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.
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.
Need a little more inspiration? Check out these blog posts to keep you on track!