When it comes to training, dieting or forming any new habit it can be easy to go either all or nothing in your approach. This can often lead to building up so much pressure to do everything 100% right that if one thing goes slightly off, the whole thing will then go out of the window.
This mentality is often seen when people first attempt a diet, or a training plan or any new skill. I'm sure everyone has given up on something after their first failed go - there's no judgment, I just want to explain how this is a regular occurence but also an avoidable one.
When acquiring a new skill, whether that be a new way of training, a new way of dieting, a new language or even a magic trick - what is needed is constant practice. It doesn't have to be perfect all of the time.
In Atomic Habits, James Clear uses the analogy of the ice cube melting. All the way from 0 degrees to 31 degrees nothing happens and that would appear to be 31 steps of nothing, of failure. However, as soon as it hits 32 degrees, it melts. That final degree was no more important than the other degrees, rather every step preceeding it was crucial, with each one building up to something more.
So if you're attempting a fat loss diet for 3 weeks and haven't seen any movement in the 21 days so far, it might not be that it's not working, it might just be awaiting it's own tipping point. (As a note, every time I've dieted I've gone through phases of 3-4 weeks with no movement which has then been followed by a sudden drop).
So, what's the alternative to all or nothing? Give yourself a grade - think back to university, sixth form/college or school, it was very rare that people got 100% marks in their work. They often got A, B, C's etc but once you had that grade, that was all people cared about in terms of your output.
So if you have a day where you've hit 90% of your goals, give yourself an A* for that. If you've had a day with 70%, give yourself a C but know that you're a lot closer to your goal then you would be with a 0%.
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