It seems like everywhere you look these days there is some sort of advertisement to make things bigger (or smaller) and better. If you don’t like something, fix it. But let’s not work hard to make changes, let’s find a way to fix it NOW! You want fast food? You can have it and while you are at it, why not super size it? Want to lose weight? Try this shake, pill, or surgery. Want to lose the wrinkles? Try this cream, or why not Botox. Want to look younger, thinner, and more beautiful? There seems to be an answer for everything.
When it comes to health and fitness, I feel that it does not mix well with instant gratification. We can not expect to live in the fast food lane and get results even if we go to the gym. So often I hear people complain that they don’t have time to make healthy food, and so over and over again they are going out for meals, and continuing to feel poorly with their health and about themselves.
No one said it would be EASY, but I can tell you that it is worth it. I am not saying that once in a while you really might not have time to make a healthy meal, but honestly, taking a few minutes to prepare healthy snacks and/or meals can be a lifesaver. I know what it is like to be busy. I don’t need to fill you in on all that I do in a week, but know that if I didn’t plan out and prep my meals, I could so easily fall into the rut of getting a quick meal! You are not alone in this society we live in of instant gratification! It takes hard work to fight against it and to succeed!
So what can we do to succeed with a healthy life in this society of instant gratification? How can we make changes that will last?
Here are a few ways that have helped me break out of the rut of seeking instant gratification:
1. Accountability: Asking someone (friend, relative or gym buddy) or join a group. Knowing that there will be someone to ask about your progress can help motivate you to make positive choices.
For me there are days when I really don’t want to hit the gym after work. Then my phone will buzz with a text from one of my gym buddies checking in to make sure I will be there! It keeps me going and I know they are going to encourage me the same way I encourage them.
2. Set goals: Set realistic long term goals and then short term goals to get you to your long term goals. And write down all your goals! Having a visual reminder is a great way to stay motivated.
If you desire to run a marathon, but have never run more than a 5k, you have to start building up your endurance to run races. Find a 10k, 15k, half marathon, and keep going! If your goal is to lose, say 20 lbs, start with 5 lbs, then 10, 15 and then you will get to your 20 lb goal.
3. Rewards: Sometimes those little extrinsic rewards still give us that motivational push that we need. When I am working on a new goal, I will set small rewards for myself. I have heard that you should never use food/drink for a reward and I have to say that I agree. Your goal could be more consistency at the gym, so if you make it 3-4 times a week, an iTunes gift card could be your reward. Or a new pair of shoes, a pedicure, or a cute top. Larger rewards for the long term goals. Such as a massage, new outfit, new cooking gear, etc. Train yourself that long term satisfaction is much better than just seeking instant gratification!
4. Get professional help if needed: Sometimes you might need an extra push. Hiring a personal trainer, nutritionist, life or health coach, or taking a cooking class are just a few examples. There are so many professionals in the health and fitness field who are filled with wonderful ideas and knowledge to help you (and me) reach your goals and dreams!
Keep in mind that life happens. There will be days when you get off track, but let that be the exception, not the rule!
Have a happy and healthy day!
Let’s talk it out:
- What fitness-related activity has given you instant gratification?
- Tell me your goals! Either fitness related, work related, personal life, etc.!