As we roll into the new year of 2018, there will inevitably be a declaration of resolutions for starting healthier habits of working out, eating better, etc. Of all the science-y things we discuss on Massenomics, the science of motivation is the most bewildering to me. All of these people seemingly want to make a change, but it takes something like a new year to propel them into committing to that change. Even then, that change rarely lasts, as evidenced by the absolute zoo of nonsense at the gym on January 1st, followed by the eventual return to normalcy only 30 days later. People will binge watch eleventeen Netflix episodes of lesbians in prison making insufferable jokes and dancing, but can’t find 3 hours a week to go to the gym. Asinine.
I have conversations with people all the time revolving around how they want to start working out, what they should do, how they should work out, what they should eat, etc. I can pretty much tell every time from that conversation whether this person is actually going to stick with their alleged commitment.
I explain concepts to these people. Those who are more likely to be successful take an interest in the concepts, ask questions, and ultimately understand my perspective. The people who are less likely to be successful become seemingly more disappointed with every word I speak that is not some magical program or potion that I have apparently hidden up my ass which is responsible for everyone’s progress and they are the only ones that don’t have access to it.
These individuals become even more discouraged when I tell them the cold, hard truth – “Making the progress you want is a fucking grind.” At this point, they are ready to call it quits before they even start. But I explain that while progress is a grind, it is a glorious and character-defining grind. Rarely, do things that are worthwhile come about instantaneously, and in the age of instant gratification, that is a tough pill to swallow.
The grind is worthwhile, and believe me, it will spill into other areas of your life where the ability to grind is an invaluable tool in your box that can set you apart from the instant gratification crowd.
“Consistency and duration.” I tell them those are the two most important factors in making the progress they wish to see. “You need to be consistent and it needs to be of a realistic duration. The best program, the best diet and the best supplements are not going to do shit if you can’t be consistent for a long enough duration of time.”
I inevitably come to the favorite part of my little sermon -“It’s just what you do”. Working out and eating for your goals is eventually just what you do. Without extra thought, without daily reminders, without having to motivate yourself daily with inspiring quotes or self-talk, it becomes something that you just do. It is secondary nature, it is habit, it is part of who you are now.
You’re the guy or gal who buys healthy groceries, cooks most of your meals, packs a lunch, and finds time to squeeze in a quick work out even on a hectic day. It’s just what you do. It’s not always going to be perfect or ideal. You’ll miss work-outs, you’ll eat out, and you’ll go a day or two without being able to cook. That is life. It is chaotic and unpredictable at times, but if you can find it in yourself to grind and follow good habits consistently, for a long enough period of time, you will make progress. It’s just what you do.
As you stomp forward into the New Year with your grandiose plans, remember that your goals will not come swiftly. It will be a grind. But, if you can endure the grind you will be rewarded with progress toward your goals.
Working out, eating healthy, achieving goals, making progress, grinding -- it’s just what you do.