How long does it take to lose weight? How long does it take to build strength? How long does it take to get better at a specific sport? How long does it take to consistently eat healthy? These are the questions that we ask just before we start working our plan to reach one of these goals. The answers received from a doctor or trainer or sports coach or registered dietician or verifiable research seems logical and reasonable before day 1.
Consistency mercifully sets in after some starts and stops. We find a rhythm and start to make progress. We keep going and make a bit more progress. Then, and most of the time, subsequent progress takes longer and happens in smaller increments. This is frustrating but par for the course. The question we start to ask ourselves is how long it should it take to reach our goal. We already have this answer, remember we received a projection before day 1. That answer however is unsatisfying and does not feed our impatience monster so we start saying, out loud or internally, “this is taking too long.”
One of the differences between achieving your goal and failing again is your ability to manage this frustration and impatience. Notice that I didn’t say overcome those emotions or conquer those emotions. Yes, your mind is your own and positive thoughts are extremely helpful. Even so, there will be weeks-days-hours where this phenomenon will be yelling louder internally than your desire to reach your goal. Most people, in my experience, give in to those emotions because they incorrectly believe that their consistency and those emotions are mutually exclusive. They are not my friends.
Different people manage in different ways. Those without a plan to manage or those who are completely blindsided fail. The successful coping mechanisms I’ve seen or used include continuing to work your plan even when you don’t feel like it, introducing something new into the plan to freshen it up, and adding a partner/group to give you an extra “hang in there” boost. The adding something new may seem out of place, but things aren’t always what they seem. Sometimes the root cause is boredom.
…continued next week.