It is often said that life is a journey, not a destination. The same can be said about exercise! I get it, we live in a fast-paced world where you can tap icons on your phone and have food brought to your house in minutes. We live in a world where "office hours" aren't really a thing anymore. We are constantly connected and forced to be present - with work, with news, with anything and everything. Why should we expect any different from the results in our exercise routine?
We need to take a deep breath, calm down, and trust the process! People exercise for so many different reasons, and those of us who exercise for a purpose and have predetermined goals we want to reach, we want to see the changes happen, like, yesterday. The reality is that we need to be patient because the physiological adaptations that happen with continuous exercise don't happen overnight. Instead, I find it helpful to look back along your journey to see how far you've come.
There are some of us who would prefer not to have our picture taken, because we may not like the way we look. We can choose to look at the glass half-empty and not be seen by ourselves or others based on our appearance. Or, we can choose to take action and make changes to ourselves that will bring about a solution so we can be proud of the picture we see before us. Take that picture, use it as motivation. Put it somewhere where you will see it every day, that way when you are further along in your journey, you'll begin to realize how far you've come. Those small, little victories are the sweetest!
Remember, life (and exercise) is a journey, not a destination. Just by making that small mental switch allows you more freedom. With destinations, it is all about going forward and never going back. Whereas, with a journey, you are able to go forward and back, over here and over there. If we choose to look at exercise as a destination, we are doomed to be frustrated by any regression. Regression is natural in training or in health and wellness, after all, to err is human! I learned from a coach of mine, that regression is not failure, it is only failure if we don't learn anything from it.
Also consider that, with a journey, it doesn't matter how much time you spend along the way. Again, with a destination mindset, if you don't reach your goals by a time frame that you set, it only leaves room for frustration and possible relapse. We also can get so focused on reaching our destination that we try to get there faster by working harder than we should. There should be days that challenge us, but there should also be days where you feel like you've mastered it. Don't confuse working harder with getting results quicker; remember, physiological adaptations take time, so be patient with yourself. If we work too hard and don't give our bodies a chance to recover, then we are just digging ourselves a deeper hole. Working too hard can lead to burnout, and we want to sustain this healthy behavior, not banish it after a few months.
No matter how fast-paced our lives are, we need to remember to take time and be patient with our health and wellness goals. It is okay to slow down, take the time to enjoy and trust in the process! What's the rush?
Jack is a Tri Fitness Coach, and his credentials include NASM CPT, B.S. in Kinesiology, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. If you’d like help setting and achieving your health and wellness goals, please contact Jack at email@example.com to set up an appointment.