This is the lesson: Patience.
This is the take home message: Set modest goals that you can meet incrementally so that you don’t get discouraged and quit. Expecting too much too soon is one of the biggest mistakes a person can make when it comes to lifestyle change.
This is the confession: Do I follow that advice myself? Not always, but we’re works in progress, right?
This is the story: My “Bucket List” for 2014 included learning to target shoot. I did it! I had a great time out there in the fresh air with good friends. I was a good shot too, for a beginner! I began to imagine myself as Annie Oakley in no time flat. Learning something new is exhilarating and it had been a long time since I coaxed myself out of my comfort zone. I loved it!
Fast forward to now:
This year I decided to take my interest a step further and enrolled in a firearms safety course. The duration of the program was 2 days and then an exam. No problem right? I’d be an ace in no time flat!
Holy shit balls! I was in way over my head! There was so much more to learn than I thought and I was completely overwhelmed.
I felt frustrated and defeated during the sessions; I doodled stick figures lifting weights and listed all the terrible feelings that were swirling through my head. I was definitely going to quit!
You might see where I’m going with this.
How many of us want to lose weight NOW? How many of us want to be in shape NOW? How many of us want to eat right NOW? How many of us quit when NOW doesn’t happen?
I consult with so many women who dive head first into diets and gym memberships, fully expecting to know what to do and get results immediately. Bottom line, it just won’t work that way. I had to accept this of my Annie Oakley vision and you have to accept it of your weight loss ideals.
Take the time to gradually learn, cope, change, fail, fail better, succeed, slip up, and then try again. No “all or nothing” thinking. No quantum leaps. You’ve got to learn the ropes and embrace the journey.
With me and the guns? I’ll take the next 6 months to achieve my target shooting goals, and you should take the next 6 months to achieve your weight loss goals. It’s as simple as that, an obvious suggestion but we have to hear it again and again.
Setting modest goals that you can meet incrementally will help you to not get discouraged. Period.
Throughout my fitness career I have learned valuable lessons that serve me to this day (albeit, delayed at times) and the greatest of them was to have faith in myself, love myself for who I am now and enjoy the journey. The lessons have to be repeated time and again, and that’s ok!
Wishing you patience, perseverance and joy! ~karen