Usually, when starting or restarting your fitness routine/journey, individuals will OVER-estimate what they want to achieve in 3-4 months and UNDER-estimate what they can achieve in a year.
It is no fault to you; unfortunately, what gets marketed more are these six-week, three-month, eight-week challenges where individuals make drastic changes in their bodies with regards to appearance and strength. The thing is, when you look at the small picture that is portrayed, you feel like you can achieve such results in a short amount of time. However, what is not shown or ever discussed is what happens afterwards.
Has that individual continued to build muscle? Get leaner? Maintain their six-pack abs? Get closer to achieving their ideal physique? Have they regained their weight back or lost their strength? What did they do next?
More often than not, once individuals have achieved such feats in a short period, they often revert back to what they did before… The changes they did achieve were a systemized rigid process that is very hard to maintain over a longer time, be it a one year, two, or a lifetime.
This then opens the door for numerous issues to arise, comprised of: disruptive relationships with food, disruptive behaviours with friends and family, how you look and feel about yourself and psychological implications around all of these.
Even individuals of higher social status, be it celebrities, actors, athletes, etc., do not maintain these drastic changes you may see them make. If they do, it is usually because they have the money and resources to do so. Also, it is their job to do so! People often forget this component when looking at these particular individuals.
So what then to think? This refers back to what I said in the beginning of this article. The main message is to have a longer-term approach to the multitude of things you want to accomplish. It allows for the variability of life that may come into effect when looking to make significant changes in your health and fitness.
Fitness and health and the gym, in particular, is a tool to help enhance your life, NOT take away from it. Giving yourself a larger allotment of time to achieve goals throughout the process of making better choices, and improving your health and quality of life, will allow you to better develop the consistency and habits needed to maintain all of the progress you have made up to this point.
I like to relate health and fitness a lot to investments. For most people, having a longer term outlook of what you can achieve is the best route. Think of building compounding interest: steadily shaving off pounds of fat, increasing muscle mass, putting pounds on the barbell, improving your eating habits, shaving time off your running time, gaining improved movement though your hips, decreasing how much pain you live with day to day, etc… All of these things will steadily improve your quality of life as you continue to progress in your health and wellness journey. Imagine trying to do all of this in the next 3-4 months?
Make your changes for life, and see these changes through for life.