How to avoid quick fixes and create meaningful change
Do you find yourself oohing and ahhing over the “before” and “after” home renovation projects shown on TV? Do you think, Wow! if only I could get that work done on my house!
Then there are the “before” and “after” body changes that pop up on your social media feed, and the magazine articles touting the next big answer to easy weight loss and body transformation. Wonder workouts to try and miracle potions to purchase.
But there are some questions we should ask. What does that home look like a year down the road, after life takes hold? Has the “super” woman maintained those cuts abs?
Life isn’t picture perfect.
I bet if we walked into any one of those beautifully renovated homes a year later, it would look quite different. Maybe a few dishes in the sink, some dog hair tumbleweeds in the hallway, fingerprints on the doors – now that’s real life. There may even be some structural issues from work done too fast.
How about those “magical” products that transform bodies? A year down the road, is that person still drinking shakes for meals?
I’m betting the real world is quite different than the dramatic results depicted in the “before” and “after” photos. More than that, quick results are usually fleeting. When it comes to your health and happiness, you have to do the work to make it last.
Women often come to me with a desire to lose a dramatic amount weight in a short period of time – like 10 pounds in two weeks. The diet and fitness industry plays on our desires for the quick fix, and at $40-60 billion dollars in revenue every year, they’re doing a good job. However, the magical before and after – that’s not real world.
The work we do doesn’t occur in a vacuum. The obstacles that inevitably pop can push us off track and sometimes derail all the hard work.
Transformational work takes effort but if you put in the time to strengthen and build stamina you’ll end up with meaningful change and lasting results.
Last year I worked with a woman who wanted to lose weight. She worked very hard, became more aware of eating behaviors that were not optimal, and lost weight. However, the real changed happened when we attended to the voice inside her head that told her she didn’t deserve to feel good. When you get to the heart of the matter, the rest falls into place.
Here are the three pillars my clients and I follow to achieve our hearts’ desires.
1. Start with the right goal
A strong foundation will support your work towards goal achievement. Take the time to ask yourself “why” your goal is important. A well-thought-out goal feels right. It should be SMART – Specific, Meaningful, Achievable, Relevant and Time-specific. Make sure you can check off these five letters to set yourself up for success.
2. Learn how to bounce back from challenges
If you “fall off the wagon,” get back up and get back on. Punishing yourself doesn’t help. Too many times, a “bad” day turns into a bad week and the work you’ve put into attaining your goals gets tossed away. Punishing yourself is not the answer. Take the time to be a detective. Ask yourself: What derailed me? Why? Is there a plan I can put in place the next time I’m faced with challenges?
3. Celebrate the small successes
New habits take time, often about 60-90 days to establish. It’s good to acknowledge every little victory. It can be as easy as a smiley face in your journal or a quiet, “yay me.” Consistent little victories over time result in bigger victories which help us achieve our goals.
If you build a strong foundation, forget about short cuts, and step back every once in while to reflect on your achievements, the oohing and ahhing will come from within you. Now those are some awesome “before” and “after” feelings.
Let me know in the comments: what’s helped you achieve a goal in the past? I’d love to hear what works for you or what you might like to try differently next time.
I really like the house analogy. It stresses the importance of building a strong foundation and not doing shoddy work that looks good initially, but doesn’t endure. I will admit–I have looked for the quick fix, but with your help, Julie, I understand why those fad diets and treatments do not work long term and are not healthy options. I also have a better understanding of the voice in my head now, which has helped me institute healthier habits with different goals–being healthy is about so much more than the number on the scale. Thanks, Coach!!
Thanks Karen! A strong foundation is key.
I like the quote ” the oohing and aahing will come from within you”
Julie that’s truly who we need to hear it from, Ourselves first, cause in the end thats who we only need to hear it from at all!!
Yes it’s nice to hear compliments coming from people, that does Boost us, but in the end, truly in the end it needs to always come from ourselves!
Quick fixes never work either in construction or in the human body. 10 years ago when I visited a dietitian for the first time, she always told me it will take nine months to change your eating habits if you go past nine months then they usually stick!
15 years ago my twin sister and I attended Weight Watchers I love their expression” food never taste as good as thin feels” and for most people they never really truly feel thin( or remember) to really feel the wonderful sensation it is! if they would they look at Food totally different.
Julie, thanks for the great article you nail it!