Compromise- To adjust or settle by mutual concessions.
Ah….New Years Day! A fresh start! We write our list of New Year’s Resolutions and for the first few days we make a great effort to fulfill them. We will be going to the gym at 5am every morning work out like a manic, lose 25lbs and look great. The first two days….we are on track, and then….something happens…we are back into the same rut we were before. Not only are we not waking up early, we aren’t working out at all…..
Why is tolerance compromised?
It usually comes down to one of the following reasons:
Every time you make a compromise you are breaking a set of values that you have established for yourself, you are making exception to a rule. Sometimes it is necessary to do so as our goals and core values may change. Sometimes we may get new information that requires us to make the correct adjustments. To me this isn’t compromise; this is a conscious decision to change our values. Unfortunately, this habit of “making adjustments” carries over to changing our goals away from something we really want or need.
I have a set of rules I follow that have helped me over the years. This wasn’t something I came to suddenly and I am continuing to develop. It has worked for me…so in some way or another, I know it works.
1. Select one area of your life you’d like to improve. Selecting more will decrease your chance of success. Choose one, only one. Focus on making very small, yet very consistent improvements in this area. (Just think, if you improve that one area of your life 1% a day for a year, you will have improved 365% over the period of a year).
2. Instead of making a rigid set of inflexible goals, adopt a Principle into your life that will develop this desire for improvement. FOCUS ON THE DESIRE PART. I know that wording may sound bizarre. It is more important to develop the desire for the wanted improvement, than the means to get there.
I have a friend who weighs nearly 260 lbs. Every few weeks, I hear him committing himself that he will lose 40 lbs, yet he never gets serious about it, doesn’t change the way he eats, doesn’t exercise seriously. He has it set in his mind that he must suffer to lose this weight. He believes, “Pain is necessary” I always think the same thing when I hear him talk about it “There are ways around pain and you don’t want it bad enough”.
If you want something bad enough, you will find a way.
Long term development should be enjoyable, it should be something you want to do, and you should enjoy it every time you do it. If you aren’t enjoying it, you need to find a system or principle that will allow you to do so. You can still feel a little pain in a work out and feel good, the most important thing is that you feel more good, not all pain.
A goal would be “work out at the gym 5 times a week”, a principle would be “enjoy exercise daily”. There is a huge difference. Another example would be, “do 30 minutes of cardio a day” vs. “play basketball, racquetball as often as time allows” etc.
Rigid painful rules = bad, flexible fun principles = good.
3. Adaptation- When a situation arises where you cannot execute your plans, adapt. You can count on the fact that one day, you may not be able to make it to the gym, or it might be closed. Instead of abandoning your principle, make a change and find another way to do it.
4.Variation- Find new ways to expand and try different means of developing your principle of desire.
5. Self Praise- Master and repeat phrases such as “Good job (insert your name here)”, “dang this feels/felt good”, “I am getting better at this” , “I didn’t know I would like this so much”, “Holy cow I think I am like a Jedi Master at this”, “It feels good to be in control”, “You are the man (insert name here)” – Staying positive, and the self talk required to stay positive will do more for you than completing the goal. Associate positive feelings with the principle.
6. Measure and review. I usually do this on Sundays when I have some quiet time alone. I like to do it once a week, and it serves as a great reminder. Omission is the twin of compromise, and by not doing or not measuring, tolerance cannot be maintained. If you cannot measure your progress, or at least have a way to adjust over the long term, you are setting yourself up for failure.
I cannot stress the importance of learning to stay flexible, yet disciplined to the principle.
If you do this right, the principle will dissolve into a habit, and not only will you improve this area of your life, it will become something subconscious….you wont have to think about it anymore., but will notice when the tolerance isn’t met.