Avoid the Quick Fix Trap

There’s a quote I sometimes use now and then that you may have heard from me, “A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.” I was never really able to find a reliable source for the quote, but I like it a lot.  I feel like it takes so much of the pressure off for establishing changes to our lives.

 

For example, “Lose 20 lbs of body fat in just 8 WEEKS!”  As opposed to a moderate, controlled caloric deficit that will result in 20 lbs of body fat lost in 4 months.  It will take you twice as long doing it the second way, however, the weekly pressure to lose is much less.  What might you say if I told you it was a plan that in 6 months you would lose 20 lbs?  Would you say no?   Maybe. We tend to get into these ‘Do it now and as fast as possible’ modes of behavior change that I just think are ultimately self defeating.  The “All or Nothing” mindset more often than not, leaves us with nothing.

 

About this time last July I started doodling again which was a childhood hobby of mine.  I’m no professional but I can do better than a stick figure for sure.  It’s just something I always found enjoyable and hadn’t been doing.  I set myself a task of doing 30 min each evening and then up to 1 hour every day for 30 days straight.  I chose to make my own goofy exercise memes and it was pretty fun to do. 

Over this past year I’ve slowed down from a daily exercise meme post, to much more sporadic, however the practice of regularly drawing continues.  Now, by no means am I saying that I’ve become a master illustrator in one year.  Far from it.  However, I have learned a lot and tried some new things.  Some I liked, and others I did not. 

Still trying to crack the code on sleep running
Probably my favorite one. Click on the picture to check out my YouTube video after you're done reading this!

Fitness, and the pursuit thereof, is much like this.  It’s not a state which can be achieved.  You will never finish a workout and declare “Phew! I am finally at complete fitness!”  It is always an ongoing process of problem/goal/assessment/plan/acheivement.  

  

In fact, some have noticed over the past couple of months that I, myself, lost some weight.  I got serious about wanting to run more/longer (Problem/Goal).  I knew that the best thing long term was to “drop some “El-Beees”, as a client of mine says, in order to make it easier on my joints (Assessment).  So, in early February I started working on it at a modest, reduced input of calories and increased my workouts as well(Plan).  Now, here in early August, I am down 20 pounds of a 25 pound goal(I swear though, most of it was in my face).  ACHIEVEMENT!!

I realize that people who desire change will look for solutions which get them there as fast as possible.  It’s a natural human response to doing something we perceive as hard or unpleasant. So, sure I might get a lot of signups but it would be super irresponsible of me to promote a program of ‘couch to ½ marathon in 8 WEEKS!’.  That’s just not an appropriate amount of change for a person to reasonably make. But, if you wanted to get to 13.1 miles (or whatever goal you wanted) in 4 months, or 6 months, or yes by this time NEXT YEAR.  Would you say no?  Come on….say “yes” and get started today.

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