Taking Your Journey By Choice: Insights into why our goals are so hard to stick with.

fitness health nutrition

Millions of people every day decide that today is the day they will start their journey towards a healthy change of behaviour. Most of our readers have made this decision and set a goal for themselves to change nutrition, fitness and/or physical appearance and health goals such as weight loss, maintenance or gain. 

 

It is always presented as being so easy. It’s a simple journey. Eat healthy foods. Exercise often and efficiently…

fitness health nutrition

Actually, if you think about it, for the most part it really is that simple. So why is it not easy?

 

Why do so many of us have to reset the same goals for ourselves surrounding our health and wellness? If it’s so simple, how do so many of us struggle to achieve the goal or remain where we worked so hard to be at?

 

Let’s see. How does this usually go? Oh, right. Set the goal. Imagine what life is going to be like for you when you achieve this goal for yourself. Start the journey. Feel good really early on. 

 

fitness health nutrition

 

Life happens to any degree. The choice to change and eat differently or exercise, or meditate is harder when you’re, say, tired. You have a rough day at work. Your kids are home sick. You convince yourself it’s ok to just let it slide this one time. It’s all about balance, right? Things get really tough, and eventually you’ve lost your track. 

 

This is a dialogue and trajectory I’ve frequently taken myself. And as it goes for many of us when we fall off the bandwagon, I was having some pretty negative internal dialogue. “What is wrong with me?”, “How come I can’t seem to stick to this way of eating or working out?”

 

Then I thought about how people take much more difficult journeys all the time.

fitness health nutrition

 

How do people get through difficult journeys? Journeys such as a health diagnosis that forces a change in nutrition or lifestyle, or the loss of a loved one. It is still a change in behaviour. A change in your daily routines. Similar in theory to the wellness journey many of us choose to be on. 

 

If you reflect on your own hard times, or talk to someone else that has, they will tell you, “I didn’t have a choice. I had to just get up every day and keep moving forward. I just put one foot in front of the other and just had to figure it out.”

 

And I realized…The key difference here is…CHOICE. We take these wellness journeys by choice. Not by force. 

fitness health nutrition

It’s a double-edged sword. On one hand, that gives you a ton of power. This is a choice you get to make for yourself. You get to decide who you are going to be and how you are going to feel. There is so much power and liberation in that fact. 

 

On the other side, this is a journey we decided to take, not one we have to take. We can decide to stop this train any time we want. When life gets in the way, when our internal dialogue tells us we cannot do this, or should not, or don’t deserve to do this. We can stop any time. 

fitness health nutrition

 

And our consequences are really none. Nothing really happens if we stop. Nothing really happens if we continue. 

 

If we continue towards wellness, we will feel better, or look better. Sometimes our internal dialogue changes to become more positive. If we do not continue we may not feel as well as we could or are not as healthy as we could be. But in reality, it’s not like we are given copious amounts of money, or avoid an attack on the world by taking on the journey. 

 

And it’s not like we have feedback internally. 

 

fitness health nutrition

It’s not like when we eat an apple, our body shows us how much healthier we are now. The lack of feedback for making all the right small choices in a day might be the biggest reason we can give up on our goals. You chose an apple instead of candy for a snack. You chose a high protein, low carb dinner instead of a burger and fries. Does your body show you right away you’ve just made progress? No.

 

We take this journey by choice. It’s a choice we don’t have to make, but one we want to make. 

 

fitness health nutrition

If it feels hard, that’s because it is. If it feels slow, that’s because it is. If it feels like two steps forward and one step back, that’s because it is. The trajectory is ultimately forward. The road is winding and not straight, and you can choose to stop the car at any point. Turn around. Get out. No consequences. 

 

You need to choose to keep going anyway. If it feels hard work, good. That means you’re doing it right. Keep going.

 

 

 

** The opinions and exercises shared in this article are from one of our regular contributing authors and are not to replace the advice and guidance from a licensed practitioner. Be safe. Talk to your doctor before any changes to your diet and exercise regime.

 

 


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