Last night I was putting together a storage cabinet for my girls’ playroom. I was attempting to put one of the screws in that attaches the bottom piece to the side. It wasn’t working. I was having trouble lining up the holes of the two pieces. But I kept trying. And trying. And trying.
After about my sixth attempt I said to myself, “OK, maybe I need to try something different.”
I was being stubborn and insistent that the way I was attempting to get that screw in was going to work.
There’s a saying that goes along the lines of – if you want something you’ve never had before, you have to do be willing to do something you’ve never done.
When you hear it in a nice little phrase like that, it seems simple, right?
Well it is simple, until it comes to putting it into practice.
Because, much like my attempt to put together the storage cabinet, we tend to want to do things in the way we’ve already decided they should be done…even if it causes us to spin our wheels.
This is what most of us do when it comes to losing weight or getting healthier. We get all geared up for the attempt, and go straight to the same strategies that have failed us time and time again.
Why? Because we’re sure that those strategies (excluding entire food groups, massive calorie cuts, intense exercise everyday, etc.) are the ones that are going to work.
Pro tip: they (probably) wont. They wont because they never have. And, just like me trying to build that cabinet, repeated attempts with the same strategy that has never brought about results doesn’t make any sense.
So what do you do instead?
The simple answer – SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
The complex answer – it depends.
It depends on your habits and practices. It depends on your history with food and exercise. It depends on your environment. It’s a question I can’t answer without spending some time talking to you first. Which is something we can definitely do. Identifying sustainable ways to improve peoples health is what I do, and having someone with experience look at your patterns and behaviors might be just what you need to get to the next level.
However, in general, look for small ways to improve. Ask yourself, “How can I do this a little better?” You probably know where you’re coming up short. So instead of falling into the same old routines that got you nowhere, look for ways to take the ways you’re coming up short from a 1 to a 2. And then from a 2 to a 3. And so on.
Don’t overthink it…in fact, you might be better off under-thinking it…at least at first.
We’re good at over-complicating…especially when it comes to trying to lose weight. So stop. Take a step back, and look at how you can make some small improvements. Because the truth is, better is better. And “better” is really all any of us are looking for.