Do you find it overwhelming when you are looking for big results? I definitely do. I get so in my head with the to-do list and everything I think I must do. I think that it needs to be done immediately. And then I am disappointed because I don't see progress right away. I throw all my efforts into it at once and expect those big results immediately. It's so unrealistic. I panic and quit or, worse, never even begin because I know it will never happen exactly at I expect. I am so attached to the end results that I cannot see the path for what it is. A path, a journey.
Big results take time. Which is so hard when we live in a culture of right now, immediate gratification. We forget that it is the action that should fulfill us, not the fruit of the action. When we have a goal we should focus on the path that gets us there without attachment to the results. I know that may not sound right but hear me out. When you become so hyper focused on the end goal you have these blinders on. You are not open to bumps along the way or the universe guiding you and stepping in from time to time to provide lessons or challenges along the way. While you may end up achieving the goal you may miss out on something that you needed to learn to maintain that goal.
My real life example came in 2020. Deep into stay at home orders I felt like I need to take better care of my physical body. I was having all sorts of issues and gaining weight was the icing on top that kicked me into gear. I did the above but this time I didn't back down at my impending feelings of doom and overwhelm. I was meticulous. And that may be an understatement. I changed everything about the way I ate. I was measuring my food to the gram, over analyzing my macros and not eating like the rest of my family. I did not even think about how this was going to affect the dynamic of my life long term or if I could even uphold this lifestyle forever. I was preparing special meals for everyone in our house, picky eater, egg allergy, dairy intolerance and my gluten free diet plus all these new changes. On top of that I was hardcore active. I added gym visits daily along with a demanding power yoga schedule.
These activities and my obsessive food restrictions almost consumed my life. I saw nothing but this arbitrary number I wanted to hit on the scale. Completely blinded by it. Did it keep me focused? Yes. Did it keep me motivated? Yes. Did I ultimately reach that goal? Yes. Ok great, so why was that so not right for me? It took me 6 months to reach that number I was so desperately trying to reach. Not bad. But what happened when I got there? Celebration! Yes that is what I did. I celebrated with food I was avoiding. I celebrated with skipping my exercise routine. And slowing I backslid. I had been so zoned in on the goal I forgot about the journey.
I didn't check in with me. I did access how I was feeling in the moment along the way. I had already decided how I was going to feel in the end. But I didn't feel that way. That idea that all would be well and fixed inside was false. The results I was looking for did not show up the way I had planned. Sure, I felt super confident in my swim suit and like I could pull of any look I wanted. I felt empowered in my physical body and loved how I looked in the mirror. But something wasn't there. That feeling of wholeness in myself. I had only worked on the outside thinking it would fix the inside. I did not do the inner work along the way. I did not work with that voice of self doubt the one that sticks around even after you've "fixed" the outside. I did not have a plan for after the goal was met. I did not know how to move forward or maintain this goal I reached. And so the goal was short lived.
Soon that number on the scale was gone. Soon that number crept up and up. Until I was back where I started. Now not willing to do the work again because I feel defeated already. Can I get there again, sure! But how do you maintain it? By focusing on the path and the journey ahead. Not that end goal. By taking it one step at a time. One small change and then another, until it becomes a lifestyle. And with each step addressing what is happening on the inside. Changing that voice in your head is a different type of workout. It is saying No when it says something nasty to you. It is changing that narrative in your head. It is singing your praises and accomplishments. It is being kind to yourself.
This time around it's about the journey. Taking one or two small steps at a time and being all in, in that moment. Doing the work for what it as as it comes. Today it is drinking enough water and going to bed at a decent time. And when that feels good and it's adding in that daily movement. After that it may be a minor change to how I am eating. I may not know exactly what each step in the path is yet but when they come I will take them in stride and embrace them as I change for the better. The journey is ultimate about living the best, most healthy life as possible and that does not equal the number on a scale or the label in your jeans. It's how you feel from the inside out.
What small steps can you take today for big results in the future? Here are some ideas to get you started.
Drink half your body weight in ounces every day.
Ban all screens 1 (ideally 2) hours before bed.
Get moving with a brisk 20 minute walk first thing in the morning and passing on that cup of java.
Swap your usual lunch with a big healthy green salad.
Aim to get 7-8 hours of restful sleep at night.
Start a journal and pour your heart out each day.
Commit to one extra day of exercise each week to help build up your routine.
Add 3-5 minutes of meditation to your day.
Which one will you start with? I'd love to hear where you've struggled along your journey of health and wellness. We have all been there, and we can all be here to support one another along our journey. Let's dive in and do the work together.