• Jenn Sarfaty

How to Achieve Anything

This whole page could just say the following: How to start anything: 1. Decide 2. Execute 3. Follow Through __________________________ But, instead, there are inevitably many half steps in between all of what’s listed above. Firstly, we obviously need to identify the *value* of the thing we are considering “doing.” There’s some secret formula in our brains that dictate whether something is reward enough to match the effort it’ll take. We can probably all agree, at some point, that little formula seemed like it was broken. I’ll set the scene. You are *ready* to start going to the gym. You’re motivated by, if not hating, at the very least wanting to change your current appearance. So, you go on a treadmill for 20 minutes because that seems like the right thing to do. Then you go to the machines that are the least intimidating, keep your head down, and mark the success of your workout by how much you sweat or how sore you were the next day. After a week, you find that you f’n hate the treadmill, you’re always tired, and you all of a sudden have a lot of rationally sound excuses why you absolutely “have no time” for the gym. Or, I’ve got another one. You were *ready* to eat well. It was probably a Monday and the first day of the month. (That type of calendar synchronicity is just ASKING for big life choices). Anyway, you find a recipe that consists of broccoli, brown rice, and chicken breast. (Salt and pepper if you’re lucky). You pat yourself on the back for making 20 servings for all of your lunch and dinner. 4 days in you order a pizza because who the hell can eat unsalted flesh and one of the most boring vegetables for every meal forever? But, of course, since you ate a pizza on Wednesday, there’s obviously no reason to pay attention to what you eat on Thursday. And then, it’s Friday which is basically the weekend if you’re in good enough of a mood. Of course, Saturday and Sunday can wait. “I’ll start back up on Monday.” (P.S. Do we even know what this even means? Was this the media that taught us this weird habit?). If you identify with either (or both) of the examples above, I don’t judge you. But, I am still calling you out. Here is the remedy for the uncomfortable: SOAK IN IT. Let’s say it’s going to the gym, or even exercising at home. What most people miss out on when preparing themselves for a habit change, with the intention of it also evolving into a lifestyle change, is that there are layers of things that must align in order for you to be successful. For example, in order to build the habit of waking up every morning to exercise: 1. Enough quality sleep 2. Plenty of fluids that day before so you’re not waking up like you’re hungover for no reason 3. A variety of foods for ample recovery 4. Accountability in some way - whether it is support from friends, working with a coach, or posting for a million strangers. 5. Direction! Do you know what your PLAN is? 6. MF grit, y’all. Number 6 is my least favorite one to add to the list because it seems both very obvious and very condescending. It’s like saying, “If you want it, you gotta fight for it.” (Okay, fair, but also stfu.) Some people just have the “Let’s do this ish” attitude. Some people have the “Put me down as a maybe, but for sure tomorrow” attitude. But, notice I didn’t say they are “I will do it tomorrow” people. It’s an *attitude* change. I used to wait for Mondays and let one night ruin an entire week of healthy, mindful eating. But then I decided, the reward for feeling strong, grounded, and motivated became much greater than my fleeting feelings of fear - of not being enough, being an imposter, committing to something to fail at, the unknown of success, the shame in embarrassing myself, the fear of just quitting again. Those thoughts still pop up, but since I moved past the original boundary - I’ve been coasting in Step 3. Follow Through. I think it’s worth noting that this is relevant beyond exercise and nutrition. I’m going to teach myself French, be back later.

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