I received an email a few months back from a NF reader that made me smile:
“I am going back to square one. I noticed the only habit that I changed and stuck with was drinking tons of water.
Have you ever started playing a game and get a few hours in and go “man I wish I knew these controls/tips from the beginning”? So you restart and the game just feels easier from that point on. You start finding items that you missed before.
I’m restarting my journey now that I have a better idea of the controls.”
This resonated with me, because when I first played EverQuest (similar to World of Warcraft), the first character I created was terrible. It took me forever to level up, I assigned my stat points poorly, I died frequently, and I slowly crawled my way up to the more difficult challenges
When I started again playing as a new character, I FLEW through the first 30 levels: I understood the controls, how the game worked, and what needed to get done; it was much easier the second time through!
The same is true for any boss battle you first encounter in any game. You struggle to learn the patterns, you lose most of your health, but then you crack the code. When you face that boss again later, you win easily.
Getting in shape is no different. Every time we try to get fit and fail, we learn a little bit more about how the controls work. Maybe we lost a few pounds with strategy A, but failed with strategy B. If we go to the gym for a few weeks and give up, when we come back next time we are familiar with the inner workings, and don’t need to get over the fear of exercising in a public place like the first time.
Each time you start over, you’re getting closer to that point of making things stick.
It turns out that this strategy might actually be crucial in giving us the motivation to push forward.