When we make the conscious decision to start down the path of improved health and wellness, we often start off by setting goals or intentions. We create the list of things we want to achieve and then start the process of moving towards our desired outcomes. An important question that we often overlook is whether or not the outcome or process is sustainable. The question of how sustainable something is for you refers to your lifestyle as a whole rather than just one aspect. When I look at sustainability I look at how it will impact my body “physical”, my mind “mental”, and my life “social, financial, family”. To get a better understanding of if your goals are sustainable and achievable, let’s look at some examples.
For example, you want to encourage weight loss and drop body fat percentage. We could come up with a calorie deficit, workout plan, and meal options to help you achieve it. Now let’s say you find yourself struggling to track your food, your busy schedule makes it tough to hit the gym consistently, and our suggested meal options don’t work for you, or you also have a family that may eat differently. How long do you feel like you would be able to sustain the drive to achieve the results? Not long. Another way to look at is that you decide to follow our program and find yourself moving towards your goal weight loss, but you feel worn out with counting and tracking? Maybe you are sacrificing time with friends and family to spend at the gym. Maybe the new foods are causing a strain on your budget. You may even achieve the weight loss result and percentage you wanted, but are not feeling as great as you thought you would. Yes, you achieved the goal, but how much longer could you maintain this new lifestyle?
We are all different so it’s important to find the plan that fits you and that will sustain you for the long term.
The focus should shift to small changes that you feel like you could implement without them feeling like a “chore”. The little sustainable habits are the ones that will eventually lead to intuitive habits. For example, you can find yourself eating food without pulling out your phone to track or count but instead, know you are putting good things in and paying attention to how you feel. You found out that working out three days per week is much more sustainable and keeps you consistent rather than five or six days, allowing you to balance life outside the gym. These are just some small examples to illustrate our need for sustainable over achievable goals. We are all different so it’s important to find the plan that fits you and that will sustain you for the long term.
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