Hands up if you’ve ever started a new healthy regime, which hasn’t lasted. So, after a while you started another, which didn’t last, and so on, and so on….

Is the reason you never carry through a lack of willpower? Something happening in your life that got in the way? Tiredness? Stress? Or did you just find it all to hard?

Well, I don’t think it’s for any of those reasons. I think that the number one reason that so many of us start with so much positivity and yet don’t carry through comes down to one simple thing:

EXPECTATIONS

At the start of a new diet or exercise programme, we are so full of positivity and motivation. We envisage a bright, wonderful, perfect future where we are the exact size and shape we want to be. We are beacons of avocado-eating health. Exercise is easy. We sniff at anyone who doesn’t exercise at least four times a week. We are a walking, talking advert for confidence.

But once the initial euphoria wears off, during which we have declared that yes, we do actually LOVE kale shakes and all of this food prep has positively transformed our life – the shine starts to rub off a bit. It all becomes a bit dull, a bit hard.

Is it any surprise though? Because we tend to set our expectations so high in the first place. We expect:

  • to exercise regularly even though we currently do very little
  • for life to not get in the way or throw us off track
  • to be almost angelic in the way we eat
  • to make consistent, solid progress every week
  • for the conditions to be, and remain, perfect

So, when one of those wheels falls off, the whole thing starts to look decidedly shaky. We career off the road and crash into the nearest tree (no wonder you’re thinking, your car had 5 wheels to start with….big picture, people, big picture). And we do it to ourselves over and over again. So, what’s the solution.

Let’s put it this way, if you had a mountain to climb, would you just start at the bottom and climb easily and directly to the top? No. Because that would be stupid.

First, you get your equipment sorted. You prepare mentally, and you train your body by starting with a few smaller hills and mountains first. Along the way, you suffer set backs, but you learn from that and you keep planning and plotting your way to the top. You might adjust course a few times, you might change your approach and some days you might feel like it’s just not possible. But ultimately, you triumph, because you planned, you trained and you prepared yourself for all of the ups and downs along the way.

What I’m trying to say is, start small – stop expecting so much so soon and stop expecting that progress to be linear. Because then, every slight curveball that gets thrown your way just makes you feel bad, you stop what you’re doing altogether and you end up having to go all the way back to the start again. Get realistic, be prepared and remember that your head needs just as much work as your body if you’re truly going to succeed.