Challenges happen to us all the time, they happen to us when we don’t even realize it. We get used to overcoming some challenges in our lives while we struggle with others.
Driving to work is a challenge, it may not seem challenging, but it is a challenge none the least. Climbing a mountain, yep that’s a challenge, it looks, sounds, and feels challenging especially the first time you attempt it. But to the climber who has scaled the same mountain 200 times, it’s not so much a challenge as it is a habit.
When a challenge becomes a habit
Think way back to the first time you ever sat in the driver’s seat of your parent’s car ready to take the wheel. I remember being so nervous and having butterfly’s in my stomach. There were so many things I had to remember to do. It was overwhelming and I wasn’t that confident. But as each day went by, I would drive again, and then again testing out new routes and faster roads. I became more comfortable with the challenge of driving, and with the new challenges it brought each time I went out.
Driving became easier the more I did it. And now I don’t have to really think about doing it. I have created this habit of driving and I know exactly what to do and when to do it. My body knows how to react while I drive and now, I don’t even have to think, I just drive.
How the habit builds
If you want to get good at something or do more of something, you first have to start by doing it. That’s it, consistency wins every time.
Consistency is the key element to overcoming any challenge. You want to exercise more, lose weight, climb a mountain, start running, get stronger. All these things are accomplished by consistently doing the act as much as possible. This is how habits are built. You don’t just have one cigarette and become a smoker, and you wouldn’t just go for one run and call yourself a runner.
Consistency is the key to building habits, and in order to overcome any new challenge we must first create habits that are applicable to that specific challenge.
To best build a habit we start with why? You need to have a deep understanding of Why that goal, or challenge is important to you.
Here is an example:
I wanted to run a marathon a few years ago and I was having a hard time getting out to do my runs. As I was telling a friend about the challenges I was having, he asked me “why do you want to run a marathon? My first response was that I always wanted to.
Why? He asked again – because I feel like I’m a good runner and I could finish the race.
Why is that important to you? – Because I feel that I can still do it, I just had a child and I want to be able to run with her when she grows up.
So you want to run for your kid? – Ya I guess, I want to climb mountains with my grandkids and be able to waterski behind my boat when I’m 90.
Why is that important to you? – My grandparents couldn’t do any of that stuff, my parents are starting to have issues with their physical health, and I don’t want that to be me. I’m slowly watching my grandparents die, they live in an senior’s facility alone and unable to do most of the things that used to take for granted, like walking.
I wanted to run because I was good at it, what kept me running was my daughter and the thought of my grandparents and knowing where I don’t want to be. I don’t want to be a burdr on my children and I don’t want to be unhappy at in my later years. My health and fitness will only help to prevent this from happening. My friend made me understand my why and unearthed a deep connection between running and why I wanted to do it.
Keep asking Why
Simply wanting to lose 20 pounds or get stronger isn’t enough to keep you going. Trust me, I have had this conversation with hundreds of people and the ones who stick it out are the ones who know their why.
You need to ask yourself why, not just once but 5 or 6 times at least coming up with a different answer. Keep asking and diving deep into your reason, once you find your why hold onto it. Your why has a deep connection to who you are and to who you want to become. This is your motivation to a new you, this is the magic tool that will help you overcome any challenge in life.
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