Mindset, Mindset, Mindset
A common term you will hear from me through the article I write is mindset. Too often, we want the quick fix. A pill for this, a subtle change for that, a superfood here, or money to just fall in our laps. My point is, we need to work for things. So, before you go any further here, stop and ask yourself: “Am I willing to work for this?”. I often speak for improving health and financial status and both are the same. Both require work, commitment, and sticking to the plan. How bad do you want to improve your situation? Hard enough that you are willing to work for it, and be proud of the work you have put in?
Gain some knowledge. Don’t just jump into something because you got a small burst of motivation. You know how this ends. You jump in, get frustrated or burnt out, and then you are done. Try taking a step back, keeping that motivation, but building on it by saying “I am going to do this right. I am going to really learn this, come up with a system, and follow a plan.” This may sound corny but it often can be the difference between an attempt and a new successful way of life.
Create a Plan
It is a lot easier to stick to something when you have a plan. If you start this new, fancy, and successful diet; what happens when you get to Wednesday and you don’t have a plan? You don’t have any of the foods you need on standby, you have not prepped anything, and you don’t even know what to cook. Now you are researching, probably after a workday, and while you are hungry. Chances are, before you figure out what to make, go to the store, and come back and cook the meal, you have cheated and went in another direction. If you do make the healthy meal, I doubt you make it long in this day by day method. Point is, research what you are going to do long and short term. If we are talking eating habits, understand what rules, methods, or eating style you want to follow long term. Then, based on that decision, come up a with a weekly plan and make sure you are prepared. You are going to be a hell of a lot more successful if you function like this.
Wait – I thought this site was about financial and health tips?!?
And it is! But, before I jumped in and started providing specific tips and suggestions, I wanted you to understand what it takes to be successful. Too often, as an American, if the solution does not pay dividends within days, we are on to a new method or giving up because it was not easy enough. Improving your health is a life change. I am not referring to being on a diet you hate for the rest of your life, but changing your mindset regarding health decision on a long term basis. Obviously the opposite of the typical: “What can I do for the next two weeks to lose a bunch of weight and then go back to my normal ways that got me to this place I do not care for?”. Same thing financially. Money doesn’t grow on trees and smart decisions over the long hall are what help you. Change your mind set about spending, saving, and what you truly need in life.
Implement The Plan
I know, this seems simple. Just do what you came up with in the plan, right? Well, yes, but there is more than it to that. You need to hold yourself accountable! Before you get started, seriously tell yourself that you want this, you are going to do this, you are not going to cheat, and you are going to be excited when you stick to it! “Now I am talking to myself???” Yes, you are talking to yourself! I know, I know, a little crazy but you have to implement this new thought pattern and then continue to reinforce it. A good idea may be to come up with a tracking system. Not only does this allow you to see how you are doing, allows you to see where you can improve, but it also allows you to see how hard you have worked. This is important. You need to step back and realize your efforts. You worked for this. You really did. Good for you. Stick to it. You make it this far. Now keep going.
Be Proud of Yourself
This may be the most important part. Too often this part is deemed as cheesy. But taking a second to stop, reflect, realize you did what you normally struggle with, and stuck to something is worth noting. Good for you. Feel good about this. Use this pride to keep going. Do even better next time and be even more proud!