Getting Started Is NOT The Hardest Part!

By Mindset

This week, hot on the heels of the myth shattering ‘It takes 21 days to form a new habit – NOT!‘ I’m going to contest another popular saying I’m pretty certain you’re all familiar with – getting started is the hardest part.

‘Getting Started Is The Hardest Part’

I don’t agree with this at all! 🙂

The Anecdotal ‘Evidence’

It's a lifestyle choice My extensive research came up rather short in yielding the statistics I was hoping to find to back this up so I’m sticking with good old anecdotal evidence 🙂

Let’s start by considering a familiar topic – losing body fat. I’ve met a LOT of serial dieters, I’m sure you have too. You may even be one, I was for many years. Every single one of these people has overcome the challenges of getting started not once but multiple times! But not once have they stuck with the program, lost all the weight and maintained their new sexy body weight for the rest of their life. Logic would seem to indicate that for all of these people getting started clearly wasn’t the hardest part! 🙂

Let’s look at another area, joining the gym. Every year  in January, people shake off their inertia, stop procrastinating and get started on their fitness journey by taking the first step and joining a gym. With the hardest part of the journey overcome it would be reasonable to expect a great percentage of these newcomers to stick with the program and reach their fitness goals. But they don’t. Some stay for a week, some for a few months but by the end of February things have pretty much settled down to normal. Some people join a gym lots of times over the years, starting their fitness journey over and over but never reaching their destination or enjoying the journey enough to continue for it’s own sake. Once more getting started clearly isn’t the hardest part! 🙂

Just to be clear – I’m not saying getting started isn’t challenging. It is. But once you’re over the initial hump things and get a little momentum things get much easier for a while. You gain a little strength, lose some body fat, get lots of compliments, look and feel better about yourself than you have in years and at this point you’ll really believe that getting started was indeed that hardest part and that from here on in it’s all gravy 🙂

Alas for the vast majority it doesn’t map out like that. Once the honeymoon period is over things change. You have to work harder for longer for less results and less compliments and it’s at this point that reality sets. Your exciting new lifestyle has become mundane and IMHO adjusting to this is the hardest part! 🙂 This is also made MUCH harder by the fact that at this point you’ll be coasting along happily in the belief that you’ve already done the hardest part! 🙂

[muhn-deyn, muhn-deyn]

1. lacking interest or excitement; dull.
synonyms: repetitive, repetitious, routine, ordinary, everyday, day-to-day, run-of-the-mill, commonplace, common, usual, customary, regular, normal

Sort Your Head Out

excellence definitionWhat to do? Adjust your expectations and reframe the situation 🙂

Look at the definition of mundane again – lacking interest or excitement, dull. Now look at the synonyms (a word having the same or nearly the same meaning) – repetitive, routine, everyday, ordinary, customary. IMHO the challenge here is the fact that we are conditioned to believe that anything that is regular, normal, common or run-of-the-mill is by it’s very nature dull and boring. This is woven into our very language so there is little wonder so many of us believe it. But the reality is that it just isn’t true! The reality is that the vast majority of our life is going to be everyday, routine and ordinary and whether or not you find this uninteresting and dull is entirely a matter of choice! EVERYTHING gets ordinary after a while FFS! 🙂

Furthermore, if we’re looking to really achieve personal excellence – I’m using the word excellence here to define anything that requires us to step outside our comfort zone and challenge ourselves to become a better us, regardless of how we compare to others – then it will require hours and hours of practice and repetition regardless of the level of aptitude once starts with! 🙂

Another area in which I think our thinking is askew is in the expectation that once a new habit is formed it will become ‘easy’ and as effortless as breathing. Once again this is complete and utter nonsense! It’s true that some habits do become ingrained easily and fairly effortlessly for some people but this is far from a universal truth! 🙂 Alcoholics never ever take their eye of the ball and IMHO neither should you 🙂

It’s Not The Destination

Zen DogIf we simply forgot the destination and focused on the journey and then fucking stuck with it, forever, life we’d be a lot happier 🙂

Want a personal example? I never set out to become your favourite Edinburgh personal trainer. Oh no! When I first saw a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger my teenage mind was blown and  I set out with one destination in mind – to become a pro bodybuilder. Not just any pro bodybuilder either, a good pro bodybuilder. Maybe not an Arnold or a Dorian or a Lee Haney but certainly a Shawn Ray or a Rich Gaspari. From this perspective my bodybuilding endeavours have been a spectacular failure! Thankfully by the time I realised I’d probably never reach my destination I was enjoying the journey  too much to stop travelling so I didn’t. It’s been one of the greatest adventures of my life. I’ve seen all sorts of sights along the way that I’d never have seen if I’d simply quit and gone home once it became apparent that I wasn’t quite genetically equipped to reach the upper echelons of pro bodybuilding. It’s true that if I’d stayed home I’d likely have seen more TV shows but that’s not really living is it? 🙂

Instructions For Excellence

If this resonates with you at all here’s your instructions for excellence. Get off your ass – again if necessary and get moving! And this time don’t come fucking running home at the first sign of trouble! Keep moving! Life is movement, hell everything is movement – atoms vibrating and all that! Don’t worry about where you end up – the truth is we’re all ending up in the same place 😀 – just fucking enjoy the ride! 😀