Summary: Discover the power of consistency and long-term vision in achieving self-improvement goals, as exemplified by a daily 1.5-mile run commitment and overcoming negativity. Learn how small, consistent actions can compound into significant progress over time. 5 Minute Read
The Journey of Self-Improvement
Taking on a journey of self-improvement is no easy task, as it requires a great deal of commitment, resilience, and discipline. Along the way, our environment and the people we interact with also play a crucial role. And sometimes, even the most well-meaning friends or family members may unintentionally dampen our motivation with their reactions or comments.
To overcome these challenges and stay focused on our goals, we must unlock the transformative power of consistency and cultivate a long-term vision. In this article, I will share my personal experience of committing to a daily 1.5-mile run and give you my insights on navigating negativity and overcoming setbacks.
Let us dive into the lessons I have learned and the strategies you can adopt to nurture lasting growth, unwavering dedication, and a strong belief in yourself and your dreams.
My Running Commitment Inspired by James Clear’s Atomic Habits
After retiring from professional basketball, I struggled to establish a consistent exercise routine that suited my new lifestyle. A month ago, however, inspired by James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, I committed to running 1.5 miles every day for six months.
While this commitment may seem modest—requiring only 15 to 20 minutes of daily running—it embodies Clear’s principle of small, continuous improvements that lead to significant results over time.
Upon sharing my new running goal with friends and family, I was met with a range of reactions. Some were encouraging, while others, less supportive, included comments like, “You’re only running 1.5 miles? That’s nothing!” and “Just 15 minutes a day? You used to be a professional athlete!”
Despite these remarks, I chose to stay focused on my desired identity and the long-term benefits of my consistent running habit. Here is how.
The Power of Compounding: A Numbers Game
Although running 1.5 miles daily may not seem impressive to some, let us break down the numbers to reveal the power of compounding. As a former professional basketball player, I’m all about numbers and statistics. When presented correctly, they can help you view things from a different angle:
- 1.5 miles every day for a month = 45 miles.
- 1.5 miles every day for six months = 273 miles.
- 1.5 miles every day for a year = 547 miles.
Impressive, don’t you think? But this applies to more than just running. What if you decided to dedicate 30 minutes per day to learning a new skill?
- 30 minutes per day for a month = 15 hours.
- 30 minutes per day for six months = 91 hours.
- 30 minutes per day for a year = 183 hours.
And if you wanted to save more money but didn’t know where to start?
- $100 saved per week for a month = $400.
- $100 saved per week for six months = $2,400.
- $100 saved per week for a year = $5,200.
Focusing on the short term can cause people to doubt their efforts and give up. I mean, 1.5 miles, 30 minutes, or $100 doesn’t seem like much. But by staying consistent and keeping your eyes on long-term growth and the power of compounding, you will realize that 1.5 miles, 30 minutes, and $100 can add up to incredible levels. In just one year, you will have made significant progress toward your most desired goals.
A Mindset Shift That Will Revolutionize Your Approach
Another key to turning your dreams into reality is focusing on the journey from the perspective of the person you want to become. For me, focusing on the journey doesn’t mean obsessing over the next scheduled run. That’s when emotions can sway us, and our minds start whispering excuses like, “Let’s skip today and make up for it tomorrow.” Instead, adopt the identity of the person you aspire to be and align your actions with that identity.
To create identity-based habits, we need to start by asking ourselves who we want to become and what actions someone with that identity would take. For example, instead of focusing on the goal of losing weight (an outcome) or running 1.5 miles daily (a process), I concentrate on becoming a healthy and energized person (an identity).
By making this shift in perspective, we are more likely to stick to our habits and routines because they become a part of who we are. Our actions are then an expression of our identity, and we naturally act in alignment with our beliefs about ourselves. This approach creates a sense of ownership and consistency, ultimately fostering long-lasting behavioral change and helping us achieve our goals more effectively.
In my case, I aspire to be someone who prioritizes physical health, enabling me to be fully present in my daily life and provide the energy my kids need from me. This mindset shift revolutionized my approach.
Discover Your Powerful “Why”
My motivation lies in knowing that staying in shape will allow me to have the energy my children require from me. This is the most powerful “why” behind my goal of running 1.5 miles a day. Whenever I feel challenged by my emotions or my mind tries to negotiate, I remind myself that I’m pursuing something much bigger than the run itself.
The next time you feel discouraged or find yourself bargaining, think about why you’re doing what you’re doing and the person you want to become, and apply long-term vision to your goals. Reflect on the power of compounding and how small, consistent actions can accumulate into significant results over time. Remember, the reason you commit to something daily transcends anything anyone might say to you.
While negative comments from others can be disheartening, it’s crucial to remember they don’t define your journey or potential. As Jalen Hurts once said, “I had a purpose before everyone else had an opinion.” Use these moments to reflect on why you started and appreciate how far you’ve come.
Dare to Dream Big
By harnessing the power of consistency and nurturing a long-term vision, you can overcome any obstacle on your path to self-improvement. Never doubt your strength and determination to achieve your dreams. And never underestimate the power of small, daily actions in shaping our lives and bringing us closer to the person we want to become.
Stay focused, stay committed, and remember that every step forward counts, no matter how small it may seem. Keep pushing forward, and I guarantee that you will soon start turning your dreams into reality.