Change: It’s a Marathon - Not a Sprint
All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.
// Ellen Glasgow //
Change is not what we always envision it being. In looking forward or behind.
We assess the past, wondering why it’s been so long since a real workout or eating nutritiously for a few weeks straight. We look into the past at our goals & wonder why nothing has really changed all that much...
It can seem like we’re still working on the same things over & over again as we get older, thinking to ourselves - haven’t we fought this battle before?!
I feel the same way.
I think that most often we see change as a start & stop - a goal - or sprint to a finish line.
But change is transformative over time & that time is typically longer than you anticipate. Not all of us can turn on a dime or go cold turkey or do a 180 flip all that quickly. There are some exceptions, but for most of us change is going to be a marathon - not a sprint.
Most often women starting any type of health program or change will begin dramatically. They try to shift everything all at one time.
For example, “tomorrow I’m going to start running every day & stop eating sugar & do yoga at night & meditate in the afternoon & eat vegetables at every meal &... & … &...”
In a few days - or maybe several weeks - they’re becoming inconsistent or losing focus. That’s if they were ever able to stick to their routine at all from the start!
The problem is that when we take part in that incredibly difficult challenge or go on that strict diet, we don’t really understand what it is we’re doing. Or even more importantly, we don’t understand WHY we’re doing it.
If we don’t have any underlying motivation, meaning or reasoning to our actions then we often won’t be successful in sticking to those choices.
- What keeps us on task?
- What keeps us motivated?
- What keeps us moving forward?
When approaching any important changes in life or tackling any big goals, we have to consider it as a process that takes a lengthy commitment of time & energy. Yes, things can be sped up by the right tactics.
But with your busy schedule & demanding life, often health doesn’t become that #1 priority overnight.
So how do we approach a marathon if we’ve never run one before?
- Get a coach. It’s preferable to have some educated guidance & accountability so we’re not recreating the wheel. Someone to teach us how to run efficiently & help us build a complimentary cross-training program.
- Handle the mental game. Prepare emotionally & psychologically for such a daunting task ahead. Meditate, visualize or use encouraging tactics to breed more positive thoughts that won’t undermine our physical efforts.
- Create a plan. Architect a way to overcome the challenges we know will be inevitable along the way.
- Ground ourselves in the WHY. Behind doing the marathon in the first place & discern what’s important in order to keep us moving through the tough times. When we want to stop, or backslide or take the time off, we have a philosophy of why we must keep going.
- Train & celebrate. All of our little victories along the way towards our big goal. Each day we get up to run & every new milestone reached.
- Execute. We run the marathon.
Notice that we haven’t just dove straight in to running a marathon from the get-go, we’ve created a winning strategy that is going to get us to that success. Maybe the steps are a little different or rearranged for each of us, but there is an underlying process to change.
This same approach can be taken for all your goals in life!
We haven’t signed up for any program that is going to get us “quick results.” We’ve chosen to be educated in our training & focus on longevity.
It’s critical that we each have a system in place that will best support us towards our goals.
Change is a process. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
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