(We’re excited to welcome Ryan Patrick as a contributing editor to The Daily Blur in 2013. He’s not only handsome but a mighty fine writer. You’re going to like him. A lot.)
On New Year’s Day of 2012, I set a very public goal. Come hell or high water, I was going to lose 57 pounds by New Year’s Day 2013.
Truth be told, I gained 15 pounds.
Huh? I said I was going to do lose weight. I was determined to lose the weight. I bought a gym membership and everything. How could this happen?
Talk is cheap. I simply didn’t do the work.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. I did some work. The bare minimum. Just enough to see some results. Then, when I foolishly thought I had this weight-loss thing licked, I stopped. I happily hopped off the wagon and forbade my flabby fanny from ever getting back on it.
There was no plan in place. I was all talk and no walk. So I failed miserably. But I have only myself to blame.
When I was eating right and exercising daily, I felt great. I was seeing results. Life was good.
Then I stopped. Why? Because, while I was on the right track, it never felt normal to me … because I didn’t give it enough time to become normal to me.
In 2013, are you going to keep doing what feels normal – even though you know it’s not good for you?
This isn’t only about your body. This is about your business, too.
In marketing and advertising, like diet and exercise, you have to:
- Start. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Now. Stop waiting for the “right time.” It doesn’t exist.
- Do the work. It’s exhausting. It’s traumatic. It’s terribly awkward. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
- Hire an professional who can identify your weakness, establish a regimen, get your butt in gear, and push you kicking and screaming outside your comfort zone. This is essential. If you try to do it alone, you simply won’t do it.
- Stick with it. Be tenacious. Force yourself to do it every day. Only doing it once a month won’t get you anywhere.
- Stop looking for magic pills or gimmicks. They don’t exist. Those who claim they do are out to hurt you.
- Expect setbacks and plateaus. They’re inevitable. Prepare to ride out the storm when your continued efforts aren’t producing the expected results.
- Celebrate victories. Especially the small ones. They make up the big ones.
- Repeat steps 1-7.
Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting new results.
Happy New Year. Go get ’em.
Great post, Ryan. I couldn’t help thinking about this in terms of my own attempts at losing weight, especially in light of my most recent successes in this area, and thought I would add a thought that ties together points 1,2,4,5, and 6:
Don’t let the “theoretically perfect” get in the way of “much better than before.” If you have to take baby steps in order to start today, then take baby steps instead of waiting until you can start “in earnest” with the perfect meal plan/workout routine/etc. If you find yourself needing to eat at a fast food place, don’t say, “oh well, can’t order the perfectly healthy meal here” and order the double bacon chease burger and fries with a milkshake. Order the healthiest thing you can and be happy that it’s at least a better choice than you would have made before making the effort.
If you embrace this, you’ll find that it helps to limit some of the inertia and resistance that’s keeping you from starting, makes it easier to actually do the work, and eliminates those times when you’re most likely to fall-off the wagon: when you’re stuck with no really good options and have to make the best of a compromised situation. If you can remain tenacious about being “better than I was and the best I can be in this situation,” then you’ll be less likely to give up and you’ll keep your momentum going for when you CAN get back to a maximal effort — when you’re back from the road and can eat that perfectly healthy meal or do the workout you prefer at your home gym or whatever.
It’s been a hard lesson for me, but the truth is that baby steps, taken consistently and sustainably, produce better long term results than all-out maximal efforts that start and stop. Right now I’m down about 18 pounds of mostly all fat and have slimmed by about 2 pantsizes, not from a blitzed workout extreme and perfect eating plan, but from small, consistent baby steps over time, that have been slowly dialed in, dialed up, and hardwired into habits. Knock on wood : )
In terms of business, a lot of small business owners do nothing because they feel they don’t have the budget or extra time to conduct the all-out marketing/branding/business reboot that they think will be required to get results. Don’t let that stop you. Start taking baby steps now, and eventually the resources will come. Better yet, take the baby steps to lay the foundation for great marketing in the future — improve the customer experience, improve the memorability and pleasure of doing business with you. And so on.
Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Thanks again for the thought-inspiring post.
Chuck McKay says
Ryan, this post may be one of your all time best. So much insight in so few words.
Ryan Patrick says
Great stuff, Jeff. (As usual)
Thanks, Chuck. I appreciate it!