The road to fitness and eating well has many potholes that can easily trip us, make us detour from our original plans, or even make us totally give up. Some weeks the numbers on the scale will mock us. Some days our schedule will squeeze out our time for exercise. What will keep us moving towards our goals? How will we continue to make those difficult but healthy choices?
1. Choose your focus carefully
“Focusing only on what we’re giving up will make us feel constantly deprived. And deprivation leads to desperation, frustration, and failure. Instead we have to focus on everything we’re gaining through this process. And see the gains as more valuable than the losses.” – Lysa Terkeurst in Made to Crave
- Focus on how you’re able to walk or run further without getting winded
- Focus on the extra energy you have because you’re fueling your body with healthy food
- Focus on the freedom you have to walk away from junk food
- Focus on the discipline you’re developing by exercising regularly
2. When you “trip,” get up and continue on the journey
“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” C.S. Lewis
We need to accept that we are going to fail sometimes. That’s okay. Failure doesn’t have to be permanent. If you missed a day, or even a week, of exercise that doesn’t mean you have to give up. Start again . . . now (not tomorrow!). If you gave in to your cravings and ate way more than you should have, that doesn’t mean you are a failure. Figure out if there’s something you can do differently next time. Learn from your mistakes and carry on.
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure . . . than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
3. Figure out what makes the journey “worth it” for you
“Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.” – Les Brown
We are all motivated by different things. Find out what works for you. What will keep you going when you encounter those obstacles? Who will cheer you on when you’re down? What messages do you need to encourage you to keep going?
“A champion needs a motivation above and beyond winning.” – Pat Riley
If we tackle these three essentials, we’ll be able to celebrate our successes in the long run and change our “want to” to “I did”!