It is important to acknowledge that change is almost never a linear process. It is common to make some forward progress only to experience a hiccup and take a few steps or leaps backward. Most obstacles encountered on your journey to health are unavoidable. Even though we may have a concrete plan in place, we can’t plan for things that we do not foresee. Let’s discuss some of the more frequent obstacles encountered during a lifestyle change and ways to move past them.
One of the most common obstacles encountered when making a healthy lifestyle change is doing too much too soon. When we set out to make a change, a lot of times excitement and an extreme sense of motivation to change can cause us to setup unrealistic expectations. Lifestyle changes are something you are hoping to change permanently. It is because of this that you must approach these changes slowly and with intention. Doing too much too soon may lead to burn-out or even worse an injury from over-training that will set you back physically and mentally.
A carefully designed road-map to your goals will increase the likelihood of your success. For the majority of people, success doesn’t happen by chance. You must plan! It is normal for our journey to health to take a few detours even with a carefully thought-out plan. Without a plan of attack you may find yourself running in circles getting nowhere near your goal. It is often said that when you fail to plan, plan to fail.
Plans should be flexible. Sometimes we will come across an obstacle and need to be able to adjust our plan to go around it. If something beyond your control gets in the way, you must allow yourself a break to go with it and then re-group. When an obstacle is encountered it is always a good idea to revisit, revise and reevaluate your goal. Get yourself back on track right away!
Sometimes an obstacle may be the goal itself. Often times we create really big goals, which is good! But without smaller goals leading up to it, it may be difficult to track our progress and we may get discouraged. Make sure to have smaller goals allowing for pats on the back of positive reinforcement to encourage your journey to that big, all encompassing goal.
You must prioritize. On some occasions, we create a goal but allow other things to take priority. How important is your goal? If you have been struggling for a long period of time to attain it, maybe it is time to reevaluate its importance. You can wish for a flat stomach or to comfortably fit into your “skinny jeans” until you’re blue in the face but if it isn’t important, other things will come in its way. We find time for the things that are important to us. If it’s not important, we will always find a distraction or an excuse. If your goal has meaning, you will plan. You will set aside time to make it happen. A goal without a plan is just a wish.
Obstacles can make or break you. You can learn from them and become stronger, or you can give up and give in. What you choose to do in those moments of weakness determines your success.
Be brave. Be defiant. Be a goal-getter!