Times like this, it is important to remember that everyone gets off track. The highly successful have just learned to get back on track more quickly.
No one is consistently thrilled to get out of bed earlier than the rest to get things going. Everyone has moments when he or she would rather roll over and hit snooze. The difference between those who hit snooze more often than not and those who get after their goals is learning to win what I call “fight thru’s.”
A fight thru is the experience of not wanting to do the things we know we should do. The people in great shape (personally and professionally) consistently execute on their most important activities. It is not so much that it is easier for them than it is for you; yet, they execute because they fight the fight and win more than they lose.
The most successful people and teams are winning fight thru’s with their two or three most important activities daily 90 percent of the time, even during the summer months.
The following is an email I recently received from a client:
Jason, I figured I would share my morning with you quickly… I woke up this morning at 5:30 am with the intention of riding 15 miles on my bike. I woke up, laid in bed, and did NOT want to do it. I recognized a “fight thru” was happening. I forced myself to think about how good I would feel if I got the ride in. I also made myself think about the weight I have already lost and how great it feels. I know if I start losing fight-thru’s now, then that weight will come back. Five years from now I will be in the same spot I was in a year ago. I got up, got dressed, and opened the garage door. It was down pouring. I thought for a second, “I have never ridden in the rain. This is an optimal excuse.” I won the fight thru, and rode 15 miles in record time.
Use these 4 techniques to win your next fight thru:
1. Ritualize: Complete the activity at the same time daily. The more a behavior is part of your daily routine and ritual, the less likely it is for other things or temptations to interfere. Completing your most important activities at the same time each day takes much of the thinking out of the doing.
2. Recognize: When you enter a fight thru, say to yourself, “I am in a fight thru.” Failing to acknowledge you are in a fight thru is like losing the fight before it even begins. Give yourself a “fighting” chance by acknowledging what is happening. You can’t win the fight if you don’t know you are in it to begin with.
3. Ask 2 Questions: “How will I feel if I win this fight thru?” and “How will I feel if I lose?” Allow yourself to experience the emotion of how you will feel if you push through and complete the task. More importantly, allow yourself to experience how you will feel if you don’t. Emotion can be a powerful motivator if we will let it.
4. Life Projections: Imagine your life five years from now if you consistently win fight thru’s, and imagine your life five years from now if you consistently lose fight thru’s. Will you reach your long-term goals for yourself if you don’t do what it takes today? Most likely, the answer is no. Forcing yourself to acknowledge this in the moment might be the kick you need to get going.
Make your goal to win your next fight thru. Winning one fight thru makes it easier to win the next one. But, be careful… losing one fight thru also makes it easier to lose the next one. Remember, everyone gets off track. The difference between the extremely successful and everyone else is that they get back on track. Fast.