Are you a perfectionist?
Are you the ambitious, results driven type?
Are you the idealist, fly-by-the-seat of your pants type?
Are you an "I'll start Monday” type person?
The Perfectionist Type
The perfectionist wants everything to go, well, perfectly. If things don’t go according to plan, they have a tendency to beat themselves up and decide that the goal is no longer achievable – all because it couldn’t be done perfectly. For them, caving in to peer pressure at one meal spells impending doom and disaster. Struggling through the first workout means that the regimen is too hard and can’t be done. The perfectionist must realize that we are all human. Every meal, every workout will not go according to plan, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. Progress (not perfection) is what the perfectionist must learn to value.
The Ambitious, Results Driven Type
The perfectionist isn’t the only one with a hang up. We ambitious, results driven types can get in our own way by expecting immediate results. We start a new workout regimen on Monday and want to see a total transformation by Friday. Ok, I’m exaggerating, but for some of us, not by much. The results driven type expects to see a tangible result (for example, a certain number on the scale) each week or they are disappointed despite all of the hard work that they’ve put in. This personality type must remember that transformations take time, there are no overnight successes. Instead of focusing on the result, focus on the following the process to the best of your ability and the results will eventually come. Slow and steady wins the race.
Like the ambitious type, the idealist tends to go into situations with rose colored glasses. He/she sets BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) that are admirable but may be a tad unrealistic. The amount of effort and sacrifice required to reach the goal (for example, losing 30 pounds in 90 days) is grossly under-estimated. He/she generally jumps into a goal with no plan thinking that if they just workout a little more or eat a little less everything will all work out. The problem is a little more/less is never really defined and as a result may not align with their health & fitness target. Weeks into it, they are disappointed with the lack of results and quit all together, deciding that “it’s too hard.” The idealist must learn to set realistic, attainable, short term goals (max. of 30 days) that align with their current lifestyle or the lifestyle changes they are committed to making. A little thing called planning wouldn't hurt either. As they say "plan your work and work your plan."
The Procrastinator (AKA “I’ll start on Monday”)
While the idealist jumps in head first without a plan, the procrastinator is chronically hesitant to make a move. Similar to perfectionists, procrastinators are expecting perfection, but in terms of conditions rather than performance. If there is a cloud in the sky (an upcoming dinner party, weekend with friends, or vacation), then the mission must be aborted before it can even begin. The problem is that there is always something, always a reason for the procrastinator to put things off so they can never seem to get started. While it is good to prepare mentally for the challenge ahead, it is important that the procrastinator get started immediately on the planning and set a firm deadline to begin. As long as there is a degree of uncertainty in the plan or the goal, the procrastinator will struggle to get their horse out of the stable.
All personality types have their strengths and weaknesses. In times of change, our weaknesses can outshine our strengths, if we aren't careful. One of the keys to overcoming is to know your weak areas and develop countermeasures that will propel you forward in spite of yourself. Goal-getters succeed simply because they let nothing and no one stand in the way of achieving their dreams. Not even them.
~ Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power. ~ Lao Tzu