Why isn't this working?!
[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]T[/mk_dropcaps]his question has entered my mind many times along the journey of mastering a healthy lifestyle. Especially whenever I've made a commitment to change and actually start putting actions in place to see my goals come to pass. Why is it that results don't seem to come as fast as I expect? Only if they did! The problem with this question is that discouragement can so easily sink in at such a crucial time. If you have thought this as well I want to shed some light on what this question is indicating. It may not be that what you're doing is the wrong thing, but what you're thinking is off. Our mindset about a journey of transformation is just as important if not more so than the adjustments we are making. Why? Because if we make a bunch of changes but have not shifted how we think over time our actions will veer back to the old routine. Add in some stress, lack of sleep, or busyness and BAM! You're right back where you were before.
Today I want to highlight 3 faulty mindsets that are most commonly the culprit for backsliding out of healthy habits.
- Perfection is Required. How many times do people start a diet, make a big mistake a few days later, and then quit? The problem with the idea that you have to be perfect to get results doesn't get to the root of the problem. Living healthy, dropping body fat, or getting lean doesn't come because you never give into the call of that dark chocolate peanut butter cup. Results come because you make those small choices that over time add up to big results. You ignore the cookie 6 nights out of 7. You ignore the call of the couch 4 nights a week to get your butt to the gym. You get yourself to bed instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media. These little choices made day in and day out over time add up. The thing is if you fail today tomorrow's choice is still just as powerful. Choose wisely far more than you choose the easy way out. It's the compound effect not the perfection effect. You're human. You will make mistakes that should not cause you to avoid the journey to building a healthy lifestyle. How much more valuable are those situations you face where you're stressed or busy and work to improve how you care for your body? You learn so much more in times of opposition than in times of ease. It's not about having a perfectionistic mindset that makes you successful, but a mindset that is disciplined to stay the course and make small daily progress.
- Results are Everything. This way of thinking is where your thoughts are filled with what your end goal is and where you are at today. You want to see the results so badly that they are all you think about. Let's say you want to drop 10 lbs. Everyday you get on the scale and check to see if you've lost weight. But to your frustration you have only dropped 1 lb. How annoying right? Do you see the problem with this? You're looking at the symptom of your bad behaviors (10 extra lbs), without looking to what caused those 10lbs to get tacked on in the first place. You're so consumed with the result you forget about actually brings change... the process. To break this mindset you have to get your eyes off the end goal and trust that as you make the necessary changes over time the results will come. If you need that daily accountability have a habit tracker not a scale tracker. Check off if you completed the habit you identified needed changing today. If it's hydration check off when you get at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces. If it's working out 30 min a day 5x a week, keep a log of that each week. Then after 6 weeks check in on your progress. If things haven't shifted, change your habits just a little.
- I can do it all at once. What does a computer do when too many windows and applications are open all at once? It will crash right? That holds true for us when we try to make changes. Thinking that you can change everything at once and sustain it is going to lead you to frustration. It is an unrealistic expectation to think you can change all your bad habits at once. Rather than wrap your motivation in changing everything at once pick one thing. I have found people who hold onto this mindset have a hard time releasing control and being coachable. They think they can will power themselves into healthy living only to start a lot of times and never finish. I have had stages where I've fallen into this mindset. It isn't pretty. The wheels come off inevitably and you have a massive binge session. Like the other mindsets, slow down and look at thing with a bigger perspective. Yes you can get results faster than one step at a time, but those results will not be lasting. If you're willing to slow down now, the results will speed up in the future to the point where they become sustainable.
These are the three I've personally struggled with at one time or other. If you have struggled with one of these three or know someone who has please pass this blog on. We are better together!