I treat a lot of patients every week. We often talk life, nutrition, fitness, and stress management. Each patient has a unique experience but often shares a common theme. Many struggle with consistency and motivation. Sometimes the struggles are emotional, physical, and socially driven (Marital stresses, addictions, grief, financial woes, and work stress always rank high)
Life offers up many challenges and competing interests. Focus can prove difficult to maintain when work, kids, finances, and unexpected events battle for our attention.
Sometimes the challenges can only fall under the “Life Happens” category.
Personally, I struggle like everyone else. The best parts of myself always press me forward, but I must admit perfection is not possible nor my overall goal.
Nutritional change serves a great example. Readers of my blog likely know that locally grown, grass fed, pesticide free, non-GMO, organically grown, quality fats and fresh vegetables are the ideal. You likely know we should cook more at home and even grown our own food if we can.
But what happens when that doesn’t happen? What happens when life gets in the way?
Unless I am alone in the universe, I feel discouraged.
I feel a slight loss of momentum.
The best antidote I have come up with stems from the knowledge that perfection isn’t the goal.
Consistency NOT Perfection wins the day.
Momentum can incrementally decrease for sure. But like a heavy fly-wheel, a little “Consistent” input keeps the wheel turning.
So if you are struggling with lifestyle change, battling with food cravings, working towards a regular exercise program, I recommend focusing on the big picture.
If you struggle with nutrition, try focusing instead on gradually increasing your dietary improvements. Fine, you ate a fast food meal today…tonight you will prepare a clean, higher quality meal. Building on that momentum, next week you maybe you will food prep on the weekend to avoid a last minute trip at the drive through.
Sometimes this plays out by making incremental changes. For instance, what if you drink 3 sodas daily? Well, setting a goal for 1 daily is a reasonable start–a worthy change as well.
I’m not suggesting you to settle for less but rather acknowledge the incremental progress.
After all, if you consume 300 less calories a day in junk, processed sugar (2 cans of soda), you have already made a massive shift in lifestyle.
Incremental change moves your momentum. Cutting a bad habit by 2/3’s is a big step!
Once that wheel starts spinning, cutting the bad habit out completely comes much easier.
Practice Reality NOT Excuses
Make sure you understand my advice.
I am not suggesting you don’t stop drinking soda’s.
I am not suggesting you only exericse when the stars align properly or you magically have more time.
True change, true health requires attention to that purpose.
You must make a committment to change. You must decide you will prioritize nutrition, lifestyle and health as a priority or it will never happen.
I share these insights because we all struggle.
We all lose momentum at times…sometimes for days, weeks, or even decades.