Instant coffee. Instant technology. Instant photographs. Instant meals. Instant transactions. It seems that everything these days is instant – it is all about how fast things can be done and how quickly something can be accomplished. We want it fast, and we want it NOW!
We’re all about jumping queues, self-service checkouts, online shopping and DIY-ing anything we possibly can (usually from our smart phones). I mean, many of us would even rush off to Dr Google before an actual doctor a lot of the time. We don’t want to wait for anything anymore. We are so accustomed to everything being done straight away that ‘patience’ is pretty much stuff of legends.
I personally believe that our society’s obsession with instant everything is a huge contributing factor to why so many people give up on their goals. (And I’m sure also why people often get caught up in the phenomenon of fad diets that claim to give you results in mere weeks or days). As with everything else in this world, it’s as if we have come to expect change to occur almost straight away… and then when that doesn’t happen we get completely bummed out. We feel frustrated to the point of giving up.
And yes I am totally guilty of this. I would be lying if I didn’t admit to it. Numerous times in the past I have wanted to (or even have) given up on my goals because it’s seemed like all the effort and hard work wasn’t paying off. It’s pretty deflating when you are seemingly doing everything right – eating well, exercising regularly, looking after your body both inside and out and yet nothing changes. It’s easy to get caught up thinking it is all a complete waste of time and effort. But then you have to ask yourself ‘am I putting a realistic time frame on this?’
Instead, take a step back, re-evaluate and remember the following things…
- Change takes time
Kind of like the weight that didn’t pile on overnight, it’s not going to miraculously disappear that quickly either. You cannot expect something that has taken weeks, months, maybe even years to develop to immediately vanish within a short time frame. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Be realistic. It’s going to take time and you’ll need to exercise some patience along the way.
- Hard work is the key to success
As the saying goes ‘nothing worth having comes easy’. True that! Yes, it is going to be hard at times, you’re not always going to feel like working out, you will have to make difficult decisions in tempting situations, you are going to encounter challenges and yes, you are going to push your mind and your body to its absolute limits but do you know what? At the end of the day, it’ll be worth it. If you really want something you will make it happen. Hard work pays off.
- Consistency is key
If you want to see results you must be consistent. You can’t expect positive changes to occur if one day you eat really well, exercise and stay on track but the next day you revert back to lazy behaviour, binge eating and unhealthy habits. If you want results you have to be consistent day in day out. Being healthy every once in a while ain’t going to do the trick. Be 100% committed 100% of the time.
- Be honest with yourself
Take a good honest look at your lifestyle and ask yourself ‘how hard am I really trying?’ Are you really, truly, honestly doing everything you possibly can to achieve your goals? Are you sticking to your diet and fitness regime with unfaltering commitment? Are you exercising every day like you promised yourself or have you slacked off? Have you been eating healthy, nutritious meals or did that cheat meal turn into a cheat day, maybe even a cheat week? Be honest.
- Stay accountable
Find someone (or something) you can be accountable to. Having an accountability person – someone you can check in with every time you need an extra push to hit the gym, feel tempted to eat something naughty or require a little bit of motivation, is a great tool for keeping on track. This way you are not only liable to/for yourself, but to someone else as well. Your accountability person will become like your support network and a huge comfort. Another way to stay accountable is to keep a food and exercise journal documenting the things you eat and the physical activity you do. It’s a great way to keep tabs of energy intake and energy expenditure. Plus it could narrow down potential reasons for why you are struggling to reach your goals.
As long as you are consistent, have faith in the process and believe in yourself, you WILL reap the rewards. Hard work will pay off. Just stick to it.