668: The 9 Hallmarks of The Hard Road (and how to take the easy one instead)

by | Jun 29, 2020 | Blog

Hi friends! Today, I’m super pumped to bring you another episode of Primal Potential! Primal Potential is a podcast all about you — your ability to change is not defined by yesterday and doesn’t need to wait until tomorrow. Your transformation is now, no matter what stage you find yourself in life!

Today, I’m discussing a topic that we all struggle with when taking steps towards change: choosing the easy road rather than the hard road. Do you feel like making positive changes in your life is a daily struggle? It doesn’t have to be difficult, friends! I’m going to give you incredibly helpful strategies that I have learned over the years for making immediate, practical changes to your habits and mindset to take the difficulty out of growth. 

I expand on these strategies in my book Chasing Cupcakes: How One Broke, Fat Girl Transformed Her Life (and How You Can, Too), so if you all find this advice helpful, then I highly recommend checking it out!  

I will begin by breaking down the nine hallmarks of the hard road and then discuss how to develop the mindset of making positive changes!


The Hard Road to Change


The first hallmark of the hard road is valuing novelty and intensity over consistency. We can often begin a new pattern with intensity and originality but quickly get overwhelmed and drop the changes that we’re attempting to make. Consistency is one of the most critical components of making positive changes and moving forward with your goals.

Do you ever feel that you’re taking intense and original steps to develop a healthier diet or to grow your business? Quickly, we can get overwhelmed and burnt out on the changes we’re trying to implement because the intensity weighs heavy on us. It is better to start with smaller changes if it means that we develop consistency. 

The second hallmark is putting off what you don’t feel like prioritizing today. Delaying yourself from accomplishing a task or developing a healthy pattern will make changing your life difficult. Don’t put off developing better spending habits and sticking to a budget. Start doing it today. If you get in the habit of putting it off, then accomplishing your goals will become far more difficult. 

The third hallmark is valuing skill over mindset. Do not favor learning more about something over shifting your mindset into doing something. If you use all of your energy on learning how to grow your business, then you won’t have the energy to implement those changes. Get into the mindset of taking consistent action rather than just learning new things about the topic. 

The fourth hallmark is investing energy into the problem rather than acting on the solution. Don’t waste your energy focusing on the problem; get into the mindset of using your energy on fixing the problem. In my book Chasing Cupcakes, I used the example of someone focusing on their problem of over-snacking. Rather than fixing the problem by shifting their mindset and developing healthier habits, they focused their energy on why it was they had an issue. In reality, it wasn’t so much a problem as it was a snacking pattern that they needed to reform through consistent action and developing better habits. 

The fifth hallmark is claiming to be a victim of outside factors. Blaming outside factors for why you’re unable to change something will not fix the problem. Saying that others are enabling you to overeat will not help you improve your overeating habits. You need to take personal responsibility and decide for yourself that you’re going to engage in healthy patterns to implement change in your life.

The sixth hallmark is making decisions based on your emotions rather than principle. It is incredibly easy for us to take the easy way when we’re feeling sad, tired, or overwhelmed, but making decisions based on how you’re currently feeling will hinder you in the long run. If you decide that you want to run a small business, but you make decisions based on your daily emotions rather than your overarching aspirations and principles, then accomplishing your dreams will be incredibly difficult. 

The seventh hallmark is focusing on doing everything right rather than focusing on the right thing. If you become a perfectionist with unrealistically high expectations for yourself, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed with making changes. Focus on doing what’s right for your goals, but don’t obsess over doing everything perfectly in your journey. It’s all about shifting your mindset into action rather than wasting your energy worrying about the perfect way to act. Determine what step you need to take towards your goal and then take it. 

The eighth hallmark is making excuses. Friends, do not talk yourself out of making progress by telling yourself why you can’t do something right now. Don’t dwell on why you shouldn’t do something, but focus on what you should do and act on it. For example, don’t make the excuse that you’re too busy to improve your relationship with your spouse. Get into the mindset of facing your problems head-on — take a step towards change. 

