Especially around this time of year, many women (including myself) wait to “start fresh” when it comes to reaching our health and fitness goals. Do any of these excuses sound familiar to you?
· “I want to enjoy the holidays with my loved ones without worrying about what to eat or when to exercise.”
· “I’ll start after my baby is born.”
· “I’ll start after my vacation next month.”
· “I’m completely swamped at work, I’ll start after this big project ends.”
In reality, this “stop and start” mentality is probably sabotaging your health and fitness goals.
Many clients have come to me asking to take a break during our work together. Whether it be for a family vacation, work travel, or caring for a new baby, these clients truly believe that they are more likely to succeed if they take a break… And that they can start back up again once they have the time and energy to do it right.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s an AMAZING quality to want to do your best, especially when it comes to improving your health and fitness! It’s completely NORMAL to want to take a break, and then continue (or start over) when life slows down a bit.
At the same time, this completely normal and well-intentioned way of thinking is one of the EASIEST ways you can set yourself up for failure.
When you allow yourself to stop and then start over when it comes to reaching your goals, the only real SKILL you’re teaching yourself is to stop and start.
When you choose to stop and start, you begin to feel relief deep in your gut. But here’s the honest to goodness truth—
It’s ALWAYS hard to reach your goals, especially when you’re in the middle of your journey. The perceived relief you feel from “starting over” is just that—a perception. No matter how many times you stop and start the journey towards reaching your goals, the middle is ALWAYS GOING TO BE HARD because life is always throwing us curve balls.
It will probably feel WRONG to try to improve your eating and exercise habits when life gets crazy—whether that means you’re on vacation with your family or when you’re looking for a new job. But working towards your health and fitness goals during crazy life events is when you learn the skills to stay healthy once you achieve your goal weight.
Here’s more of the gut-wrenching truth:
Always allowing yourself to stop and start over DOESN’T teach you the skiils you need to create a healthy life long-term. Our lives will ALWAYS have bumps in the road. From caring for elderly parents, to moving across the country, to work travel, to stressful commutes… You have to learn the skills to be healthy in the middle of your normal, yet complicated, life.
Let’s all accept the fact that life doesn’t come with a stop and start button. Heck, we don’t even get a timeout or a pause button in life!
There’s NEVER going to be a moment when things are magically easier for us, especially when it comes to finding time to become healthy and fit. In fact, Most fad diets fail to provide long-term results because they boil down to willpower, not skills.
So, what’s the solution?
How do you keep reaching for your goals when all you want to do is stop and take a break?
1. Ditch perfectionism!
I can’t begin to explain how important this one is! SCREW the idea in your head that you need to be perfect to see results. This “all-or-nothing” mentality usually handicaps us, and gets us nowhere near our goals! There is NO SUCH THING as being perfect. I’ve helped hundreds of women lose weight while loving their life, and NONE OF THEM WERE PERFECT.
2. Focus on Progress!
When you are struggling with the idea of pushing the stop button, just keep going! The smallest decisions you make on a daily basis directly lead to results. Sometimes it will feel awkward, and other times you’ll be half-assing it, but remember that you have the power to take action and to make progress. Always try to do SOMETHING that pushes you towards your goals.
3. Instead of pushing the stop button, adjust the gears on your wheel.
Don’t allow yourself to give up and take a break just because life gets hectic. As I mentioned earlier, life doesn’t come with a stop and start button. Try to think of your health and fitness goals as a wheel with different gears on it. Wheels are never-ending… They continue in a full circle. You can turn the gears up when life is calm, and you can turn the gears down when life gets crazy, but the wheel always continues to move.
There is one major lesson here: There is a HUGE difference between turning your gears from slow or very slow to off.
When you learn that you reaching your goals is do-able and effective, even with your gears turned low or very low, you’ll never find a reason to push the stop button.
Use these two wheels as examples in your life. Again, you can adjust up or down as you need, but never turn your fitness or nutrition wheel off!