It’s the eve of a New Year and for many of us that brings up a lot of introspective thoughts. We think about what we could have done differently, what we should have done differently, we make up resolutions and hope to stick to them. We enter the new year honestly planning to do better. However, for most of us, a year passes and we still haven’t quit smoking, we still never made it to the gym we joined and we’re still in debt up to our ears. Often, the great deterrent to being successful with these resolutions is that they are long term goals that we are thinking of like short-sighted ones. Long term goals take time to accomplish – often a year or more – but we want what we want NOW.
The thought of waiting a whole year to accomplish something or to see changes can feel overwhelming. It can feel like it isn’t worth it. It can make you feel like it’s futile to even try. A whole year?? Eek! I want results, I want change, I want what I want NOW.
I can’t tell you how many times in my life I decided to not do something because the amount of time it would take to do it sapped my motivation. After college, I avoided going to grad school because the thought of being in school for another year or two was more daunting than going out into the real world with no plan or clue about what I was going to do career-wise. It just seemed like so LONG to get what I wanted (though it turns out I didn’t want it that much to begin with). Even losing weight used to feel so daunting. When I topped out at 225 when I was in college, I was so overwhelmed by how much I had to lose to be a healthy weight (I’m not very tall) that for a long while, I just didn’t do anything about it. If I ignore it, it doesn’t exist, right? It’s not a problem if I choose to do nothing about it?? Since I couldn’t drop 50 – 75 lbs in a week it just wasn’t worth doing.
I am queen of instant gratification. If I can’t benefit from something instantly, it’s easy for me to not be that enthralled by it. I’m slowly learning that some of the best stuff comes from being patient and allowing things to unfold as they’re supposed to. Not everything is as simple as flipping the switch and having a light turn on. Often the journey of getting to where you want to be is as satisfying as the end result itself. No, really!
The Health Coaching program I did at IIN took a year. When I finally enrolled, I thought it was going to be forever before I would graduate. Nope! Went by way faster than I could have ever imagined. In a few weeks my business will be a whole year old. Not sure how that’s possible because I swear it feels like I just started! In my personal life, I’ve lost 40.5 inches (thanks to Barre classes) and I’ve lost 20 lbs in 2014 (40 lbs total since 5/13 but 20 of it was since 1/14).
The point of all this is that you can accomplish a lot in one year’s time and it will go by a lot faster than you think it will. What do you want to accomplish this year? How do you want to feel when 2015 ends?
Do you put off losing weight because you are overwhelmed by how long it will take?
Do you get frustrated when you can’t change your habits overnight?
Do you want to be fit right now?
Do you run away or ignore things when you can’t fix it immediately?
I know way too well how shitty it feels when nothing in your closet fits (especially after the holidays!) and how badly you wish you were smaller, fitter, firmer etc (you name it). Here’s the thing: There’s no magic fix that will fix it instantly. If there was we’d ALL know about it. It wouldn’t be a secret. I also know how sickening being over your head in debt feels and I know the pain of spending your days doing something that drains you instead of fulfills you. I get it, I really do.
If you really do want to change your life, if you want to feel better in your body and more confident when you look in the mirror, you have to put the work in and it WILL take time. Same goes with heading down a new career path, getting out of debt or any other big dream or goal you have. You’ve got to put in the time.
The good news though is that it takes just a few days of eating well and exercising to feel a difference, just a few weeks to see a change in the scale or in how our clothes fit and just a few months for others to notice the changes you’ve made! And all the while, whether you’ve been working at taking better care of yourself for 5 days or 50 weeks, you will feel good about the choices you are making, which will help you continue to make good choices – which is what it takes to reach your goals. Before you know it, you’ve committed to a cleaner diet and more exercise and a whole year or two has passed!
We can’t get time back. So why not start right now? Today? With your next meal?
Just as quickly as a year can go by when making positive changes, a year can go by when remaining stagnant. We don’t want 5 years to pass and wish we had made better choices all that time. You don’t want to wish you started an exercise program or your started to save money sooner.
Eating better, exercising and making time for self-care is important because it’s a way to reach our goals, but it’s also how we increase our chances of living a healthy life. Sedentary, junk food filled lives often translate to a shorter lifespan or reduced quality of life in our later years. Who wants that? It’s about so much more than looking good – it’s about feeling strong and healthy so that we can enjoy our entire lives (not just the parts that happen while we’re young).
I know it’s difficult. I never want you to feel like I’m saying it’s easy to do these things – I know how overwhelming of a task changing our lives is. But I want you to know that it can be done and I’m here to support you if you would like help (a coach can help you implement changes seamlessly into your life, as well as provide accountability and support along the way – doesn’t matter if it’s diet related or in another area, career, relationships etc.).
What do you want to have accomplished one year from now? How will you get there? Can you start working towards it right NOW? What sort of support is helpful for you? Please share in the comments and we can support each other!
And Happy Happy Happy New Year!