Too many people are looking for short-term satisfaction in life at the expense of achieving long term gains. Too
many people just don’t know what they really want. They are apathetic about their true long-term goals, about
what they really want from their life.
And in my opinion, apathy is a global killer. It kills dreams, kills hope, and shortens lives.
Now you might be thinking ‘What on earth has this got to do with losing some weight, sticking to my
diet and getting a bit fitter?’
Well, to answer that question: ‘Everything
What is your goal?
You see, success at any endeavour in life, no matter how large or small, comes from committing yourself
to taking the necessary steps to achieve that goal. If it’s a small goal, then it probably won’t take many steps.
If it’s a big goal, it’s going to take lots and lots of little steps to get there.
Otherwise, if the goal is ‘Lose one pound’ then that shouldn’t be too hard. Most people could quit the
junk food, resist overeating, drink a bit more water and just ‘be good’ for three or four days, get some light exercise, and they’ll lose a pound (or a couple) without too much trouble.
However, if that goal is ‘Lose 101 pounds’ then you’re going to have to stick to that ‘being good’ thing for
a lot longer than three or four days. I know, from experience, because I’ve done it, I lost 101 pounds of
unwanted body fat. Losing 101 pounds of fat takes months, usually years, of ‘being good’. That’s no fad diet.
To lose 101 pounds and then keep it off, permanently, requires a permanent change of lifestyle, a permanent change of eating and exercise habits.
Although you see, for many people, their priorities are out of whack. They lack a clear strong focus on the long-term goals, and so they are easily distracted by things that seem to offer short-term satisfaction. The most simplistic example of this is failing to focus on the long-term goal of ‘I want to be slim, fit, healthy, full of energy, youthful looking and never get sick’ and instead getting distracted by the short-term satisfaction offered by ‘Ooh that cake looks nice!’
The cake offers ten minutes pleasure then it’s gone.
See yourself in a mirror
The body you have always dreamed of having will make you beam with pride every time you see yourself in a mirror, or grin with glee every time your spouse can’t keep his or her hands off you, or smile with ego every time a member of the opposite sex gives you the eye when you are out in public.Moreover, too few people ever make it to that end goal, because the motivation just isn’t strong enough to keep them from making those unsupportive short-term decisions.
You have to make a choice.
Do you choose a life where you put ‘being super healthy’ right up there at the top of your list of wants?
Do you choose ‘having the body I have always dreamed of’ over short term pleasures, like that bottle of
wine or that pizza?
You could equate this to other areas of your life too, such as your career or your finances. You don’t just wake up one morning and say “I’m going to quit my job today, then I want to build my own company and make it big and become a multimillionaire!” and then go out and do it all in that one day.
After the emotionally-charged state in which you decided to quit your job, then follow years of hard graft, bright ideas, trial and error, admin and paperwork, long tough working days and tireless commitment to get to the multi-millionaire bit at the other end. It’s many small steps, day after day, with relentless enthusiasm.
However, I think a lot of people have goals like ‘I want to work less’ and ‘I want to get a nice new car’ and ‘I want a fancy holiday’ and all their focus is on these comparatively short-term goals. These kinds of goals are focused on ‘what’s missing’ in your life, they are focused on ‘feeling needy’ and maybe even ‘feeling greedy’.
Then, that person will wake up one day, mid-50’s, 101 pounds overweight and in a job he or she hates, a slave to a corporation, just working to pay bills, and he or she will wonder why life didn’t play out how they dreamt it might when they were younger.
What are really want from life?
Worse than that, a lot of people never even think about what they really want from life, they have no idea what they really do want. These people often know what they don’t want – they don’t like their job, their spouse, their body, their bank balance, their boss, their debts, their energy levels – but they can’t iterate what they do want long term. “To win the lottery” isn’t much of a strategy.
In addition, that’s the worst place of all to be – if you don’t actually have any big long-term goals and if you don’t really know what you want from life, then that’s a poor place to be, as it’s likely that you’ll end up living most day based on short-term choices, just ‘going with the flow’ every day, whichever way the wind blows.
The remedy is to be clear what you want, keep a journal or diary and write down your big goals, write up your dreams.
Know what you want.
Set goals for your body, your weight, fitness, strength, how you look and feel.
Surely, know that every day, everything you eat, every single thing that passes your lips, is either taking
you towards those goals, or away from them, but there is no neutral. Read. That.
Finally, Know yourself, know what you really want, be a big-picture thinker and don’t allow short-term
temporary pleasures to distract you from ever achieving the big things in life that will ultimately bring you
much greater happiness and fulfillment.