One Step At A Time By Joshua Newman
My intention is to achieve success in every commitment I choose. Some commitments range from financial stability, better relationships, promotions at work, better health, and strengthened relationships. I make the commitment to others and myself because I see the value in improving in all of those areas.
I have nearly 20 years of leadership experience and have helped a lot of people achieve success in their profession and relationships with others. I know any change can be hard and uncomfortable and nearly impossible without a goal. I know reaching a goal is not going to happen if you don’t believe in the goal and understand the value of achieving the goal. I understand goal setting inside and out, I can draft amazing and attainable plans for almost any goal and despite all of that I find that, I hardly ever hit the goals that are important to me, however today I will talk about a goal that I am crushing and the ways it impacts other goals.
I’ve always been overweight throughout my entire life, not the kind of overweight that impacts my everyday life but the kind that can be lived with, sure there are some things that are difficult like finding clothes or squeezing into a roller coaster, but mostly I’ve had not missed out on much and don’t feel any impacts from being overweight. I’ve learned to live with it, accept it, and not feel like it is a critical thing that needs changing, but I often thought it would be nice to lose some weight.
I’ve made some exercise and diet commitments with my girlfriend that I definitely benefit from. This is the type of commitment that is a win all of the way around, we can hold each other accountable and work on being healthier together. The problem is I made this commitment and did not have sustainable goals or understand the best methods for me. I tried going to the gym five times a week but found that I hate going to the gym, and it takes up valuable time getting there and back. I tried eating better but found I really do not know enough about food nutrition and have struggle to eat at a consistent time. I had mediocre success in both areas not because I did not want to achieve success but because of two reasons, the first being that I did not fully embrace the commitments I made and more importantly I did not truly believe the goal was possible. I’ve allowed myself to make all sorts of excuses and found every reason to get out of implementing new behavior.
However recently after having some success with walking 10,000 steps a day I was feeling pretty good but did not have momentum I really wanted and made excuses to feel okay about that. Everything changed though one night after work, it was a long day and all I wanted to do was to go home and relax. My girlfriend was having a great day and shared with me her daily activity progress from the app on her phone and asked to see mine. I was reluctant to share because I knew I was not where I was supposed to be but shared anyway. I learned the value that night of sharing your goals with someone who is going to hold you accountable, her response to me about my daily activity was not favorable.
I was really bothered by her calling me out, who is she and why doesn’t she care about the crappy day that I had is all that I was thinking. I decided immediately after her reaction that I would show her, I laced up my shoes and walked four miles that night just to prove that I was not lazy and didn’t need her to push me. I talked a lot to myself during this walk and kept coming back to any drastic change will require drastic action. I’ve never embraced drastic action or a “just do it” approach but something changed that night changed in me, I was determined to sustain 10,000 steps a day. I made it and achieved a lot of small goals along the way always focusing on achieving 10,000 steps a day, the first goal was three consistent days, then 7, followed by 15 and so forth.
Now I’m on day 62 and have learned that it’s a lot easier to achieve than I initially thought it would be, I just never did it before so I didn’t believe it would be possible. I’ve woke up early on family vacations to find the time, I’ve walked in rain storms to stay on track with my goal, I’ve walked during half time of football games. My favorite thing now is to walk 10,000 steps before 10 am I call that a “10 before 10”.
The thing I was not expecting though is the confidence I’ve gained from achieving this goal. I look at food differently now, I look at physical activity and something that I enjoy now, unrelated goals that once seemed hard now seem easier. I believe I can do more now than I did two months ago. The change within me I’m focusing on is eliminating excuses – instead of thinking about “why I can’t” I now think about “how can I”
I’m literally changing my life one step at a time, the most important thing I can do every day is to take that step and to believe in myself. In two month’s I’ve lost 25 lbs and feel better both physically and mentally. I look at something difficult now and don’t’ get intimated by it. I’ve learned the first step is the hardest and having a friend or family member to share your goals with is incredibly important.
Drastic change requires drastic action, it can start one step at a time.