Sometimes we [insert Dr. Evil exaggerated quotation marks heeeeya] “fail.”
Sometimes we don’t hit the awesome goals we set.
We fall a little short.
We got a question from a(n awesome) client this week that wanted to know what the heck to do with herself when she falls short.
In her case, she set a goal to lose a certain amount of weight in a certain amount of time, and will likely end up about 3 pounds short.
There’s a TON going on psychologically with this–so let’s unpack what to do and some strategies for overcoming “failure.”
1. Look down the mountain
Picture yourself climbing Mount Everest (in fact, isn’t there a terrifying movie coming out on that soon? But I digress…)
It’s a looooong friggin’ way up there.
There are multiple stops along the way where you stop and make camp.
You know what happens when you get to each campsite? You celebrate!
Even if you’ve got a long way to go, you take a second to look down the mountain and think, “Man, look how far I’ve come.”
This doesn’t mean you dwell on it, but instead of getting discouraged about being a little short on a current goal, or having a loooong way to go until we’re where we “want” to be, take a second and look down the mountain.
Let that itty-bitty pat on the back (yes, you probably deserve more of these than you give yourself) boost you up the mountain as turn back up and tackle the next climb.
PS: shoot for the moon, even if you fall a little short you’re still amongst the stars n’ shiz #cornyworks
2. When it comes to fat loss, choose your measuring stick(s) wisely, and choose multiple sticks!
Yes, the scale CAN (but doesn’t always) track with “progress” from a body composition standpoint.
This is a hyyooooooggggeee butt! I mean but :/
It’s not even close to the most important thing you should be gauging as a measure of “progress.”
Most of our clients have had the dirt kicked in their face by the diet and fitness industry. They’ve tried a million things, counted points and carbs and calories, been trained by weekend credit card certified clipboard holders some places call “trainers”, bought the DVD’s, and, because of all the previous struggle and failure, wonder if it’s THEIR fault.
They just haven’t found a place driven by real-world, long term, sustainable change (and the support to help get them there)… at least until they find, cough, this, cough, awesome establishment #shamelessplug
Seriously though, they’ve had the dirt kicked in their face.
They’ve tried and failed.
You know what THAT person needs (what YOU need)!???
It’s signs of progress.
So don’t sit there and focus on a scale that could be lying to you.
I encourage our peeps to find as many opportunities for “wins” as possible:
Pay attention to how your clothes fit.
Take progress pictures in the mirror every two weeks (over the course of a year this gets reaaaally cool, especially if you have batman underoos like I do!)
Track your progress in the gym–if your performance is improving, YOU’RE improving, and that’s awesome!
Finally, when it DOES come to getting on a scale, do a reliable body composition analysis as well.
We use a top-of-the-line InBody scale that records bodyfat more accurately than anything you’ll find in a gym (or in most medical facilities).
It gives detailed information on your water weight (if you lose 10 pounds and it’s all water, we didn’t do anything did we?), your skeletal muscle mass (i.e. how many pounds of muscle do you have and where is it?), and body fat mass.
We had a young lady complete a 21 day kickstart with us and she “only” lost four pounds (which, frankly, is still great progress over the course of the year).
When we did her InBody scan, it revealed that she had actually lost over EIGHT POUNDS of fat (and had gained just under four pounds of lean muscle mass)!
Here’s a young lady that probably could’ve gotten a little down herself (as much as we’d try to stop her) for “only” losing four pounds.
Instead we figure out her progress and InBody scan was basically a work of art and she’s PUMPED about it!
Look, I get it, it’s easy to set goals based JUST on the scale. It’s easy to measure, we have more context as to what’s realistic, and it’s generally regarded as THE thing we try and track.
In short, if you set a goal for weight loss, realize that your goal, realistically, is more like:
-look better naked
-feel sexy again
-clothes fit better
-get off expensive medications
-have more energy
-be able to be more active
-feel like an athlete again
-do things you didn’t think you’d ever be able to do
-be more productive
-spend more (quality time) and do more awesome stuff with the people we love
-make life easier
-enjoy life more
Those things aren’t measured on a scale.
Don’t depend on a scale (alone) to tell you how awesome you’re doing.
3. Actions speak louder than outcomes
If you lose 10 pounds but you’ve been doing crappy daily actions (you make no positive changes), it’s really not likely you actually made progress.
If you maintain your weight but for the past 30 days you’ve been active daily, drank half your bodyweight in ounces of water daily, slept 7+ hours a night, and have eaten 80% clean (when you used to eat about 5% clean), you’ve made incredible strides!
I guarantee you person 2 is closer to their real, non-scale goals than person 1.
So instead of just tracking the scale, track your daily actions.
Just think about it–what the heck is more important for you in the long run? What’s going to make a bigger on your life?
The scale, or the things you DO daily?
Now, if your goal is to hit your daily actions 6/7 days a week and you’re only hitting 3, then we’ve really got something we can look at and adjust.
We’ll have to find ways to make it easier for you to hit your actions, maybe you’ll need to give yourself some tough love (or get it from us), but you’ll know without a doubt if you’re doing the things you need to do to facilitate change.
In short, your “failure” will be more useful.
You’ll know, “oh I didn’t hit my goal because I didn’t hit [x] daily action,” instead of saying, “dang, I’m a few pounds short, I wonder why…”
Make sense? Awesome!
Now, I know what you’re thinking…
Actions are more difficult to track–I totally get it. We’ve tried to fix it:
Do the DSC Bridge habits exercise and give yourself a little sticker for every day you hit your daily actions. When your ratio of “YES!” days versus “oops…” days improves, over time, you’re gonna make some kickass progress!
Just head over to the walkthrough here and make some change #likeaboss
Make your failure work for you. Realize it’s not the end of the world.
Just because ya failed doesn’t make a failure.
Just because you screwed up doesn’t make you a screw-up.
When Tom Brady throws a screwed up pass he doesn’t leave the field and quit the game. He gets back in the huddle and runs the next play.
Then, allegedly, perhaps adjusts the inflation of said football to his liking. When Roger Goodell… oh, nevermind.
Seriously though, head up, next play.
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