What would it feel like to not have to “fix” anything when it comes to your own health and fitness? What if everything were exactly on-track and progressing beautifully? No need to change. No need to tweak. No feeling of, “I just have to get X and Y organized and then I’ll finally be on-track again?”
It would probably be a massive relief. It would certainly feel that way if everything happened all at once. Sort of like winning the lottery or finding a golden ticket. Or maybe like hearing that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would like to pay you 10x market value for your current place (even if you’re renting) and then throw in a knighthood or damehood (your choice!)
Now that you know how little I understand about British royalty, we can move on to the confounding part of real-life progress. Namely, that it doesn’t happen all at once.
Sometimes, progress comes in organized waves. Sometimes, it comes in bits and pieces—one little change that cascades down. No matter what, though, the person who started this journey cannot be the same one who arrives. Changes along the way become internalized. Identity shifts. The way you express your values shifts. Even the way you manage stress or anxiety shifts. You don’t feel the same kind of relief as you reach the next milestone because there’s not as much to relieve. You’ve taken care of that en route.
You change internally long before those changes become outwardly visible
At Bang, every once in awhile, someone will be mid-interval and say, “I need to work on my cardio.” Even though they are literally working on their cardio. I made a rule around that: you cannot complain about you need to work on a thing when you are li
terally working on it. You’ve got to give yourself the credit that is due.
Of course, you can complain. You do, I do, we all do. It’s a human thing. We always worry that we’re not moving along fast enough. The antidote is gratitude.
What are you working on right now? Do me a favour and take a quick moment to appreciate what that feels like in the moments where there is no anxiety; just action.
For me, the emotional holy grail of progress is a three-parter. It’s 1) to be engaged in the right process (based on your values); 2) to appreciate that fact while it’s happening; and 3) Outside of strategy—to not dwell on it outside of the moment. So, if there’s a thing you want to improve and you are thinking about it, it’s because you are in the act of doing it, enjoying it, or planning it.
One of the biggest challenges here is understanding what reasonable progress looks like. This can be big and confusing. Most of the data out there is probably corrupted—either by advertising, by a lack of clarity, or by confusing a best-case scenario with a best-case scenario for you at this moment.
Before you get to external standards for fat lost, strength gained, or puppies petted, my advice is to focus on consistency of execution. This very unsexy idea is the foundation of all real progress.
So, if you’re not knocking consistency out of the park, then it is the only metric that counts—for a while! And once you’ve got it on lockdown? Give yourself some credit. In the moments that you connect to that fact, you realize that you don’t need fixing at all—you just need time. That’s the feeling.