No, I’m not talking about Charlie Sheen’s brand of winning. I’m talking about the mindset it takes to accomplish a goal. I am going to make an assumption, but you, the reader, has probably accomplished something great in your life. Not great as in conquering Ancient Asia or something (so I’m not talking to you, Ghengis!), but great as in graduating high school, boot camp, college, or perhaps attaining a certification, skill, or trade. You accomplished this through hard work, determination, and sticking through the tough times. There were times you wanted to give up, but you didn’t; you saw yourself through to the goal, and now your life is better for it.
Your health is no different.
So you’re overweight. Heck, might even be what you call fat. You are out of shape. You have poor-nutrition related illnesses, or they’re starting to creep into your life. If any or all of the above applies to you and you haven’t yet done anything about it, it’s not because you can’t. You already have a demonstrated ability to reach a goal. You’ve already proven to yourself that you can be a winner.
When I was a Marine, I had a hard time getting my run time down below 21 minutes for a three mile run. I have short legs, and for me to get fast, I really had to work hard. I didn’t really put in the extra effort after boot camp to get below 21 minutes until I became a Sergeant. Then, as a leader of Marines, I felt I had to push myself harder. I ran twice a day for months until I could finally break that 21 minute three-mile run. Then I broke 20 minutes. I got into the 19:40’s when we had an annual Physical Fitness Test (PFT). The PFT went well for me: I maxed my pull-ups at 20, my sit-ups at 80 in two minutes, and then we did the run. When I finished, the SgtMaj was standing there with the stop watch and called out the time as I crossed the line. He looked up at me and called me over. He told me something that transcended the PFT and has stuck with me for life: “You’ve proven to me that you can do this. I will now accept no less from you.” I didn’t just prove that I could run a sub-20 minute three mile, but that I could make my mind hard, that I could accomplish anything that I set it to. I had the winning mindset.
When I set about getting healthy last September, I adopted this mindset: I was not going to fail. I was going to give it my all. Whatever the Whole30 and Paleo lifestyles said I needed to do, I was going to do it perfectly. I was going to give them every chance to work because I needed the change in my life. Lo and behold, they both worked exactly as promised, and here I am, over 101.5 lbs less in ten months.
You’ve already proven to yourself that you can set your mind to a task and see it through completion. You know what the concept of delayed gratification is about, and you’ve experienced it. You know how to set a goal and do what it takes to get there. The last remaining ingredient in your recipe for success is to make the decision to start and just do it. There’s no time like now. Make the decision, commit, and do the work. You know you can do this. I know you can do this.