I learned this phrase from a very wise person at a critical point in my life. At the moment I though it was so true, but as time passed, the more I applied it, the more I realize how powerful this concept truly is. It applies to everything in life, from the small and mundane to the moments when everything is on the line. The margin of victory is drawn closer by preparation. The greatest people in the world attribute their success to the countless hours they spent preparing. Therefore, the better you prepare, the better odds you have of succeeding.
If you have a goal, if there is something that you are trying to accomplish, if you have defined your goal and you have a clear image of how to get it, think of the things that are slowing you down and prepare a solution before the problem arises. To better illustrate my point I will share with you my journey.
In my last post How To Quit Sugar, I spoke on how kick the habit for good. I laid out four steps and I want to share how I have applied these steps and what’s has been working for me. The steps were:
- Take notes – This step has helped me notice when I am most likely to fail and has helped me plan for success. For example, I noticed that I crave carbs around 11-12 pm while I’m at work, which normally wouldn’t be a problem. However, I happen to work at a pizza place where they make delicious personal pizzas. If I fail to pack a healthy alternative I am 100% going to order a pizza and eat the whole thing. I am only human, and I know myself enough to know that once I start I won’t be able to stop. That’s not something I’m proud of but it is part of me and I’m trying to improve by better preparing. It is important to self-monitor because when you notice patterns in your life you can begin to accept them and slowly change them.
- Don’t torture yourself – This step has helped me but in a way hindered me. I say this because I’ve noticed that I allow myself too much leeway. Despite my attempts to be prepared and to stay away from sugary and carb-loaded snacks, I often make exceptions and give in to my cravings. I don’t make myself feel bad about it, because I make the effort to stay on track for the rest of the day. However, I don’t want to make a habit of giving in. The best advice I can give to anyone in the same journey is to be kind to yourself but don’t enable yourself. There will always be an exception, so make an effort to say no to yourself on those times when it feels the hardest to do so. In my own experience I’ve noticed that when I do say no to myself, even if I really want to give in, I can literally feel myself become stronger and it’s actually easier to say no next time the craving arises.
- Prepare for Success – This step have been the most powerful specially on days when I’m not feeling up to it. I prepare myself a mid-day snack, and a lunch, this way, unhealthy food is not even an option. I also prepare by bringing clothes for exercising with me to work, this helps me because I work out before going home, where I’ll be tempted to relax. In your journey, keep an eye out for the times when you are most likely to fail and notice why that is. Once you figure out your weak points, begin to prepare a solution so that when you are feeling week, you don’t have to spend energy deciding, because the decision has already been made. Preparation is indispensable and creates willpower where there normally wouldn’t be any.
- don’t give up – The importance of this step is almost too obvious. However, it is the part where most of us fail. When you boil it down, and remove all emotions from it, losing weight and getting in shape is actually really easy. You eat the foods you know you have to eat (which are available to you in every supermarket). You repeat specific movements till your muscles ache and repeat that a few times a week, and time you WILL see results. Yet, we always get tired, disillusioned, unmotivated and distracted after a few days. That is where this step comes in, never forgetting it will take time. It won’t happen in a few days, weeks, or even months, this is a lifestyle change and only when you are willing to commit your life to it will you be able to stay strong and change your old habits. When you realize that no matter what happens, if you don’t stop, if you keep working at it, if you don’t give up, you WILL achieve your goals. That mindset will propel you further than you thought possible. Don’t give up!
Below are some of the photos I’ve taken to track my progress:
Honestly, I was a little disappointing in the progress that I’ve made. Then I started to think about it and really began to look back at the work I’ve put in. I been working out three times a week, and not very strict with my diet. Though I try my best to limit the amount of carbs and sugars I eat, I must admit that there are times that I give in. You know what they say “You get what you put in” and I can see clearly the fruits of my slow effort. Despite the slow progress I do see the progress. However, I realize that I need to be more specific with my plan and add more days of exercise. In my previous two post How To Quit Sugar and Diet Plan I was not very specific about my daily routine. I left it very vague, so next step is to make a weekly plan to keep myself on track.
I’ll leave you with this: I keep saying it’s a slow process and it takes time. Though I was a bit let down to see how slow my progress really is, I was also inspired to try harder. I see that I am improving and slow progress is still progress. Therefore, don’t think about how long it will take, instead think of how you will prevail regardless.