Happy Motivation Monday! It’s been a while since I’ve written a post, and I thank you for your patience…
…Speaking of patience, that’s today’s topic! So often in our health journeys, we hope for and expect immediate results. Unfortunately, while our bodies do actually feel immediate results of being more hydrated, reducing sugar intake, or taking in a bunch of nutrient-rich vegetables, the outward results that we look for tend to take a bit longer.
My approach with my clients is far from a “crash diet” – I’d much rather help someone adopt healthy habits and create a new lifestyle than lose 10 pounds overnight. Yes, that means that often the weight loss will be slower, but it also means that the person will not have to keep losing and gaining over and over again in a vicious “roller coaster” of weight loss.
The first week is often the hardest. Someone who wants to quit sugar or caffeine often feels even worse after a day or two, and it’s easy to throw in the towel. Someone who wants to run 5 miles and feels discouraged after day 1 of simply walking for 10 minutes may feel as if she’ll never get to the 5 mile goal.
Patience and persistence are key to achieving your long-term health goals. They simply won’t happen overnight, and you must convince yourself to keep plugging away even on days when you can’t see immediate results. Here are my top 4 tips to be patient with your long-term health goals:
- Visualize the long-term goal. You must believe in yourself, and one way of proving that you do is to visualize yourself having achieved your goals in the future. How do you feel? What are the benefits of your hard work? Having a picture in your mind of what success looks like can be very motivating through the course of your health journey.
- Check in with your progress every week. Whatever you do – do NOT get on the scale every day. I forbid my clients from doing this, and for many clients, I don’t even use the scale at all. However, checking in on progress regularly is critical, and helps us ensure that the client is staying on track with his or her goals. We check in on positive behaviors like how many servings of vegetables the person is eating or how many exercise sessions they have gotten in. Redirecting after a week of ups and downs is a whole lot easier than realizing that you’ve been sliding for 3 months and have to “start over.”
- Believe in yourself. The impact of positive affirmations can be huge – simply repeat your goals, out loud, to yourself, every single morning. Something like “I’m strong and dedicated to my goals, and I feel fantastic when I exercise daily.”
- Get back on the horse. Every single day, as you state your positive affirmations, you must also recommit yourself to achieving your goal. We all slip up here and there, and that’s OK. The worst thing you can do after getting off track is “throw in the towel” and dig yourself deeper into a hole. Just get right back on the horse and recommit to taking small steps towards your goal!
Now it’s your turn … Go out there and visualize your success, commit to your long-term goals, and make them happen!