Slow & Steady Wins the Race

I never write about health and fitness because, well, I’m not that healthy and I’m not into fitness. However, I’m not sure there is an area of life where we are more into quick fixes than we are when it comes to being well. The problem is, you can’t become (or stay) healthy fast.

About a year ago, I was at a place that had one of those industrial scales. It looked slightly more precise than our bathroom scale at home, so I hopped on. The needle pointed straight at 224. I’m nearly 6’4″, so this isn’t way out of line, but after having trimmed down to 200 a couple years ago, it was a little disheartening to see.

Something clicked in me. I’m not sure what it was. I didn’t make a resolution and I didn’t order a case of special shakes. I did not join a CrossFit gym. I did not set an “ideal weight” goal. Like I said, I’m not really into fitness. Never have been. Nevertheless, something clicked.

  • I skipped lunch and went to Jamba Juice instead. But that was expensive.
  • I had fewer seconds. The key word is “fewer,” not “no.”
  • I gave up (for the most part) soda
  • I stopped (for the most part) eating after 9 p.m.
  • When I walked past a cookie in the office, I didn’t (always) take one
  • I snacked a lot during the day instead of going out for a fast food lunch
  • I bought an Ab Roller and some dumbbells and worked out (every now and then)
  • I took long walks when I had the chance
  • I jogged sometimes (but not very often)
  • I drank more water

The other day I stepped on a scale. I weighed 186.5.

But this is not a blog to brag about me. This isn’t even a blog about weight loss.

This is a blog about goals.

This is to encourage all of you. If you have a goal — whether it’s related to your health or job or family or whatever — don’t believe the hype that it can be done quickly. Don’t think for a second that quick fixes fix anything. They usually don’t, and if they do it’s usually only temporary. I also want you to be encouraged that not every goal is reached with a huge process or strict regiment. Sometimes it’s more about just persisting no matter what.

tortoise

(Photo Credit)

Don’t obsess with what you’re supposed to be doing right then or if you’re doing it right or fast enough. Take the long view. Be a tortoise, not the hare. I didn’t set a big fat hairy audacious goal. I didn’t even really make a plan. I just took baby steps and eventually found myself closer to where I wanted to be. Whether it’s your health or something else, be encouraged. A big difference can be made by a commitment to go slow and steady. No need to try and accomplish everything at once.

So, this is the worst pep talk ever, really:

  • Don’t make a big goal
  • Don’t make any huge changes you can’t sustain
  • Don’t freak out if you take a step backward
  • Don’t spend a bunch of time and money trying to get somewhere fast

Take your time. Make little changes. Set mini-goals. Choose wisely. Let the hares speed past without getting jealous. You just put one determined foot in front of the other. It might take a little longer, but in the end you may just find yourself closer to where you want to be.

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