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No Action, No Gain

everyone! It’s that time of the year again! Time to set goals, make resolutions, fix bad habits, get rid of what doesn’t work in our lives and to do something to make ourselves better than before.  Or, time at least to try to! (or to resolve to try to- we all know how this story ends 😊).  All this work comes with a cost, but does it really have to?  Growing up, I often heard the phrase, “everything costs something; nothing is free”.  It’s still a common phrase that is mostly true and leads us to a common “no pain, no gain” frame of mind.  Even the phrase comes at a cost.  Consider your workouts: how often do you think that if you don’t push hard enough and don’t feel sore and exhausted afterward then nothing is happening?  Same with diets (ugh-who wants to diet; moderation is key!), even if we feel better, don’t we think if the scale hasn’t moved the diet isn’t working?  In reality, you don’t have to be sore to benefit from a workout, and the scale isn’t the best measurement of diet success. Changes happen that may not be visible but are beneficial.  The “no pain no gain” mindset in these examples simply isn’t true.

I think it’s time to flip the script and look at things differently.  If you think about it, “no pain, no gain” is negative. If we start something new with a negative view, we are setting ourselves up to fail. There’s a reason why most of us start the new year with good intentions and drop them before January is finished! Why start that way? Why not change your mindset? What if we saw no action as no gain? Instead of setting vague goals (lose weight, be healthier, etc.) and failing because we burn ourselves out early, we don’t have an immediate result and it’s not sustainable, what if we simply took some action, got started and built positive momentum?  Accomplishments start with…..well, some small action to get started!

According to the Statista Global Consumer Survey, every year, the top 3 New Year’s resolutions tend to involve our health and wellbeing.  They are: exercise more, eat healthier, and lose weight.  Sound familiar?  These are usually my resolutions every year, at least for a little while. A few years ago, I got tired of “failing” these resolutions and decided that instead of looking at these as “all in”, I would take small steps to meet these goals.  I started with a walk and a cigar, combining a good and bad action, but hey—I got started.  I took another small step, joining a CrossFit box. Sanjay and I joined together, and after some time, I felt healthier; I lost weight, and I even ate better (mostly 😊).  Over time, I started to enjoy the routine.  Each step was a building block to the next, which helped build momentum.  Was I consistently going every day and eating healthy every day?  No. Do I do that now?  Also no.  But, I accepted that I would not always be perfect and did not quit or beat myself up.  I did not let the goals become painful. I simply took action and got started again.

So, this year, instead of resolving to an outcome; I’m resolving to take action towards a goal. I’m resolving to get started, and if I pause, I will get started again!  We are, after all, works in progress!

If you made a resolution this year, how will you take action around it? What will your first step be and what will you do differently? Whatever it is, remember success does not require suffering!!! Success requires getting started.

“Don’t worry about getting it right. Just get it started.” – Marie Forleo

Have a great weekend.

-Vijay

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