Walking The Path
I have started to see some new faces at the gym recently. New Year is not that far behind us, and I assumed this was people who made New Year’s resolutions to get fit or to lose weight. I asked one of the gym managers how many new people signed up to join the gym in January. Apparently they had over 700 new members sign up in January, 85% of whom had already quit. Why is that? Imagine 700 new people turning up at a gym. Even if they all went on just one day a week, it would mean that 100 new people would turn up each day. This makes the gym a lot busier. New members then think that it is always like this, and that puts them off. Then you will get people who are not put off by the numbers, but are instead put off by the fact that they went to the gym 3 times in a one week and still do not have 6-pack. Eventually some of the remaining new members do become regulars, but the overall drop-out rate is huge.
It seems to me that there are lots of people who want to make positive changes in their lives. Some of whom maybe do not know what to do to get the results they want. Whilst others are simply not prepared to do what it takes to change. This is a general issue with personal development, knowing what to do, and then doing it, and keeping on doing it, and doing it. Part of this issue is finding out what works for you. Coaching is about helping someone move from where they are, to where they want to get to. Sounds easy enough, and it is, but not everyone is in the same place, and not everyone is heading in the same direction. As a result the personal development field is full of advice about what you should do, not all of it may be directly applicable, or useful in your situation. Even once you know what to do, the issue is then doing it.
There was a reason that Stephen Covey called his hit personal development book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. You need to make the positive things that you do in your life something that you do habitually. I think that the most important thing that you can do in your life is to take action. It is associated with Covey’s first habit of being proactive. All of the people who signed up for the gym in January, and went at least once, had at least taken action. The reality is that for some of these people maybe going to gym was not the way that they were going to achieve their goals anyway, and that is perfectly fine. Providing that they are now taking positive steps in another direction. But others will have just returned home, defeated, to sit on the sofa, watch TV, and drink pop. I could be wrong, but for the majority of people, sitting on the sofa, watching TV, and drinking pop, will not take them much further forward in life.
Together with taking action you need to make sure that you have goals or objectives that you are working on. This is not because achieving goals is so important. What goals do for you is motivate you to take action in the first place. If your goals do not motivate you then, get some new goals! It really is not that complicated, you choose your goals, choose ones that excite you. This is your life it is not a game or dress rehearsal. This is it, make the most of it. Goals can also then be used to measure your progress, checking that the action that you are taking is moving you forward. If I had set myself a goal to have 6-pack then the steps that I am currently taking will not get me there, but if I examine the steps that I would need to take achieve that goal, then I might need change the goal to something slightly more realistic. And that is perfectly fine too, providing you have exciting goals that are giving you a bit of a stretch and you are taking action, then I for one could not ask you to do any more. But please at least do that and keep on doing it…
“Neo, sooner or later you’re going to realize just as I did that there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” Morpheus in the Matrix