Having willpower is great. But it’s a finite resource. For this reason, the more you can tailor your environment, the less you need to flex your willpower and the higher your chance of success.
“Create conditions to make success inevitable”
Here are my top 5 environmental hacks that will maximise your surroundings and help you win:
Remove shit food from your house
- This is specific to you and is basically the food that you WILL go searching for when you are tired, stressed and up late on a call to a client or business partner on the other side of the world. So many people understand this, so few people implement it, in part through arrogance – that is – you think you’ll be fine and be able to control yourself. Let’s just put it this way – if you could control yourself you wouldn’t be in the situation you are in. Get rid of tempting shit food. From my experience, I used to pretty much keep raw chicken and salad ingredients in my house. Anything else I could get when I was out and given that I eat out 90% of the time, this is entirely adequate.
Get into your gym kit in the morning
- It’s comfy, you work from home anyway and it’s going to make your life infinitely easier when it comes to gym time. On top of this, block out your calendar for gym time (including travel and shower time). If you are working out at home then lay out everything ready the night before, again to minimise the friction to getting a sweat on. You’ll thank me later.
Buy what you need
- If you need protein powder don’t delay getting it! Each day you don’t have what you need, you have an extra excuse to start tomorrow. Go the extra mile to sort it out as it will pay dividends later on. If you need to do a shop and order some bits just do it. Don’t wait to see if your partner wants anything, this is more important. No excuses, do it now.
Find a good gym
- There is nothing worse than going to a gym you don’t enjoy. Make it a pleasurable experience. Pay a bit more to be closer or to enjoy it more. Anything that will increase the chance of you attending when your willpower is wavering – remember – willpower doesn’t work!
Invest in your success upfront
- If you know you want to achieve xyz and it’s going to take 12 months (at least) then pay for 12 months of the gym instead of giving yourself a get out. What’s the matter? You doubt yourself? You don’t trust yourself? You’ve not even started. Back yourself to go out and get this done. Remember, anything which is going to increase the chance of success this time is worth investing in. Do it once and do it right.
You are the average of the 5 people you spend time with. I appreciate you can’t necessarily totally change your friend circle but hanging out a little more with the mate who trains 5 times a week is much more likely to motivate you and normalise the behaviour of exercising and eating well. Over time as you embrace this lifestyle your friend group will organically shift. Until that happens, see if you can shoehorn some social motivation into the mix.
Just remember, your environment shapes you and it’s going to be VERY hard fighting it constantly (is this why you’ve failed up until now?).
Don’t let your environment control your life.
Be ruthless and make the changes you need to succeed.