Do you have reasonable expectations?
Whether you’re doing it yourself or working with a coach, it’s important to set SMART goals, record and track progress and check-in; this is all part of the process towards successfully meeting targets. Unfortunately, and particularly with social media, it’s become so common for people to have developed unrealistic expectations and timeframes on transformations and results. And with all the information out there, I am not surprised about the confusion and miseducation. But… STOP chopping and changing between one diet, plan or fad and another! It’s like everyone has forgotten there is no MAGIC PILL. How do you know if a plan is working, if you aren’t recording/tracking progress and haven’t actually given it the consistency and time to work?
We could be given, THE BEST plan in the world (not sure that even exists), but if we don’t COMMIT to plan, take complete OWNERSHIP of it and STICK TO IT for a period of time, then how successful can it really be?
Ok, so here’s the hard bit. If you want to see results… you need to be adherent and consistent. Cheat the plan and you’re doing yourself a disservice. Follow the plan for at least 4 weeks before you even let the thoughts “it isn’t working” creep into your mind. Change takes time, stop being impatient. Yes, just like you, I would love results to have happened yesterday, but the world doesn’t work that way. How do you know if the plan is actually working, if it isn’t consistently being followed? FOLLOW IT and every 4 weeks sit down to measure and assess your progress. As your body begins to adapt, results may slow and that’s when change will need to be implemented to create new stimulus.
We don’t just wake up one morning with an extra 10kg of body fat; normally this change occurs over months or even years and often unrecognisably at first. Yet people expect that they will wake up within a week of being given a new plan and see phenomenal or unrealistic change. We are living in a fast-paced world where we want to see things happen NOW, but that is not the case when it comes to habits, physiology and body composition (much to our disappointment). Creating new habits takes time. One of the biggest things individuals need to consider when entering into a new health or training plan, is patience.
Patience; the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
Along with patience, keep in mind that progress isn’t going to be linear. Maybe Susan on Instagram, said she lost 500g of fat per week and she told you this is “totally sustainable”. This does not mean that when every Monday morning rolls around and you get on the scale, your weight will be down -500g. It also doesn’t mean that you can sustain 500g fat loss per week for a prolonged period of time. There are so many influencing factors that come into play… which is a whole other topic in itself.
Whether your goal is fat loss, strength or muscle gain, expect to see fluctuations and ebbs and flows. If we’re talking about weight: remember ladies, it’s normal to fluctuate; where you are in your cycle, how much water or food you’ve had, if you did or didn’t exercise, if you’ve eaten something salty or are dehydrated, if you’ve been to the bathroom – are all things which will influence weight. If you’re losing body fat but increasing lean (muscle) mass then again, your overall body weight or number on the scale may not change very much, but your body will look different and your clothes will fit different (YAY!). Remember – a number on the scale does not define us.
If you want to measure something, I encourage you to consider and measure changes in other (important) things like; daily energy, strength at the gym, sleep quality, improved digestion, how your clothes fit, comparison photos, etc. These can all be incredible and rewarding wins.
Rome wasn’t built in a day people. Stay focused and trust (and enjoy) the process.
- Write down your plan, goals and timeframe. Is it realistic?
- Now take ownership and responsibility of your goals and plan – no one else can do it for you. Record your start point.
- Remain consistent and patient. Every 4-weeks assess and manipulate the plan as necessary. Then again, allow appropriate time for your body to respond accordingly.
- Track your progress regularly – daily, weekly, monthly.
- Don’t forget to take into consideration lifestyle factors and stressors as well. Sometimes we are presented with hurdles which we have to overcome and unfortunately this may hinder progress BUT it’s a part of life. It’s how you deal with it and move forward that counts.
Have reasonable expectations.
Trust the process.
Enjoy the challenge.
Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s.
And every-damn-day, you have the control to feel