Learning to Let Go: How to Manage Health Expectations
By Genevieve Cunningham
When we begin a journey toward better health, we often set really high expectations for ourselves. Maybe we want to lose 50 pounds or run a mile in less than 10 minutes. Maybe we want to change our cholesterol numbers or lower our blood pressure. And we want these things as quickly as possible. While high expectations can certainly be a good thing, there comes a time when it's too much. When our expectations create more pressure and fewer results. If you're interested in long-term results, take a look at why you should learn to let go of stifling expectations, and what you should do to find success instead.
Look at the Big Picture
Sometimes it can help to look at the big picture. Sure, you may want to look like a fitness model, but what actually matters in the long run? Is it your appearance? Or is it your health in general? If we keep the important, long-term goals in mind, it's easier to forgive ourselves for a slow pace or for setbacks. It's easier to be OK with a two pound loss instead of five this month. Determine what your biggest goal is, and then make a plan that gets you all the way to the finish line.
Change takes time. You're absolutely not going to lose 20 pounds in a month. You're not going to build perfect muscles in a few weeks. Can you make progress? Of course you can! But you're going to have to be really patient in the process. Allowing and embracing some patience helps you stay calm and focused. Don't try to rush it, it won't work! Be patient and consistent and the results will come.
Set Small Goals
While keeping your mind on the big picture is helpful, it can also be beneficial to set small goals along the way. If you're trying to work out for 30 minutes without stopping, try five or 10 minutes first. Once you reach that goal, you can set another. Why does this matter? Because it gives you little successes along the way. And when we get a taste of success, it's easier to keep going even when it's hard.
It can be hard to let go of expectations that are a little too high. We want success and we want it right now! But if we let go of that need for instant gratification, we might find that success finds us in little ways all along the journey. Be patient, set goals, and work hard to achieve them. High expectations are good -- but allowing yourself a little grace and time to get there is even better.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Chandler, Ariz.