Instead of expecting a linear health journey — leading to a magical “health completion” date — “buy into” your health journey for the long haul. Think about your health as analogous to the stock market; forget about the daily wobbles and look at the monthly and yearly trends. Change your attitude. Re-calibrate your expectations.
Replace expectations of “health perfection” with a goal of having “more healthy habits this month and this year than you did last month and last year.” This is “trending positive.”
Why? Adopting a healthier lifestyle is far from a linear process. In fact, expecting the journey to be linear is not only misleading, it is detrimental; false expectations set us up for failure. Your unhealthy habits were not formed in a day. It is unrealistic to think they can be replaced overnight.
As I tell my clients, “Realistic expectations are the seeds of happiness and unrealistic expectations are the seeds of discontent.”
When you expect your health journey to be linear — free from the inherent ups and downs of life — you not only set yourself up for disappointment, you build in an excuse to self-sabotage; unrealistic expectations are typically used to justify giving up at the first signs of a “health wobble.” “I am not perfect. I had a cookie. So I might as well give up and have 10 cookies. What is the point anyway?” The point is to TREND POSITIVE!
Instead of wanting to be “perfect” yesterday, ditch the goal of immediacy and perfection. Aim to simply have a greater number of healthy habits this month than you had last month — aim to “trend positive.”
Here are some helpful links: