How often do you visit your relatives?
I don’t mean your parents or your brother. I mean people like Aunt Sally or grandma’s cousin Aunt Beth or a myriad of other distant relatives.
Probably once in a blue moon.
You drive up to their house, get out of the car, go to the door, ring the doorbell and wait. Suddenly the door opens and a small mob swarms you, Aunt Sally, her husband Uncle Bob, and… who is this guy?…some guy who you have never seen, who is apparently your third cousin and several other people.
They all start pinching your cheek and telling you how much you’ve changed, how you’ve grown. You scratch your head and wonder why they are saying that, you haven’t changed that much. You are still the same you. They must be trippin’.
Then you start noticing it too. Uncle Bob has even less hair than he used to, Cousin Jed has ballooned to XXL and Cousin Jennie…wow Cousin Jennie is hot now; she ain’t no kid anymore. 🙂
You see, things change. You change as well. You don’t notice the changes that your body undergoes, because you continue being you day in and day out, and never realize the small incremental changes that happen.
People who you haven’t seen in a while often comment on how you’ve changed. They remember an old version of you and now they see the current version of you.
They have two different versions separated by a lengthy amount of time to compare between. If they would be seeing you everyday, they would not notice the changes so easily.
In order to measure your progress, you have to compare between quite distant periods of time.
That’s why you also cannot expect a visible change overnight. You go to the gym and the minute you get back to your house, you take off your shirt and go flex in front of the mirror. You really think something changed just by you being in the gym for two hours that day?
A big change is the sum of small incremental changes happening over a period of time.
However many people don’t take this into account when embarking on a journey of change, a journey towards their dream body. They set up their goal, they come up with a routine, they start executing their routine and they stick to their routine for a month.
And then nothing changes. They look in the mirror and they still see the puny self that they used to be. They think that there was no progress.
And so they quit.
They become frustrated and they quit.
What they don’t realize is that they have changed in that month of working out. They have learned new habits, strengthened their willpower and self-discipline, but also made their body a bit more healthy and a bit more fit. All this might not be visible, but it’s there.
It’s just like when Daniel-san (from one of my favorite movies growing up, “The Karate Kid”) started training with Mr. Miyagi. Mr. Miyagi made him do all kinds of household chores, but in a special way.
At first Daniel-san did these chores attentively, however after a while he became frustrated. He was there to learn karate and he felt he hadn’t learned anything.
He came to Mr. Miyagi complaining and wanted to quit…
Mr. Miyagi stood him up and showed him that within that short period of time, he had actually learned a lot, but didn’t realize it.
So when you are starting out and seeing no results, just remember this one big lesson from Mr. Miyagi. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean that it’s not there.
If you had made a plan and been sticking to it, then there have surely been changes for the better. After a month you might not see them, but be patient. You will start seeing them soon enough.
At that moment, you need to visualize, project yourself into the future and imagine what you will look like. After that you also need to look into the past and see a situation when you changed for the better. This way you will have positive examples from the past and an image into the future that will drive you.
Don’t give up!
You are now probably growing impatient. You want to know what the big secret is? The answer is simple: hard work and perseverance.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your dream body won’t be either.
You need to keep working hard day in and day out. First, it will take a lot of your willpower to do that. However as working out becomes a daily routine, a habit, it will become easier. It will become easier once you also develop other positive habits around this routine, helping your self-discipline.
The cherry on top will be the feeling you get once after a few months, you will look into the mirror and see the new you. You will look back into the past and realize how much progress you have made. This will motivate you and give you a new purpose and drive.
Now it will be visible even to you. You will use the first day of working out as your reference point and compare it to this day. You will see that all that hard work and perseverance was worth it. You will be bigger and have a more muscular body.
Not only has your body changed, but so has your mindset. No longer will you be doubting yourself, since you will see that it is possible. That will give you stronger willpower, self-discipline and a huge drive to achieve even more.
And that will be just the start of something even bigger! 🙂