Changing your life isn’t a short-term issue. It requires a long series of constant decisions that drive your life in the direction you have decided it to go. One of the biggest difference between successful people and failures is the fact that successful people actually work to control the direction of their lives. Failures just end up where they are. Most of the time they have no idea how they got there.
There are three kinds of people: people who make things happen, people who watch things happen, and people who ask, “What happened?”
The serious people, the successful people are the ones who make things happen. If you’re serious about your health, you will make things happen.
Before I go on, I want to make sure you understand what I mean by “serious.” I do NOT mean someone who no longer has a sense of humor, cannot take a joke, cannot make fun of himself, or cannot recognize that sometimes life is funny. That’s not the kind of seriousness I’m talking about. That kind of seriousness sucks. Nobody wants to be around that guy.
Yeah, don’t be that guy.
One of the fundamental reasons I cannot envision ever changing from The Ketogenic Diet and Lifestyle is simply because it provides such incredible clarity of mind. And purpose. That clarity allows for a more fulfilling life. I talk to people all the time, online and via email, who express that they are finally, most of them after too many years, living life to the fullest.
And it’s all because they got serious.
So what does it mean to get serious, to BE serious? It means:
You recognize where you are (and that you don’t want to be there)
Nothing happens without this step. Because if you don’t recognize that you are in a bad place, in an unhealthy place, in a place that you really don’t want to be, then you will never be motivated to get out, to change. A few years ago, I woke up miserable. I was fat, depressed, and sad. But I had woken up like that for years. Something about this particular morning, though, was different. The difference was I realized that there has to be more to life that this Groundhog Day-level of miserable repetition. You have to recognize that, too.
The difficulty with this particular step, though, is that most people (yes, you, too) do NOT like taking a real, honest look at their lives. People don’t like to strip away the pretense and look at the person in the mirror with an unfiltered lens. They don’t like it because, most likely, they won’t like what they see. And they’ve got no one else to blame.
It takes courage to make that observation. It takes courage to seek the warts and all. It takes a serious effort. But if anything is going to change, you have to do it.
You decide to change
Taking a serious, honest look at your life and recognizing that it sucks is powerful. But it’s completely useless if you don’t decide to DO something about it. Without the decision to change, the honest look is just a neato exercise most suited for a Freshman-year Psychology class. You have to decide to change something. Okay, so here’s the secret, though: That change doesn’t have to be massive, sweeping, and all-encompassing. It can be small, focused on one aspect of your life (e.g. give up bread, stop eating candy, no more ice cream, etc.) It’s a small change that can be built upon for a massive life change. But it has to involve you doing something about the realization you made that your health is in shambles.
You have to change something. I’m not sure if I’ve emphasized this point enough, but if not, I’ll say it again. You have to change something. You took the effort to be honest about your life, not get serious and decide to change something.
Deciding to change is important, but this is absolutely more important. I’ve written and talked about the necessity to have an important, powerful “why”, so I’m not going to reiterate that here. Suffice it to say that you must know why you want to improve your life. Unless you’ve taken the this step, you’ll never realize exactly how powerful and important it is. Knowing why you want something is the single best way to stay on track to get it. Seriously, no “why”, no way.
You decide your goal
You know that you need to change, you know what you want to change, you know why you want to change…but then what? Change without a purpose is pointless. Changing your health is about changing FROM something TO something. You have to know where you are going. Otherwise, you will have no way of knowing if you are successful. As I explained here, you have to have S.M.A.R.T. goals.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Timed
You can have more than one goal at a time, but just make sure each goal follows those requirements. Also…this is non-negotiable…write your goals down and look at them every day.
If you’re serious, your goals will reflect it.
You decide your path
As much work as the other steps have been, this step is more. Success is a simple process. You have to recognize where you are now. You have to decide on a new destination. Then you have to decide how to get there. This is your path. This is the tactical application of your decision.
Are you going to cut out all carbs? Are you going to slowly ween yourself off of bread/pasta/potatoes/rice/etc. by a certain date? Are you going to go cold turkey? This is the nuts and bolts part of your success plan. You have to really focus on your plan and your path. Once you decide where you’re going, you have to figure out how you’re going to get there. Nothing can stop you once you get serious.
You decide to stay focused on your goal when you faced adversity
You will encounter difficulty. You will encounter temptations, cravings, evenings out with friends, and more. You are, after all, living a full life. What you have to do, what is totally non-negotiable is you have to decide to stay focused on your goals. You have to keep those goals at the forefront of your mind. You cannot be successful if you pursue success with a half heart. You absolutely must go all in. There is no room for deviation, if you want success. You have to seriously stay focused.
You decide to do it again with a different goal
So what happens when you reach you goals, or you get close? You reassess. You start over and come up with another goal, another path, and another focus. You have to stay serious about your health. The only person who can do anything about your health is you.
Are you serious about it?