As we get older, we learn to become a lot more patient, and we realise that practising patience yields success. We also learn to stress less about things we can’t control and instead just focus on what we can do to achieve the desired changes we want to see in life. We can apply this same mindset to health and fitness goals. When embarking on a health and fitness journey, or a lifestyle change, practising patience and focusing on little behavioural change gives desired results.
Patience is a virtue
“Patience is the ability to accept or tolerate provocation, delay, or annoyance without being upset, especially when faced with long-term difficulties.” -wiki.
When embarking on a health journey, be it weight loss, or a total healthy lifestyle overhaul, it’s crucial to practice patience. Obsessing over, or wondering wether the changes you’re hoping for will happen the next day will likely cause stress and potentially alter your perception about the results you’re getting.
For instance, if you’re focused on losing 10kg on a fitness program for three months but only lost 6kg, you will feel discouraged and disappointed that you’re not losing enough weight. Forgetting that losing 6kg is a breakthrough step towards reaching your goal of losing 10kg. If however, you don’t stress about the amount of weight loss in a specific time frame, there’s a possibility that the 6kg lost will be celebrated. If you’re always anxious for change to happen, it could feel like nothing is happening or that it’s taking forever. Being patient is a way of treating yourself with compassion. When we’re impatient, we suffer, because a lack of patience is a stress response to whatever is happening in our lives. We feel the stress in both our mind and body. Therefore, cultivating patience is one way of taking care of ourselves, which is the essence of self-compassion.
Focus on what is going right
Focusing on the end goal when you are thousands of steps away from being there can send you into a downward spiral of negative thoughts, doubts and despair. Instead, focus on what is going well for you right now. Take it one day at a time. Focus on accomplishing the little daily tasks, and focus on the behavioural changes you’re willing, able and ready to do that will get you closer to achieving your goal.
The takeaway here is to remember that our expectations don’t always synch with reality – especially when it comes to weight loss or a lifestyle change. Practising patience, and focusing on what you can control, allows you to become better able to open-heartedly accept the inevitable challenges that are part of life. And to recognise and celebrate the little milestones.
What areas in your lifestyle change journey have you learned to practice patience? How often do you recognise and celebrate little progress made? Let us know in the comment section, would love to hear it.
Thanks a bunch for reading!