This post is sponsored by adidas. Although I was compensated for writing the article, all content and ideas are my own.
Autumn is the perfect time of the year to reset your goals. Kids are going back to school and you fall back into a normal routine after the summer holidays. You might also realize that there are only 4 more months before the end of the year and your goals have been long forgotten.
If you want to commit to giving it a good go this time, I’m cheering for you. And not only that, but I’ll give you my formula for creating change that’s permanent, no matter what your goal is.
This year, after applying some of these tips myself, I finally reached my goal weight, 52kgs (115lbs), after a 5year long journey. And Alin ran a 2h:51m London Marathon. They’re both huge accomplishments and even though they seem very physical (well, he did have to run), reaching them needed a lot more brain management that you might think. I also started a business, and that needs a lot of mindset work too.
And no, this is not the “eat this or that”, “run at this pace for this number of minutes”, “things to do on a Sunday to prepare for the week”, or “sleep in your running kit” type of advice.
You don’t need another diet.
You don’t need another training plan.
You don’t need another strategy.
There are plenty out there. But you still haven’t reached that goal. Why?
1. You need to become a different person
This was one of the biggest discoveries for me. I lost weight many times, but it came back. Why didn’t it stay off? What was I missing? The answer was so simple: I didn’t know how to be a girl that weighs 52kgs.
For many years, I was a girl who loses weight. That was my identity. So the moment I got close to reaching my goal, I had to do something to keep being the girl who loses weight. So I gained it back and continued my journey.
It was an identity crisis. And from the moment I realized that I need to change from being the girl who loses weight to being someone who weighs 52kgs, it only took a couple of months to see that number on the scale.
How does this work?
You can do this three ways. One is to think about someone, a real person, who has the result you want. Second is to create a persona. And the third way is to see yourself after you reached the goal. Then think about all the qualities this person has.
What do they eat? What do they think about? How do they dress? What do they read? How do they feel?
And then be that person. Make choices that they would make.
It was very easy to plan my meals based on how the 52kgs me would plan them. Or I would sometimes think about my coach in a difficult situation and ask myself “What would Brooke do?”
In this picture I’m wearing my goal hoodie – the hoodie I imagined my 52kg self would wear. I got it before I reached my goal, and now I happily wear it all the time as a constant reminder that I did it. It’s light, perfect for a cold summer evening or early autumn and the pockets have zippers, which is super important when you live on a boat!
Alin used the technique for running too. He learned as much as he could about Eliud Kipchoge. He read his bio, followed him on Twitter, found details about how he trains, what he eats, etc. Cause you know what? If you want to be Eliud, you have to be Eliud. Mind = blown. Train, sleep, eat, run, stretch, think like Eliud.
Would Eliud cancel his 5 am run because it’s Sunday? Probably not.
Would 52kg me eat sausage rolls hiding in the car in a parking lot? Probably not.
2. Surround yourself with the right people
I’m sure you heard this before, I did too. But I didn’t get it until recently when I wanted to talk about my business and there was no one to talk to. Or even worse, people I did talk to wanted to discourage me.
So I went back to being active in the business school FB group I’m part of, joined a few for Pilates or Yoga teachers to learn from each other, took part in weight loss coaching calls. I found a tribe to support each one of my goals. Because those people GET me.
Tasks that seem hard to do on your own become second nature when everyone in the group does it. For example, waking up at 4 am to go for a run is hard when the rest of the house is sleeping. But what if you were on a training camp? If that’s the culture and you’re part of it, the same task is as easy as brushing your teeth.
When you’re part of a group, you understand and learn from each other. You speak the same language and do similar things.
So I recommend you join groups or go to networking events where you can meet those people that understand exactly what you’re going through.
3. The attitude towards failure
Want me to tell you something that will change your life forever? I think I heard yes. So here goes:
The second best thing after success is failure.
The worst you can do is nothing. The fear of failure is more damaging than the failure itself. Once you do fail, you have precious information: “this didn’t work, I have to try something else”. Not trying at all will keep you in the painful and constant state of “what if?”
When things don’t work out, you learn more than if they did. All you have to do is approach the situation with curiosity instead of judgement. Why didn’t this work?
Why did I give into this craving? What was I thinking about?
Why did this run felt so horrible? Was it what I had for dinner last night? Or how much did I sleep? Is something at work causing me stress?
Why did no one buy my product? Is everything working correctly? Is the marketing strategy appropriate for my ideal customer?
The result you have in front of you is a neutral circumstance, and you are the one that gives it meaning. You can choose love for yourself every single time. And you can choose to learn from it and do better next time. You can choose to keep trying.
Because when you don’t let failure stop you, success is inevitable.
I’ll say that again. Success is inevitable.
All you have to do is keep trying.
Embrace failure. Learn from it. Fail on purpose sometimes. You’ll reach the other side stronger and more knowledgeable than you can ever imagine.
I failed all possible diets. I lost weight and put it back. And now that I am a coach, whatever one of my clients asks me, I have the answer. Cause I did it all!
Part of Alin’s success was a good pair of shoes. He talked about his love for adidas ultraboost in a previous post, and after his old shoes got to 5000kms, it was time for an upgrade. The Parley range is perfect for our vegan and environmentally friendly runner! They’re made out of ocean plastic and kept all the benefits of the ultraboost range. Alin briefly tried a different brand before buying the Parley pair, but a few failed runs and a black toenail brought him back to adidas in no time. Safe to say he’s sticking to ultraboost.
4. Believe so much that people will think you’re delusional
You have the plan, the framework, the strategy, and you know it worked for other people. There’s a big chance that if you follow it, it will work for you too. Cause why not? Why not you?
Believe in your goal like you’re already there. When you know it’s going to happen, there’s no rush and no panic. You can enjoy the journey with all it has to offer.
When working towards a goal, the emotion fuelling your actions determines if you’re going to be successful or not.
Impatience will cause you to skip steps, keep switching plans, not follow a strategy at all, or work too much. This will only cause you to feel tired, frustrated and not give you the result you’re seeking. And remember, impatience comes from disbelief.
When you have complete trust in the process, you make the right choices and have time to stop and celebrate small wins. You reach your destination fueled by excitement and self-love and that’s a much better place to be in.
5. Find a really good reason
A strong Why is the difference between trying to quit smoking because you think you should or because the doctor told you that you have lung cancer. That’s a strong reason. It gives you no more options. Quit or die.
It doesn’t have to be so serious, but it has to be important to YOU.
When I did this exercise for my weight loss, I listed all the reasons why I want to reach my goal weight. And some were as shallow as “I love that my thighs don’t touch so I never worry about chafing”. YES, I SAID THAT. That’s important to me. But wanting to be able to help other people lose weight is also on the list.
6. There’s discomfort either way. Pick the one that serves you
It’s called a goal for a reason. It’s not easy to get there, but oh, it’s satisfying. You need to expect to put some work and effort into it, and some actions will be uncomfortable. But so is staying where you are.
There’s discomfort on both sides, but one of them can serve you well.
Yes, it’s uncomfortable to skip dessert but so is staying unhappy with your weight. However, the first one lasts for 10 minutes, the second lasts for a lifetime. The first one will help you reach your goal, the second will keep you stuck.
It’s uncomfortable to wake up at 4 am for a run. Especially during winter. And especially when you live on a boat. I watched Alin pushing through this countless times. I heard him swearing in the cold shower countless mornings. But that temporary discomfort doesn’t compare to the pain of knowing you can do better, but you didn’t even try.
There’s discomfort either way. Pick the one that serves you.
Tell me, which on these tips was most useful for you?