Today is THE day that many people succumb to superficial self-talk. I want to talk about the event, compare it to another industry that has successfully addressed a similar circumstance, and make recommendations as to how to apply those lessons to get where you desire.
The Problem and the Typical Response
New Year’s morning and the days leading up to it start with self-talk that we are told is from the heart (of God?) that sounds like this.
“Today and this year, you shall be worth it! This year, you will make investing in yourself important, and your health will be a higher priority than in the past. Longevity and prosperity and interconnected with health, and you deserve all three! You are worth it!”
You know the next few chapters of the book. You join some sort of fitness place/program. You look at online dieting options. You consider mail-order packaged food with someone else owning the task of portioning for you. You look at stuff that others you know have been successful using. You jump in.
Later in the winter, you cancel the memberships and probably tell no one other than your spouse, perhaps. There is no public announcement that it didn’t work. What you don’t come clean with is the inner truth that is below the self-talk of New Year’s Day. That is the stuff that I want to expose and attack. Down deep, you take your evidence of the last few months and draw the following conclusion.
“Evidence suggests I wasn’t really worth it. There were too many obstacles in the way, and I didn’t navigate them as I wanted to. Sticking with the patterns of my past was, in fact, more important. I must make peace with the disconnect between who I am and who I want to be.”
Alas, you probably don’t repeat this talk to anyone, and it becomes your secret. Your faith teaches you one thing. Your failure teaches you a different lesson, and the cycle repeats.
Learning from those who have come before
Let’s take a page from the construction industry on the process used to build a permanent structure. An architect designs a home with your vision at the core, and he adds the supplementary structures that experience has taught him will make it sustainable. He stamps his design, as he has passed enough exams and studied enough industry standards to know that it will work. He may show you a mockup to help with expectations.
A construction superintendent is either hired or assigned, and they oversee everything until the project is complete. Sometimes, this person is also the architect.
The land is surveyed by an objective third party, and limits are placed on certain dimensions to prevent running over into another person’s property. At each step in the construction, from foundation work to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, a third party comes out to inspect the progress. They look for essentially answers to two questions.
1) Is this safe? Safe is defined by a tested set of standards used with similar projects.
2) Is this structure stable/sustainable? Will it handle the adversity and erosion effect that existence of a world of inclement weather and changing seasons mandates?
If the answer to either of these questions is “no,” permission to proceed to the next step is not granted until the shortfall is remediated. Resentment over the failure is a part of the process to create safe and sustainable construction. In the end, remediation occurs, and the construction continues. The superintendent keeps the timelines moving, and he regularly announces progress and upcoming milestones.
Every framer brings their learnings from other jobs, as do the electricians, plumbers, and landscapers. The final project reflects several lifetimes of efforts, with lots of independent third-party verification along the way. Seldom do two structures look the same, as the fingerprint of the homeowner, architect and superintendent all alter the outcome.
Applying those lessons
New Year’s Resolutions can work, but they need a building industry approach. Here are my recommendations for you to succeed.
1) Get an architect/superintendent FIRST. An app on your phone does not meet this criterion. A subscription to food in the mail does not meet this criterion. A personal trainer does not meet this criterion. Your need is for a trained and experienced human being that you communicate with often who hears your goals and can create a template unique to you. That person may also be superintendent as you make life choices daily and monthly. My service will cost you about $3K for the year. Yes, expect to use it for a whole year. There are other coaches who are less than me; and some who are ten times that amount. Hesitancy at this step points back to the initial self-talk question regarding how much you are worth. Kind of important to realize that your worth is measurable in this process, just like your weight or time in the marathon. Come to peace with that.
2) Create a blueprint and have it reviewed by experts to get their input/stamp. Got a weight goal? Your strategy to achieve that sort of weight number will have a timeline and milestones along the way. If the only milestones are your “weigh ins” you are not treating yourself as you wish others to treat you. This needs to include blood and health tests and progress towards other goals. It needs to include your physician. Think “experts,” not “friends.”
3) Use your “subcontractors,” to their fullest. The word of God is full of talk to encourage and inspire you both on the topics of food and exercise. Have your architect include recommendations for subs that you will use for body fat measurement, chiropractic care, strength training, and milestone creation. Framers are not good electricians. Stop asking your mystery weight loss bar vendor what your body fat should be for a person of your age, blood type and body type. That is lunacy and would not pass professional inspection.
4) Listen to your inspection reports. This is where your coach and you make you sincerely open up. Fitness regimens during menstruation should change to accommodate circumstance, and research shows that serious women can really alter workouts around ovulation and menstruation and get better results than if they just keep doing the same thing and pretend that they are little men. Timely fasting with a purpose is a great cleansing tool. You need some really hard days that hurt. You need some really easy days for recovery that might make you equally uncomfortable. Your superintendent can help you find that ratio and blend it with the reality you live in.
5) Have parties at the end. Moving in parties are not just for new homeowners. Once you have new habits and a new residence for your soul-on-earth, have a party to celebrate. You will be amazed at the conversations that will arise.
Trust your friendly architect on that one.