Have you been thinking about making changes like eating healthier, moving your body more, or losing a bit of extra weight, but feel stuck like a fly in sticky tape?
Do you start doing any of those things only to stop sometimes before the day is even done? “Hello, 4:00 p.m.! Where’s my sugary pick-me-up?”
I get it; change can be HARD.
Why can’t you just decide to do something and just do it, for as long as you decide to do it for?
Here are 5 reasons you may be having a challenge.
1 You’re Trying To Do Everything All At Once.
Trying to change everything all at once, from what you eat to how much you exercise, is a sure way to give up. Ever wonder why the gyms are so busy in January, and by the end of February, it’s back to just the regulars?
Your noodle, grey matter, melon (a.k.a brain) can stop you from doing pretty much anything. It doesn’t like to change. It likes being on autopilot not really thinking too hard about your day to day routine.
So don’t shock it with a ton of new things to remember and do.
Start slow with one thing at a time, so your brain has a chance to get used to it. Once it does, then it won’t have to think about it too much, it’ll be just a part of your routine (or habit).For example, if you want to start exercising more (or as I like to call it ‘moving your body’), then just start there. Don’t completely change what you normally eat and add on trying to meditate every day.
Be realistic with your goals for change, and each small one will take you down a path to where you want to be.
2 You’re Setting Yourself Up To Fail
This coincides with ‘you’re trying to do everything all at once.’ No one likes to fail at things, so why set out with a plan that you know isn’t realistic for you?
Okay, so how do you know what is realistic for you? Well, that can be a little bit of trial and error/fail and a little bit of the third reason ‘you don’t have a plan that you’ve committed to.’
Let’s be honest failing isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s actually a great way to learn.
If you do have a “fail” moment, don’t be angry with yourself and give up completely.
So you’re not superhuman and can leap small buildings in a single bound. But you learned you can leap.
So start there and create a different plan that you know will have a better chance of success.
Realistically the only way to fail completely is to not TRY new things and push your boundaries.
3 You Don’t Have A Plan That You’ve Committed To
When you’re working on health and wellness goals (or any goal for that matter), you need a plan of how you’re going to get there. Big or small, everything starts from there.
How do you achieve things without knowing WHAT you want to achieve and HOW and WHEN you’re going to get there.
Once you’ve decided WHAT you want to achieve, you need a plan to follow.
Let’s use the goal of exercising more as an example.
You really want to work out 5 times a week but have realized with everything else you’ve got going on that it’s really not feasible. You’ve decided not to set yourself up to fail and have adjusted your goal to 3 times per week.
Great! Now what?
Well, what kind of exercise are you going to do? Exactly when, where, how long; this constitutes the plan.
- Monday 7 am High-Intensity Interval Training for 25 minutes.
- Wednesday 6 pm walk for 20 minutes.
- Friday 7 am High-Intensity Interval Training for 25 minutes.
4 You’re Not Aware Of What’s Stopping You
So you decided to start small (not do everything all at once), have been realistic with your goal (didn’t set yourself up to fail) and have made a plan, but STILL you can seem to exercise 3 times per week.
What’s the problem now? Great question.
So ask yourself WHY and keep going until you get to your root challenge.
- Why can’t I exercise three times a week?
- Because it’s too much trouble.
- Why is it too much trouble?
- Because I have to go searching for my exercise clothes.
- Why do I have to search for my clothes?
- Because they never end up in the same place.
- Why do they never end up in the same place?
- Because I have no set place to put them.
Really the challenge in this example is not that you can’t exercise; it’s because you spend too much time getting ready to do it, and it’s too much trouble.
Prepping is just as important as making the plan. Get your clothes, shoes, gym bag ready the day before, so as soon as you’re ready everything else is too.
5 You’re Not Ready For A Change
Realistically there are times in your life that you’re just not ready to focus on making changes.
You only have so much bandwidth, only so much you can realistically handle day-to-day. The idea of making healthy changes isn’t to add stress to your life thereby depreciating your health; it’s to reduces your stress and raise your level of health.
So if you’re in the middle of your busiest time at your job/career/or work and you’re supporting a loved one through a general surgery while running your household, it may not be the best time to completely change what you’re eating.
In a month or so, when your work slows down, and your loved one is back to their regular self, you have the capacity, bandwidth and excitement to start to eat healthier.