I fixed a running toilet!
Not like right now. It was a week ago or so, but I'm still riding the high a bit.
I've never been the handyman-type of guy.
Not that I don't think I could be (#growthmindset).
It's just fixing things wasn't something I grew up doing and it wasn't something that my dad went out of his way to teach me or involve me in.
Thus I've always been a bit ill equipped when it came to problems of a mechanical, automotive, or home repair sort. That is I don't have any previous experience of success in these endeavors in which to draw confidence from and forecast my likelihood of success in similar endeavors now.
Which means when I do have success in this area I celebrate the hell of it and have a few small moments of feeling like a "real man."
Don't get me wrong I'm not so simple minded to believe that the measure of a man is the degree to which he can patch a wall, fix a leaky faucet, or anything of the sort, but you can't help but grow up as a dude and feel a bit of desire to be a "man's man."
Over the last few years though I've been able to slowly level up my confidence and self efficacy in this area through various obstacles such as changing the oil in and brakes on my own car, replacing a garbage disposal, and most recently fixing a leaky toilet fill valve.
And in almost every single one of those instances and many more I had no idea what I was doing and was super apprehensive to try and tackle it myself. Lucky for me though I had the luck of seeking advice from some close friends on the matter and the help of Youtube whenever things started to go sideways.
I won't tell you that I did any of those things well or efficiently nor are they difficult or complex problems to solve, but for me they all amounted to small wins and each win gave me the confidence and courage to tackle the next problem I encountered.
I think that is an important lesson to not lose sight of, especially when talking about starting an exercise program or adopting a new way of eating.
That shit is hard and it's scary and for a lot of people it's a realm of the world that they have no previous experience with just like myself and home repairs.
It's not that you or anyone is incapable of being successful at changing the way you eat and increasing the amount of daily activity you get, but they are hard things to get started because you have no previous record off which to base the likelihood of success at it.
The problem is then a lack of confidence in yourself to win - to succeed.
The solution is creating opportunities for you to get small wins to build your confidence and raise your self-efficacy and increase the likelihood that you will continue to tackle obstacles that arise throughout your transition to a regular exercise regimen or a new diet.
So how do you start getting small wins?
You stop trying to make wide sweeping lifestyle change and you shrink it down to the minimal amount of work you WANT to do or believe you can do.
You make it so easy that when you think about doing it you think "psh I can do that."
In other words what does healthy eating and/or regular exercise look like if it were easy?
For example say you are wanting to eat "clean" (we can debate the worth of that term another time), but are struggling to make consistent "clean" food choices.
You could shrink this by making a commitment to eating "clean" once a day, once a week, or even more infrequent to lower the difficulty, start having small wins, and build your confidence to make more regular "clean" eating choices.
Or say you are trying to exercise for an hour a day, but can't seem to get to the gym after work.
You could overcome this by making a commitment to just drive to the gym to lower the difficulty, start winning, and start building your self efficacy. Then as you succeed you can change that commitment from driving to the gym to walking inside the gym to walking for 5 minutes to performing three sets of one exercise and so on until you finally get to a regular daily one hour workout.
I know it's not the most sexy approach and it is definitely a long term solution, but this is the way you make successful long term behavior change and see results from your efforts because you are consistent with them.
So start winning today.
Shrink your changes, get lots of small wins, and start dominating at this "getting fit" thing or any other goal you are chasing.
Happy moving and heavy lifting!
Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training