Short term goals are great motivators, however I’m a huge believer of making your fitness and nutrition a long term project!
Here are 3 reasons for having a long term focus:
1. You will be less harsh on yourself
Everybody makes mistakes. It’s only if we continue to repeat them that they don’t serve us! If you play the long game and make a mistake, it doesn’t matter! You can take the learning and continue to improve your fitness and nutrition. Had a bad weekend? Well, jump back in there on Monday and focus on making the next week, month, year better!
However if you have a short term focus, when you make mistakes everything tends to come crashing down. How many of you have been on a nutrition / eating plan and then had a bad weekend and then just thought “stuff it, I won’t make my goal” and stop! This doesn’t help because…..
2. Changes take time to occur
Your body takes time to make changes, both in terms of learning movements and adapting to exercise, but also from a composition point of view, building lean muscle mass and losing excess kilos!
There is no ‘magic pill’ that will make you wake up and look like Elle or Arnie! 🙂 You can make big in roads into your fitness and composition in 2 months, but it might take you 6 months of solid effort or longer to create habits, and actually make changes in your composition and health! This is because….
3. Slow and steady wins the race
Take the time to make something that you can use for the future! If there is anything I want my clients to get out of time in the gym is habits that they can use for the long term!
In the kitchen, it might mean knowing what styles of food to eat (whole foods, proteins, fats, carbs and veges), or to practice preparing meals or shopping in advance. It might be getting rid of the junk food that you use to fill you during certain times of the day! These habits take a while to ingrain into our daily life!
In the gym technical aspects of lifting, running and body weight movements takes time to develop. You have to co-ordinate your brain, nervous system and body all together into quite complex patterns of movement! You then need to develop the basic strength and conditioning to allow you to improve! Someone with consistency over 6 months will result in better improvements to strength and fitness than another who misses weeks at a time.
Also people tend to focus on the speed at which you lose weight. Lose 8kg in 6 weeks …and then put it all back on again 🙂 Instead why not lose it over 6 months and allow your body to normalise that weight.
I’ve been working out 5-7 days a week and spending time eating the right styles of foods, planning and preparing meals and saying no to the others for a long time. It is because my focus is on long term health. I want to be a fit and healthy 50 year old, who can run lift and has good health! 🙂 Yes I still live and enjoy myself, but if you want to make significant changes to your health and fitness it takes time, focus and effort and patience!