Monday, April 14, 2014

Progress Over Perfection

When you start a journey to better health, it is really hard not to get caught up in what I like to call "Instant Gratification Syndrome" for example... I started eating better yesterday but the scale did not move this morning or I started lifting weights but why do I not see any muscle definition. We live in a society where everyone wants results NOW and some get frustrated when the results of working hard towards a goal are not instantaneous. Great things take time and as hard as it may be to practice patience, it will be worth it, I promise.

I posted this progress picture the other day to show what 3+ years of training, dieting, and hard freaking work has enabled me to do with my physique. I am sharing it with y'all, encouraging you to never give up on your goals! Goal setting can be tricky. If the goal appears too big, you may find yourself feeling defeated before even trying to achieve it or if you find yourself stumbling and taking a couple steps backwards, you might feel disappointed and talk down to yourself. Whatever goal you are working towards, know that YOU can accomplish anything you set your mind too. Here are the top goal-setting principles that I personally like to follow to keep my self striving for progress, not perfection.

  • Write it down! Write down your top 5 goals that you can repeat from memory. Listing more than this may cause you to feel overwhelmed and lose focus so starting with the top goals that you want to work towards helps you stay focused. Also, by writing out your goals, it is like proclaiming your intent and setting your plan into action.
  • Keep goals "S-M-A-R-T". Specific- identify exactly what you want to do and be as specific as possible. This allows you to create a game plan and identify the necessary steps to take to reach your target. Measurable- If you can't measure it, how are you going to manage it? For example, maybe your goal is to start weight lifting, instead of saying "I am going to start weightlifting this month" say "I am going to weight lift 2 times a week this month". This gives you a definitive answer if you reached your target or not. Achievable- Construct and set a goal that you know can be achieved. Goals should be reasonable but also a stretch to push you. Realistic- Adding on to the previous letter, goals should be challenging but attainable given your abilities and skill set. Timely- Set a time frame for you goal that allows you to really work hard and focus on what you are trying to achieve. For example "Losing 10 pounds" is a great goal to have but a time-bound goal "Losing 10 pounds by October 1st" gives you a deadline to achieve your goal by. 
  •  Share your goals! Selectively sharing your goals with those you trust and who are on board to help you achieve them is a great way to stay accountable and seek encouragement. They can help push and encourage you but do be careful who you share with. I have learned not to share with those who are un-supportive of my goals.
  • The biggest thing I have to remind myself is to leave room for failure and to not expect perfection. Persistence is key! Accept the fact that you might not make it on the first try but never let it get you down. It is a journey that you should take great pride in and little failures along the way will only make you stronger if you continue to push forward and learn from them. 
No matter the goal, you have the power within yourself to achieve it! Be patient. Be persistent. Be positive about your goals and most importantly, believe in the power of YOU. I do!

While shopping in the sunshine this weekend, I couldn't help but notice the abundant colors of fresh fruit. The reds, greens, purples, yellows, blues!  I wanted to create a very simple but delicious treat that would be great served fresh or frozen. 

Take care of you!


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