it now. Then create a plan for doing them until they become habit.
P.S. I have started a #100DAYFITHABIT project to form healthy new fitness habits. You can view my progress, join in, comment or just plain old stalk me on my Youtube channel.
By Gavin Ingham, sales speaker, executive coach and an avid seeker of sales excellence. He is the author of several books including “Motivate People”. Gavin helps businesses and sales professionals be the best that they can be. If you want to know more about creating the mindset of a sales rockstar then make sure that you have joined my free newsletter.
Got a conference or away day coming up? Want a dynamic and inspirational speaker? Give me a call on +44(0) 845 838 5958.