In setting your health and fitness resolution for 2021, you probably bit off more than you could chew. You are demanding perfection from yourself—no more unhealthy foods. No more overdoing it on the weekends—no more late-night snacking. Vigorous exercise every day!
That all sounds well and good, but why weren’t you already perfect in those behavioural areas before the new year? In short, the reasons are complex, and complexity has not disappeared from your life or your ‘self’.
You’re still going to have bad days. You’re still going to get sad, mad, stressed, and anxious. You are going to be driven to let off steam and self-medicate every once in a while.
Why does that matter? Because when you expect perfection in an imperfect environment, you create conflict. The type of conflict that leaves you feeling like a failure. The kind of conflict that drives low self-image and self-sabotage.
We set this conflict up by overreaching too early in our transformation. We want results, and we want them right now, so we make insane internal commitments that we will never successfully keep up.
Don’t begin where you want to be perceived to be. Begin where you’re actually at! Have you not exercised in 8 months? Schedule daily walks instead of 45 minute HIIT sessions in your first few weeks. Have you been eating out and devouring junk food since the pandemic? Begin by committing to 1-2 healthy meals per day and permit yourself to be more relaxed in the evenings or weekends.
The most significant barrier between you and success is the mismanagement of expectations that leaves you exposed to deep feelings of failure. Your mindset drives your implosion, not your body. So take the advice this year that you have ignored in years past: begin where you’re at and set reasonable goals.