Throughout the years in intro sessions, goal setting, and athlete assessments, many people come to me looking for change.
“I want to change my diet.”
“I want to lose weight.”
“I want to workout 5x per week.”
“I want to get more sleep.”
“I want to have more energy.”
Change can certainly be a welcome aspect of life. Things simply being different than they were is sometimes considered better. We think, “once I have this, everything will be great!” But contrary to the oft used idiom, change isn’t always good.
One way I’ve started to think about how I want my change to look and feel is by shifting my perspective to GROWTH. Change often implies being in a different state than you were previously. Growth implies direction. Growth implies movement. Growth is a vector.
If all you want to do is lose weight, it’s not difficult. People lose 10 or 20 pounds all the time. And those same people gain it back just as quick as they lose it. It’s not because they didn’t try or don’t know what to do to keep it off. It’s because they were focused solely on the losing without ever gaining the perspective or mindset of a person who now weighs 20 pounds less.
Similarly, we’ve all heard stories of the newly rich, amassing a fortune in the lottery only to spend it all in a year and be back to the same financial status as before. They didn’t have the perspective or mindset of someone who was financially wealthy, they didn’t know any different, so they didn’t stay wealthy for long.
If we focus on Growth vs Change, we can develop practices and behaviors that are sustainable because our beliefs and our actions will come into alignment. We understand the deeper desire of wanting to reach our goal and we know that reaching it isn’t a static state. There’s ebb and flow. There’s a dynamic. We think past our goal to what life will be like when we’ve attained it and try to anticipate and understand those challenges. We try to understand what it’s like to live as our future selves. We adopt that mindset and the change we seek turns into reality. A positive force.
We don’t just need direction. We don’t just need a goal. We need momentum. And to gain that, we have to remove barriers. We have to make growth something easy to achieve and something easy to sustain. Start with thinking about the real reasons why you want change in the first place. What does that change feel like? How will it make your life better? Who else will this change impact? How would you feel if you reached this goal and then lost it? How would you feel if you reached this goal and then kept growing?
Mindset first, then movement!