spiraling to the good

spiraling to the good

If you've read my writing for any time at all you've probably gathered I'm not a big fan of over-the-top, sweeping lifestyle changes. New diets and exercise programs are difficult enough when the changes are modest.

Lifestyle overhauls work for a small minority of people; those folks will see drastic changes and become evangelical about their new program and/or lifestyle. But for the vast majority of people, drastic changes are too much to handle consistently, day after day, for the long term, and they end up leading to failure.

Modest changes, on the other hand, are much easier to implement and stick with. Unfortunately, modest changes also offer modest results, which can be discouraging for those without enough patience and confidence to see things through.

The good news is that momentum can be a big motivator. Consider this:

You start with a modest plan, hoping it will work.

You get frustrated after a week with no results, but you keep going. You said you would give it a month or two, so you're not going to quit after week one.

You think, at the end of 2 weeks, that there might be some results, but you're not sure - maybe you're just trying to convince yourself. But it gives you a spark of hope, so you continue.

At the end of week three, you've lost a pound, maybe two, and you're pretty sure your jeans aren't as tight. You keep going, with a little more confidence.

By the end of week four, you've lost two pounds for sure, and now you're positive your jeans are more comfortable. You not only keep going, you re-dedicate yourself!

During the next month, you want to see more progress, so you up your commitment levels - more/longer workouts, and even better eating. You see another two pounds drop and you're cinching your belt a notch tighter. Now the results are proven, and you're getting excited about where this is going.

Next, people who didn't know you were trying to lose weight start commenting about how good you look. More positive reinforcement, and you double-re-dedicate yourself. You can see where this is going.

The more hard work, the better the results. The better the results, the more hard work - and the cycle continues. Time is the ultimate ally - days turn into weeks turn into months and years, and those 1 or 2 pounds turn into 20, then 40...

Give yourself enough time to start building momentum, and you'll see things spiral to the good.

-Chris Butterworth