I’m certain I’ve mentioned this before, but I am not a patient person.
What makes it worse, is looking at Instagram. I see people who are young enough to be my daughter and they’ve accomplished things I can only dream of. I can’t help but wonder “why can’t I do that NOW?!”, “why can’t I have that body NOW?”
Social media can be wonderful. It can be an amazing source of motivation, support, and exposure to different views.
However, it is also the leading source of dissatisfaction in ones life. It’s hard to remember to NOT compare your (aka, MY) life to theirs. People live different lives. They’re exposed to different things at different ages. Yes, I sometimes wish my parents would have pushed me more when I was younger – either in dance or gymnastics or music – but my parents always let us (my brother and me) choose what we wanted to do, and that didn’t include any of that.
But, when I was younger, the interests I have now weren’t around. Yes, I wish I had kept up the art instead of taking a 15 year hiatus… but I don’t remember yoga every being talked about and Ayurveda only flashed in (and out) of my life a decade ago.
I’m turning 43 in about 3 weeks, and part of me can’t help but think my life is half over and I’ve just discovered my passion. My road was long and I feel like I’ve wasted time…. and yet, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, nor have the appreciation I have today, had I not gone through all the shit that I have.
The one thing that has been frustrating is trying to adopt new habits, but I’ve realized what I’ve been doing wrong.
I’m trying to do too much too fast.
Habits take time, and doing too much too fast can – and will – cause frustration and failure.
What you need to do is to create small changes – one or two – and do it for a month. After a month, add another change… and so on.
So, if you want to lose weight, here’s what that might look like:
- Month one, add drinking more water and add 30 minutes of exercise a day – even if it’s just a walk around the block.
- Month two, keep up the first two habits, but add reducing processed foods from your diet.
- Month three, keep up the previous habits, and increase your exercise by 15 minutes to 45 minutes, and add more servings of fruits and vegetables.
- Month four, maybe look at an organized activity that has always interested you: yoga, zumba, self defense, cross fit, get a gym membership, take dance lessons…
- Month five, address any eating habits you recognize: binge eating, eating too much sugar, emotional eating, etc
Little changes add up. Yes, it’ll take longer, but if you’ve been trying to “lose weight” over and over, why did it fail? Probably because you cut all the crap from your diet, you started exercising 90 minutes every day, eating nothing but egg whites and salads… that is a whole lot of change to happen overnight! Little changes allow your body to adjust and not “freak out”. Consistency if KEY. Keeping up those little habits will add up real fast. It doesn’t matter how much weight you want to lose, doing it in small, manageable chunks will make it feel less daunting.
But this goes beyond “losing weight”… it’s just the easiest example.
One thing I want to do is get deeper into Ayurveda, but I’m finding it really hard. What does an Ayurvedic lifestyle look like?
- oil pulling
- Tongue scraping
- neti pot (every other day)
- dry brushing
- oil massage
- lemon tea
- foot massage
- face massage
That’s a whole lot of new habits to try to start… and I have been failing miserably! Actually, I haven’t been failing… I flat out gave up. I tried… and tried and tried… and because I couldn’t do everything, I stopped trying to just do some of them.
So, I’m going to take my own advice and start with only one or two things and build consistency before adding something new.
It’s hard not to be in a rush – especially in my current life stage – but forward movement, no matter how small, is still forward movement.
If there’s something you really want, don’t give up on it because it’s too overwhelming. Break it down into easy chunks that are more manageable and less overwhelming.
Because anything worthwhile should never be easy!