Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Progress

I have a series of questions that I ask myself every once in a while, and I wonder if you ask yourself these same questions:

1. Why can't I just wish myself thin and healthy?
2. Why do I sabotage my efforts?
3. Why did I just eat that?
4. Why is this so hard?

I have had success in my "healthy living" goals. I've lost weight, fit into that pair of jeans, eaten more veggies and fruits. And yet, just as I am getting comfortable (which is probably the problem), the weight starts creeping back up, the jeans don't fit quite as well, and veggies and fruits are replaced with chocolate and ice cream.

What is it about healthy habits that make them so hard to keep? I feel better when I exercise and eat well. I know that keeping those habits will make the difference when I get older. Yet, as soon as I feel a little success, I reward myself with a little "something" (insert your "something" of choice).

So, how do we accomplish our goals? How do we tell ourselves that we are a work in progress and we need to stay consistent? The brain understands it, yet somehow, as my hand is reaching for a chocolate candy, there is some sort of disconnect.

Well, I did a little research and this is what I have found about making and keeping goals:

1. Make goals that can actually be achieved. Sure, I want to look as good as Jennifer Aniston, but that ain't gonna happen (we have totally opposite bodies types). Instead, shoot for a healthy weight range, a race you want to compete in, or even a pose in yoga that completely defies gravity.

2. Commit yourself completely. And I mean completely. Don't allow yourself a day off (but don't push yourself to a point that you hate yourself). Make your goals manageable so that you WANT to achieve them.

3. Give yourself a resonable amount of time to achieve your goals. There is no way that I could run a 10k after training for a week. Or those 30 lbs. in a month (well, if I want to live after losing those 30 lbs). Time is on your side for achieving your goals. Allow it to guide you and be your friend.

4. Track your progress. What good would setting up goals be if you can't see the progress you are making? This will totally motivate you and help you move to the next level of your goal.

5. Set up a reward system . A mani/pedi, a new dress...even a buying a new DVD (did you notice that none of these are based around food?)! Using your progress chart, set up milestones and reward yourself when you reach them. As you get closer to your goal, have the rewards get bigger and better (I once read an article about a woman who got a manicure for every 5 lbs she lost, a pedicure for every 15 lbs, and she was going to have a day at the spa when she hit her goal weight).

6. Accept that sometimes things don't work as well as we hope. Plateaus, injuries, stress: things that can derail us. All we can do is pick ourselves up and start again. Which is fine, because we need to remember:

We are a work in progress“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.”
- Mark Victor Hansen

3 comments:

  1. So true.... Good job, Nana! I will focus on the points you made on this entry.

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  2. Great points! I'm all about setting attainable goals. You'll never hear me say "I'm going to lose Xlbs in X weeks" because my body rarely works like that and I am setting myself up for failure. However, I will set goals like, "Do 2 abs classes this week" or "Go to a swim stroke clinic." Much more attainable and yet working toward the same final product!

    Thanks for the extra tips!

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  3. you're so great. i'm LOVING your posts, especially the ones that help us see how different the american mindset about health is from that of other countries.

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