This week I am celebrating the 50th episode of my podcast and it has me thinking about perseverance.
When I set out on this podcasting journey, I committed myself to one year of weekly episodes. That was my goal. I committed to the long haul and have persevered through challenges, fatigue, uncertainty and self-doubt.
I want you to think about your weight loss journey and how you are currently viewing it.
Are you ready to persevere for the long haul, or is your commitment more of the temporary variety?
Is this a fair weather only kind of journey, or have you come prepared to keep going rain or shine?
Do you view this journey as ongoing and evolving?
Do you commit to keep going with no exceptions, even when it’s hard, even when you don’t want to, even when the scale doesn’t change or goes up some weeks?
If you decide you’re in it for the long haul, you will get to the other side. It may not be smooth sailing and it may not be pretty. It may not look like you thought it would, but you will get there.
Perseverance means persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
What will you do as you face difficulty along the way? How will you react to delays in achieving success?
3 ways to increase your perseverance
1. Don’t set contingencies on your goal.
When I started my podcast, I committed to 52 weeks of episodes. No exceptions.
I launched the very beginning of March 2020, right before COVID hit full force in the U.S. and everything shut down. Can you imagine if I had committed just as long as it was easy and fun and there weren’t any hiccups? 2020 was basically one big hiccup, right?
How you are viewing your weight loss journey is going to determine your experience of it and ultimately your success.
If you are thinking, “I’ll do this if it feels easy,” or, “I’ll keep going as long as I’m seeing a certain amount of weight loss per week,” this journey will be a short one for you.
2. Commit to a time frame and set an evaluation date.
Notice that I created a goal with a time parameter. I didn’t decide I was going to do it forever, just for one year. That was my long haul. That was a huge stretch for me at the time.
I seriously could hardly fathom having written and recorded 50+ episodes. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. But I was committed to doing it no matter what.
The end of the year to me was not necessarily an end date, but rather an evaluation date.
I decided that when I got there, I would look back at what I had accomplished, what worked, what didn’t, and then decide what I wanted the next year to look like.
You get to decide what the long haul is for you.
I think a time parameter is more useful than a number-of-pounds-lost parameter because it isn’t dependent on anything but the calendar.
It doesn’t have to be a year but having an evaluation date helps your brain keep the goal in a perspective that it understands.
Your brain loves comprehendible bite-sized pieces, to be able to say, “I’m committed to this for one month or six months or a year, and then I will evaluate and decide what happens next,” allows your brain to focus more specifically on where you are headed.
3. Refocus on your commitment after a setback.
One of the things I see happening to my clients is commitment fatigue.
Without a focus on the long haul they then must commit and recommit almost daily to keep going. They feel exhausted and depleted by the process of questioning, doubting, wanting to quit, and then pulling themselves back and recommitting to keep going over and over again.
Defining and then focusing on your commitment allows you to take quitting off the table, at least until the evaluation day comes.
Deciding what long haul means to you doesn’t mean you always feel committed and motivated and thrilled to keep going.
It doesn’t mean you eat only what and how much you have planned every day, or that you never find yourself in the pantry eating chocolate chips instead of dealing with your feelings.
There will still be days you want to quit, but instead of actually quitting, we refocus on the long haul and we keep going, knowing there will be discomfort involved.
I have had weeks where things have not gone as planned. I’ve had weeks where I had no idea what I would talk about on the podcast. I’ve had weeks where I just wanted to take a break. I’ve had failures and disappointments and doubt.
I’ve wanted to call it quits on a couple of occasions, but I refocused on my one-year commitment. I reminded myself that I don’t have to do anything more than that right now.
Perseverance leads to success
Weight loss can be a temporary game, but lasting weight loss is always a long haul.
It is changing habits, creating new neural pathways in your brain and believing new things that you’ve never believed before. That doesn’t happen overnight — but most really amazing, worthwhile successes don’t.
If you expect difficulties and setbacks and welcome them, how differently will you show up for this process?
Changing your body and your brain takes time. It takes patience. It takes perseverance. It requires whole-hearted dedication. It is a long haul, but it is possible as long as you keep going.
Ready to lose the weight for the last time? Let’s get started.