Have you ever found yourself thinking “I’ll get back on track with my health and fitness as soon as…
💭 the weekend is over.
💭 work is less hectic.
💭 I have more time.
💭 things get back to normal.
Sounds reasonable, right? Surely there is no harm in taking a break from your health and fitness goals until you feel you are able to give it all your time and the effort it deserves?
Maybe your thought process is
💭If I miss a couple of workouts or eat the wrong thing… I will fail and have to start all over again.
💭I would be much more likely to reach my goals if I took a break, just until I have the time and energy to do it properly?
It is natural for you to want to do your best, or to think about taking timeout to get yourself and your life sorted and then get back to it when life feels easier. Unfortunately this well-meaning thought is one of the fastest and surest ways to sabotage your health and fitness goals.
Taking time-out or hitting your pause-button will only build your skill of putting things off or pausing. Whether it’s next Monday, next month, or even next year, hitting that imaginary pause button will give you a sense of relief. What it will not give you is the skill of getting fit (or staying fit) in the midst of a normal, complicated, “how it really is” sort of life.
Whenever life isn’t perfect, which is most of the time, we tend to hit the pause button and wait for a better time. All the while losing the health and fitness we previously worked so hard for.
So when you next think about taking a break from your health and fitness goals until life gets back to normal, also ask yourself “What will be different when you come back?”
Nine times out of ten, the honest answer is nothing will be different. Life just happens. And it will still happen again in January, or after work is not so busy, or at any other random point you pick.
And what then?
Whether you like it or not, the game of life keeps on going.
There is never going to be a moment when things are magically easier. You can’t escape work, personal and/or family demands. Same as you can not escape the need for health and fitness in your life.
Most of the time in life we know we are not always going to be on our A Game. Sometimes we are superstars, most of the time we put in the effort to do our best, but sometimes we struggle and just get through, but we keep going.
So why do we expect it to be any different when it comes to our health and fitness?
The point is to keep going. Sometimes a bit awkwardly, or not as competent, sometimes downright half-assed. But to keep going nonetheless.
The “all or nothing” mentality rarely gets us “all”. It usually gets us “nothing”.
So start with a new mindset of “Always something”.
Try to think of your health and fitness efforts as a dial.
There are times when you want to dial your efforts up, and times when you want to dial them down. But never turn the dial off completely.
It is perfectly of to set your effort dial a little lower. It is much more important that your effort dial is always switched on. There’s a big difference between turning your dial to 2 or 3 and turning the whole thing off completely.
Try anticipating what is likely to get in the way of progressing towards your health and fitness goals? and what is something you can do each day to help keep going when you face those obstacles?
This could be to start a habit of food prepping every Sunday for the week so you are not scrambling for healthy meals on busy weeknights. Or maybe even having details of a healthy meal-delivery service on hand.
Or booking in for 1 or 2 sessions at the gym when you know you can not make it there everyday.
Perfection doesn’t happen in real life. We are always going to be doing the very best we can with what we have, and that is OK. We can still make progress toward our goals and still improve our health and fitness no matter what is going on in our lives.
Remember progress doesn’t happen if you “press pause” and wait for a better time. Small improvements done consistently over time works.