Read any self-development/help book and the crux will be ‘you have to set your goals to achieve them’.
Yeah, thanks, Bro. No shit.
If it’s so easy, then why aren’t more people achieving their goals?
The issue at hand is not the issue of ‘setting’ goals. The issue is ‘sticking out’ your goals.
Anyone can write down : ‘Lose 10lbs by June’ (goal setting) but the hard part is actually shifting the weight (sticking out)
You see, I’ve realised that when it comes to goal setting there’s 3 stages everyone goes through, regardless if your goals are to lose weight, start a business, write a book etc.
Unfortunately, only the lucky few ever make it to the third stage and even then it’s down to pure buttheaded-ness (yeah, I know, that’s not a word ) rather than actually knowing what to do.
Let’s take a look at the two main ‘phases’ below.
Phase 1: The Startup
The startup is the initial phase we all go through when setting a new goal. It’s exciting, thrilling — we picture what will happen when we achieve the goal and are pumped to get to work on it.
This is the part where we buy the new gym gear, download the latest trending training programme, make sure we have our kitchen stocked to the brim with all the food and supplements we need.
We get started. And everything seems to be going good.
But one day you wake up. And things are different. You don’t know what it is, but you just ‘feel’ different. That energy and motivation you had to go to the gym, or do your early morning cardio isn’t there anymore.
Wtf just happened ?
Welcome, you just entered ‘The Suck’.
Phase 2: The Suck
‘The Suck’ is the second phase you have to go through to achieve your goals. Kinda like all them damn caves you had to explore in the Pokemon games. The Suck is when the ‘beginners high’ or the ‘honeymoon’ period ends and the real graft begins.
What Exactly Is ‘The Suck’?
When you start out on your goal the motivation at the beginning is due to your naivety of what it will really take to achieve it. You want to lose 10lbs and get shredded, and your excitement at the time of setting the goal totally overshadows your ability to think rationally about all the things you will have to do to achieve the goal. The suck is when ‘shit hits the fan’ and you realise, ‘fuck, this is harder than I had anticipated’.
A brilliant example of this is ‘no0b gainz’. The no0b will work out hard for the first year and make significant amount of progress, without having to put too much effort in.
Then,one day, he wakes up and it begins to get hard. He isn’t seeing the results like before, it’s become harder to make progress, and motivation begins to fleet — he’s been fully embraced by ‘The Suck’ and before you know it, he gives up.
Another example is fat loss. The new dieter eats well, does the required workouts and steadily drops fat. The fat loss spurs them on and their motivation is sky high. And yep, you guessed it, just as their motivation reaches a crescendo — POP. They too are embraced by ‘The Suck”.
The Myth Of Motivation
What people don’t tell you about motivation is that it’s fleeting. It comes and goes as it pleases, kinda like a cat. You can’t *force* motivation, it just doesn’t work like that. And on the other side, you can’t expect to wait to act only when motivation strikes — the world doesn’t work like that.
Embrace The Suck
Going back to the Pokemon analogy I used earlier. You knew going through the caves was a prerequisite to getting to the next town — regardless of wanting to smash your Gameboy every time a ‘wild Zubat appeared’ — and ultimately becoming a Pokemon master.
It’s the same with ‘The Suck’. You have to first and foremost respect that regardless of your goal you will go through it. You will plateau on your fat loss, you will get hungry on your diet, you’ll miss that PR you trained and meticulously planned your mesocycle for.
Know that there will be times when you will fuck up. And instead of being demotivated or quitting, take a breath, reassess and carry on.
Don’t become another victim of ‘The Suck’.
Because, well….that just sucks.
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