The green line represents the progress you have to make, The snail represents you currently, behind you is the progress you have made so far, ahead is the amount you have to make to reach your target or goal.
We never realise, or maybe we fail to, the progress we’ve made. And only focus on how much progress remains to be made until we reach our goal.
This is the place in our weight loss journey where most of us mess up and go into the vicious circle of comparing our progress and nine out of ten times giving up on our efforts. Using our end goals as the marker for determining our progress is counter -productive and disheartening.
For instance, if you have 20 kg to lose and you’ve lost 5 kg: who cares about those measly 5 kg–you still have 15 kg to lose. Or, let’s say your goal is to achieve a six-pack: who cares that you’ve dropped inches from your waist and can see a faint outline of your abs–YOU DON’T HAVE THAT SIX-PACK, SO YOU HAVEN’T ACHIEVED ANYTHING.
Comparing your current progress against your end goal will always keep you at “no amount of progress will ever be good enough”. ‘Well, I lost 5kg but it doesn’t feel like much because I really want to lose those 20 kg.’ And this can be seriously demotivating because even though you’re making progress, you feel like you aren’t.
What you need to be doing Instead:
Measure your current progress against who you were yesterday (a week ago, a month ago or may be more etc.). Because no matter how small, the chances are very good you’ve made progress. But we tend to look at the end goal all the while and stress ourselves with unnecessary mental bashing.
What you can do:
All this would sound gyaan session for a while and you might ponder over it for a while and go back the next day comparing your progress with your end goal. Happens with most of us.
Now will you be telling me what should I do ? of course, I will !
Use this trio and see the difference.
Let’s figure out how:
These are your entire goal broken into tiny portions, for example, break the 20 kg into 5 portions – what you have now is 4 kg checkpoint. Tangible, very much! Achievable, hell yeah ! As soon as you reach your first checkpoint, stop and reflect on the progress, pat your back for having stuck to the regime so far, then move ahead to the next checkpoint. This also gets us to the next point – Rewards
Each one of us will have an individual version of this, mine would be something like this :
• A meal out at your favourite restaurant or a favourite dish.
- A ‘cheat meal’. Well, I do not believe too much into cheat meal, one only looks forward to it if one is into a very restrictive diet.
- Taking a day ‘off’ diet which is – you allow yourself to eat slightly more food, by that I mean not to go hog fest, but a slightly higher calorie intake
- Buying yourself a new outfit or have a samosa while watching a movie.What ever rocks your boat.
- Having a weekend away.
And the list goes on……..
Reflecting on the progress you’ve made reinforces that you’ve made progress. Knowing that would make the whole thing worth it.
Here is how you do it:
- Compare progress photos. Week 1 vs week 4 and you would be mighty impressed.
- Compare measurements (waist measurements, body weight) against your last checkpoint. Fitting into better clothes, hell yeah! you have progressed.
- Compare strength levels against your last checkpoint (or from the start). Lifting better or not being a dead duck by the end of the day, now that’s one parameter of gauging that you have improved.
The less obvious ones too, like:
• Going out to eat and not going pigging yourself silly.
• Refusing an extra helping of dessert.
- Going for a walk instead of sitting at home and watching Television.
- Not tracking food intake – tracking food every day
- Not exercising – exercising at least 3 to 4 days per week
- Low energy levels – having great energy levels.
Reflecting on these pointers will help you achieve or make your goals tangible and achievable. This will put the focus on the remaining part of the progress rather than the entire chunk of it. We all will reach our goals with consistent efforts, meanwhile these pointers will keep you sane and on the track till you hit the finish line.
Try it and let me know if these helped .
Write up by -Nitu Bajwa
Nutrition and Fitness Coach