Success is not an accident. In the last year I’ve lost 50 pounds. Most of that has been in the last 6 months. Every time I’ve lost weight in the past, I’ve started to feel a little happier about my appearance and how I felt in my body. This would slowly lead to complacency, and before I even realized what was happening, I was right back up to my starting weight, if not even higher.
To be honest with you, I feel myself sliding back into this place again. I’m finally wearing some of my smaller clothes. I no longer cringe when I walk past the mirror or a store window. I can walk up stairs without getting winded. Overall, I’m feeling pretty dang awesome. But I feel that little warning niggling at the back of my mind.
I also see it in my actions.
My kids bought me my favorite chocolate for my birthday in October. It sat on my nightstand for a long time. I’d occasionally eat a small piece, but recently, those small pieces were happening more and more often. For the last year I’ve met my minimum exercise goal every single week. Most weeks I far exceeded that goal. For some reason, these last couple weeks I’ve had less motivation to work out. I’ve still met my personal minimum, but it’s felt like more of an effort and less like a gift.
5 Strategies to Avoid Complacency
1) Strive for something.
Set a big goal and come up with a plan to work toward it. Breaking big goals that seem impossible into little bite-size steps can keep you from being complacent. Work on 1-3 small tasks per day. You’ll be making continual progress and keep moving forward.
2) Step outside the circle of your comfort zone.
The majority of our lives we live inside our comfort zone. It’s human nature to want to feel safe. Inside our own circle of comfort we feel safe, but unfortunately, we don’t grow. Right outside that circle is where the magic happens. As you step outside your comfort zone, and do things that are hard and take courage, you’ll soon notice that the circle of your comfort zone has increased in size.
Unfortunately, it’s at this point that a lot of us get complacent. We look back at that smaller circle we just came from and see all the progress we’ve made and there’s a danger of feeling like that’s “good enough.” Instead, return to step one and set a new goal.
3) Find a mentor.
Find someone you know who is doing better than you. This can apply in any area — fitness, weight loss, clean eating, business, blogging, housekeeping, mothering — you name it, this applies! Find out what their strengths are and make it a goal to develop in those areas. Ask them how they stay at the top of their game? Join a facebook group on the topic. There are so many awesome people you can reach out to.
4) Plan to avoid failure ahead of time.
Any time you set a new goal, make sure part of your planning process involves asking what is likely to trip you up. If you consider these things ahead of time, it also allows you to create a plan for avoiding or quickly recognizing the slip-ups so you can get back on track. For example, I have a goal to workout at least 5 days a week. I know if I don’t get up and do it first thing, I often end up skipping it. Because I know this, part of my plan includes going to bed a little earlier so when the alarm rings at 6:00 am, I’m not as tempted to hit the snooze button.
5) Be kind to yourself.
Often when I feel complacency start to slip in, I also let the negative voices slip in. I might mentally berate myself over my lack of self discipline which can quickly lead to emotional eating, if I’m not careful. Instead, if I start feeling those old, familiar feelings of wanting to binge eat, I recognize that as a warning signal that I need to take a closer look at my life, my goals, and if I’ve been slipping. It creates an opportunity to examine my priorities and find some renewed motivation. The important thing is that you simply notice what is happening, and gently turn yourself around.
If you find yourself struggling or starting to feel complacent, ask yourself, “What next?” Then create a plan that will move you to the next level. There’s always some small step you can take to get you back on the path toward reaching your goals. Like I always says, just begin. Little by little, great things will happen.