It's time for another Matt-analogy.
Did you ever watch the classic 1990's BBC comedy, The Vicar of Dibley?
Do you remember Jim Trott?
If you do, you'll probably remember what Jim was most remembered for.
If you did not see the show, let me introduce you to Jim Trott.
Jim had a particularly funny way of responding to questions:
"No, no, no, no........yes".
That's how he would pretty much always answer a question. And that gag never really got old (to me at least).
But, what has a character in a 90's comedy got to do with health?
To become fitter and healthier, or to achieve any goal for that matter, you have got to embody Jim Trott's strange way of answering questions.
You've got to learn to say no to certain things so that you can say yes to your long term goals.
Achieving any goal is really just an ongoing battle between the 'here and now' and the 'long term'. It's about long term satisfaction winning out more often than instant gratification. And to do this, you've got to learn to say no more often than you say yes.
For example, if you have a weight loss goal, you might have to:
Saying no isn't about sucking the joy out of your life (apologies if my 'coffee' email from a few weeks back created some tension in your daily coffee habit).
Rather, It's about learning to say 'no' more often to the things that hold you back and saying 'yes' more often to the things that move you towards your goals. It's not what you do all of the time. It's what you do most of the time. It's about learning to be with the temporary discomfort needed to change. It's about thinking about what you want to really achieve when you face a willpower challenge so that you can slow down and say 'no' more often.
And when you do say 'no' and win that willpower battle, I want you to notice that and celebrate that mini victory. Focusing on your successes is imperative to long term change. It is positive emotion that keeps you taking consistent action so that your behaviours become a habit, and your goals become a lifestyle. And positive emotion is the antidote to the feelings of deprivation that ultimately hold you back from achieving your long term desires.
So today, make a list of the things that you need to say no to more often to achieve your health and fitness goals. And when you face these obstacles, try to think about what you really want.
Be like Jim Trott. Say, "no, no, no, no.......yes".