We are almost a quarter into 2015 (time flies!). How are you progressing with your goals, whether they be New Year’s Resolutions, Chinese New Year Resolutions, or whatever arbitrary start date you used? If you’re on track or ahead of where you thought you’d be, congratulations! Keep on rolling! If you started off strong but lost a bit of momentum, don’t be discouraged–time is your friend, not your enemy, and you can start it up again as easily as you stopped. If you never started, my previous advice still stands: Time is your friend. Start slow. Fail. Start again. Fail again. Your goals are your own, and as long as you’re moving towards them, speed isn’t important–being on the track that will get you where you want to be matters most, in my humble opinion.
Timelines (not the Facebook kind) can be one of the biggest disservices to people trying to reach their fitness goals. Now, don’t get me wrong–tracking your physical stats can be a valuable practice. It’s cool to see the progress you make over several weeks, months, or longer, and it can encourage you to keep up your hard work. But, on the flipside, it can also be harmful, especially if reality isn’t meeting your expectations. You may think you should be at a particular stage based on time alone–after all, both your trainer AND several contributors on a fitness blog you follow say you should be at “X” if you’ve been on a particular regimen for a given amount of time. Why aren’t you there yet? Are you doing something wrong? Or perhaps something is wrong with the program–doesn’t work! Blah, forget it, what’s the point?! And that’s actually a fair question: What is the point? Why are you dieting/exercising/attempting to change your lifestyle? If you can’t answer that question, then that probably explains your frustration. You’ve become so focused on chasing the end product–and how to get there–that you added unnecessary urgency to the equation.
Maybe it’s the California cool in me, but really–what’s the rush? Who are you racing that you absolutely need to weigh “X” by the end of the month? Do you get a medal? I guess there could always be exceptions–maybe you’re trying to win a bet–but otherwise, I just don’t see the value in attempting to accomplish your goals BY a certain date. Go at your pace and embrace the journey–and you just may find yourself enjoying it.