I think something we too often like to gloss over is the sacrifices and challenges involved in achieving results.
Getting a new and better result, making a change is NOT easy.
Even something that eventually feels sustainable can be hard to start because it isn’t instinctual. It isn’t what we’ve always done.
So when I work with a client I like to discuss the options in how we move forward.
While I don’t believe in fad diets or quick fixes, I do believe we have a choice in the speed of our results…
And how fast we choose to move forward toward a goal is dependent on how much we are willing to go all in, embrace change and make sacrifices.
While everything in our program needs to be focused on the basics of macros and a clear workout progression IF we want to create sustainable habits we can adjust as we transition to maintaining our results, how we dial in our programming off of these foundational things at any given time can shift based on how quickly we want to make progress vs how much we want to really just create something that’s a lifestyle.
So basically what I’m telling you is…
If you want something that really feels like a lifestyle right from the start, you’ve got to be prepared for results to take longer to build.
However, if you are willing to go to the faster side of this sustainable continuum, you can see results faster…you just have to be ready to make more sacrifices. You have to be ready to be more “perfect” and precise for awhile.
You almost have to be ready to overcorrect to then slowly come back to more of a lifestyle as you reach your goals or even need a break.
And then you have to recognize you may adjust over time. You may be more motivated at points to push harder. Or you may need to back off because other things in your life take priority.
And this isn’t a bad thing.
But it’s key we constantly assess what we need to realize that WE control how fast we go or how much we focus on just that lifestyle balance.
We also have to recognize that we can’t necessarily have both all of the time!
That’s why I wanted to share some things I discuss with clients so we can determine what they need or truly want in terms of results vs. the habits they are willing to commit to.
And again…just remember, once you understand this balance, you can choose to change at any time. You may have an event you’re willing to do more to feel and look a certain way for.
Or you may have too much going on right now and need to back off. No right or wrong but we want to know the “cost” of any decision we make.
1: Know thyself!
The biggest thing to first consider is who you are and what has derailed you in the past.
Do you tend to get too gung-ho to start and ultimately derail yourself with too much restriction?
If this is the case, maybe ease in. Start with more of a lifestyle balance and, as you adjust, maybe then consider periods to kickstart things.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with strict macro ratios or 6 days a week of training. Start with something more manageable. Maybe even just tracking. But allow yourself to make the transition in easier by breaking things down so the changes become innate before you build further.
However, if you know you’re a person who will give up if results don’t happen fast enough to start, maybe you consider jumping in with more of a cut ratio or more dramatic change to ease up a bit after you’ve built that momentum.
Maybe you do habits that you know aren’t fully sustainable with a game plan to transition progressions or ratios as you settle in and see progress happening.
The key is assessing you and knowing what will help you settle into changes and stick with things.
2: Know you’re going to adjust.
Creating a lifestyle doesn’t mean doing one thing the rest of your life. You can have periods you’re more intense and times you’re less intense. And if you feel motivated, use it.
If you don’t feel motivated, also don’t be afraid to give yourself that strategic break or transition to minimums.
We have to remember that part of what leads to lasting results is sometimes embracing the ebbs and flows and even accepting minimums.
The more you allow yourself breaks at points, often the more we can capitalize on those times we are motivated because we are fully charged to go.
But this is also why it is key we embrace the learning process. When we understand macros, we can adjust ratios to be more dialed in or even more maintenance. We can know how we’re truly fueling to adjust.
Same goes for workouts. We can know what is or isn’t working and even tweak our schedule to work for different realistic schedules based on what our lifestyle is at that point. But when you think through how you’re programming, you can truly adjust for the time you have so you keep moving forward.
The key is not ignoring our mindset so we can even plan ahead and adjust accordingly so we don’t just fall off!
3: Remind yourself of your decision.
We always want results faster. But I think reminding ourselves of the sacrifices involved in going faster can be key if we’ve chosen NOT to implement all of the habits that are needed.
I think at times we need to remind ourselves we COULD go faster, but we’ve chosen something more based on a lifestyle.
I think it’s key to remind ourselves it is our CHOICE because it also allows us to reassess if we want to get results faster. We can CHANGE our decision.
Too often with lifestyle changes, with trying to reach a goal, we act like things are done to us. This takes away our control and makes us feel like we’re suffering more.
Realizing that we are “inflicting” these things on ourselves can often be helpful. Because then we can change things if we need!
Just remember you can change at any point. Remind yourself of why you’ve chosen the habits you have and why they relate to the speed of progress you’re going to make!
4: Plan end dates and cycles.
Honestly, it may even be best to plan in set cuts. To plan in set times you’re going to do a diet break or even just maintain. It can make things easier when you know you have an end date.
It can be helpful to allow you to know you won’t have to “suffer” with more sacrifices forever.
It can even allow you to embrace different times in your life where you may have more or less time to commit. It can also help you capitalize on motivation when it strikes to use bigger events to drive forward and make more sacrifices while also allowing you to embrace those times you can’t do as much because you can see them as the breaks you need.
But don’t be afraid to even look at your overall year and plan in times you know you can bring that intensity while also recognizing times you may have to strategically back off. I think knowing there will be times you get a break can motivate us to do more during the more ideal times we have!
We don’t do well with suffering indefinitely and driving forward faster does mean more sacrifice!
Remember we have some choice in how fast we get results. And while we shouldn’t turn to crash diets and need to focus on those fundamentals, we can choose to make more sacrifices or focus more on the lifestyle balance based on how quickly we want results.
And we can change our focus over time…but it’s key we’re constantly assessing to adjust based on what we need and what is possible at that time!