I can't even count the number of times I've obliterated my diet with a binge-session. One second I'm floating along just fine, four days into a successful low-carb lifestyle. The next? I'm standing alone in a dark kitchen, eating a sleeve of Ritz crackers and cream cheese with a spoon.
I wish I was kidding.
I've fallen off the wagon--so many wagons-- too many times to count.
I've given up on half-marathon training halfway through. It took me five years (yes, five!) to get a first-draft on my next fiction book. Want to guess how many incredibly costly, stupid mistakes I've made in twelve years of being an entrepreneur? Sister, I can't even add them up or it will depress us both!
But here's the deal, here's the capital T truth that I know from years of falling down. Falling down doesn't matter, even if you do it a hundred times. All that matters is that you get up again. When it comes to business, diets, working out, writing or any other dream, success isn't about how high you fly. Success is about how high you bounce.
So if you're reading these words in the midst of feeling like a failure or frustrated with yourself because you've stopped halfway to your goal, here is some of my best advice for staying RAD and getting MOTIVATED!
Bounce Back Immediately - If you're anything like me then a simple misstep can make you feel like throwing in the towel completely. I'll have a piece of cake at my niece's birthday party and go fully off the deep end. I'll decide my entire diet is blown because of a little buttercream icing and so I may as well eat Chipotle for the next six meals. Extra guac. But seriously, every single minute of the day is a chance to start over so don't use one tiny mistake as an excuse to throw in the towel. Start again. Start again and again and again. Train yourself to bounce back every time and suddenly the higher ground isn't a place you're struggling to get to, it's just your normal state of being.
Set Burrito Goals - For those of you who follow me on Snapchat or Insta you might have seen me setting up "burrito goals" when I'm writing a new manuscript. I give myself a daily word count to hit and then set little baby goals along the way. So, if the word count goal is 8,000 words, then I write notes to myself like "2,000 words = Pumpkin Spice Latte" or "4,000 words = 10 min social media break." But ultimately, the end goal has never changed... Burrito! If/when I hit my word count goal for the day I treat myself to a burrito the size of my calf muscle! Obviously, you can adjust this goal to make sense for you, but by breaking a giant goal down into smaller stepping stones and giving myself rewards along the way, I've been able to write six books. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time... just like my burrito.
Nobody is Keeping Score - Seriously. I promise you. Nobody cares if this is the eighth time you've tried to train for a race. Nobody cares if you've failed the seven times before this. People honestly, are way more focused on themselves then they are on you. If you do have a random friend who gives you grief about trying again, or who reminds you of past failures well then utilize that great poetic and wise saying... bye Felicia! Aint nobody got time for that kind of negativity. Focus on yourself and what you're trying to achieve and don't worry about whatever came before.
Understand Why This is Your Goal - Do you even know why you want to achieve this dream? How much does it matter? What are you willing to give up in order to accomplish it? You have to attach some sort of emotional reason to any big goal you're after or you will give up. It's not enough that I wanted to write my first book... my emotional reasons were much deeper. I'd wanted to be an author since I was little. I didn't feel like other people believed I could do it. I wanted to prove to myself. All of this felt deeply emotional to me so whenever I felt like quitting I would remember all my "whys" and push myself back into it.
Beyoncé - She's always an answer on some level, right? Seriously, the other day a reader asked me how I pump myself up when I absolutely don't feel like showing up for whatever it is I'm working on. The answer? Bey. When I have zero energy or I'm in a bad mood, I put on headphones, blast some pump-me-up-music and dance until I feel better. Maybe your version of Beyoncé is Country music, or worship music, or the Disney station on Spotify. You need to feel better or more excited to chase the dream? I swear it's possible to get there through a good bass beat and some physical movement to get you out of your negative head space. Go on a run, go on a hike, jump on the trampoline with your kids... Just remember that you choose your own reality and if you're feeling grouchy today, you have full control over whether or not you wallow there or dance your way out of it.