The ninth hallmark is focusing on other peoples’ journeys rather than your own. We are all on our route, and obsessing over how someone else did something is not going to help you figure out your journey. Be true to your path and figure out what works for you. There’s no trick to being yourself — you can’t copy other people. Don’t obsess over how your friend grew her business and follow the same steps. You need to figure out for yourself what works in building your brand. Don’t waste your energy comparing yourself to others. 


Taking the Easy Road to Success


Now that we’ve fleshed out what you shouldn’t do in your journey towards change, let’s discuss how you can start easily and effectively changing your life! 

The first hallmark towards making positive changes in your life is consistency — consistency is incredibly essential, friends. You need to value being consistent with your changes over the intensity of the changes. Don’t think to yourself, “I want to get in better shape,” then spend an hour and a half a day at the gym daily. You will most likely not be able to maintain that long term. Take smaller, consistent steps so that you shift your mindset into sticking with the changes you make. Start with smaller habits that you know you’ll be able to do consistently — for example, start with just fifteen minutes of exercise a day. 

The second hallmark is leaving yesterday and tomorrow out of your journey towards change. Don’t waste your energy regretting yesterday or worrying about tomorrow when it comes to implementing changes. Get in the mindset of only focusing on accomplishing what you need to do today. Focus on the right now — make the daily decision to transform your life. Don’t worry about how you didn’t exercise yesterday, and don’t worry about doing it tomorrow — today you’re going to do it. Just focus on today. 

The third hallmark is committing to improving your mindset every day. Friends, your mindset is invaluable on your journey to change. Developing the mindset of action rather than overthinking or making excuses will lead you to accomplish what you want. 

The fourth hallmark is focusing your energy on the solution rather than the problem. Move as quickly as you can to the solution rather than dwelling on the problem itself. Don’t waste your energy stressing about the problem or gauging its severity or worrying about who’s to blame. If there’s an issue needing fixing, then you need to focus your energy on actually fixing it. 

The fifth hallmark is practicing principle-based responses rather than emotional reactions. Do not let your emotions distort your decision making. For example, if you’re talking to a loved one and feeling irritated or frustrated, don’t let that emotional response affect the way you respond to them. Respond based on your principles of love and understanding. 

The sixth hallmark is focusing on doing the right thing over doing everything right. You don’t need to perfect your actions in your journey to success. You need to decide to do the right thing for your goals. Rather than worrying about perfecting your budget and spending habits, focus on the right now, and decide in the moment whether making that expensive purchase is right for your financial goals. Get into the mindset of making the right decisions for your ambitions. 

The seventh hallmark is not wasting your time and energy comparing yourself to others. Focus on your own work. If you’re trying to get in better shape, don’t worry about how someone else is getting better results. We’re all on our path, and everyone needs to focus on their journey without comparison. Just worry about yourself and what actions you need to take. 

The eighth hallmark is seizing every opportunity to break old patterns. Friends, this is such an essential part of your journey to success. Do not fall back on blaming others or making excuses for why you can’t develop new patterns. If you know that you need to shake a habit, then do it right now. If you want to create healthier eating habits, don’t wait until tomorrow — seize the opportunity right now and eat healthier today. You are entirely in control of your actions, so now is the time to develop good patterns and improve your life. 

Friends, every choice we have is an opportunity to choose the easy road rather than the hard road. 

If you found this advice helpful, I very much encourage you to pick up my book Chasing Cupcakes: How One Broke, Fat Girl Transformed Her Life (and How You Can, Too). I expand on these hallmarks and give a ton of other helpful tips for implementing change in your life. It’s available in a variety of formats — including print, kindle, and audiobook via Audible. 

If you need additional assistance in taking action in your life, I encourage you to get on the waitlist for our next 12 Weeks of Transformation! This program is all about you and getting you to overcome what’s holding you back. The program consists of a more personal and structured approach to beat day-to-day obstacles and realize your full potential! If you think this may be right for you, don’t hesitate to check out the 12 Weeks of Transformation.

Join Now

During these trying times, I also recommend that you sign up for our daily mindset upgrades. I send out daily texts of encouragement to help you choose the easy road.

Friends, I hope this episode inspires you to seize the opportunity to make changes in your life. Now is your time to develop good habits and take active steps towards success!


Elizabeth Benton

The Primal Potential Podcast

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