Wins Not Programs

It’s not unusual for someone starting a new health routine to focus on ‘the program,’ or ‘the diet.’

I get that–looking at a new fitness setup or jumping on a hot diet bandwagon can feel like opening the biggest present under the Christmas tree. There is that moment of acquisition; this new thing is now in your possession and under your purview.

But if it’s anything like some of the Christmas presents I remember, there’s going to be some pain in the assembly stages, and that pain may cloud or even trash the experience. We can probably all remember presents that took us all day to put together, and by the time evening rolled around we’d already decamped for something simpler, or were simply too tired to play with whatever it was we’d been so excited about twelve hours earlier.

But when we look at putting routines and habits together one step at a time–instead of working backwards from ‘the program’–we start to do what one of my favorite coaches calls “putting points on the scoreboard.”

Adding a little weight to your lift today.
Taking a couple of seconds off of your cardio.
Drinking an extra glass of water.
Having a different-colored vegetable with dinner.
Heck, just showing up!

The trick is to move in the right direction every day, starting with small steps you know you can win. Even if they feel too easy. Even if it feels like you’re gaming the system.

Because that’s not cheating. Far from it.

You’re going to teach yourself, every single day, that you can become the person you want to become. And you do this by winning those small steps taken in the right direction.

One step at a time, you put up those wins. And one day, sooner than you think, you’ll take a look back and realize how far you’ve come.

And how many presents you’ve already opened.

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