We all have a set amount of time and energy to spend each day. And we each have a choice in how to spend some of it (admittedly, some “energy suckers” are non-negotiable). It can take some serious creativity and a different thought process to spend those resources wisely.
Additionally, if you try to set aside too much money at a time, you feel pinched. This leaves you feeling depleted, exhausted, and unmotivated (not to mention poor!). Example, “I need to set aside $100 every week.” But if you only earn $200 a week, that leaves very little to cover basic needs like groceries, rent, utilities, cell phone, and car payments, etc. Not to mention zero room for fun!
Same deal with lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. People often try to re-invest huge chunks of their time and energy into a new lifestyle when it first starts. “I’m going to the gym an hour every day AND I’m going to start cooking all of my meals at home, from scratch.” While those are wonderful goals, that time and energy have to come from somewhere! You might start out strong, but before long, the other neglected areas of your life will need attention again. Also, if it has been awhile since you’ve worked out a hour, your body will be physically exhausted. This takes all of the physical pleasure out of exercise and makes you feel like it’s a miserable experience
It looks easy from the outside…
…but remember you might be walking in on the middle of the story.
Let’s go back to the financial example. Sometimes when you meet someone, you’re meeting them after they’ve already been investing for 20 years. After you save your money for a while, it gets easier – you’ve figured out where you to save so you don’t feel as deprived. And when you’ve got a system, it’s easier to find other opportunities to save and it snowballs. It’s less of a choice and instead just, “what you do.”
However, when you’re first starting out, it can take a bit to figure out what’s important to you and what you can do without. This is uncomfortable. Some weeks you’re ahead, and others you fall behind. If you’re constantly comparing yourself to someone else, you’re going to feel defeated and like what you’re doing “doesn’t matter.” But remember, $5 this week is $5 closer to your goal!
Same deal with lifestyle changes. At first, they can be painful as you’re figuring out how much time and energy feels comfortable for you. You see people posting their weekly workouts on social media and think, “that’s impossible…why try?” Because 10 steps today is 10 steps closer to a marathon than the person who never got off the couch.
Moral of the story:
Start where you are.
Not where you “were” or where you think you “should” be.
Every step forward counts.
DISCLAIMER: The writing here is for informational and educational purposes only. It is NOT a substitute for individual care. Your needs may vary. or individual support, please contact a provider.
Please note it's been a number of years since I have updated these posts. The content and philosophies may have changed as I've grown as a provider. Please reach out with questions or concerns.
Dietitian, personal trainer, mother, wife, runner, and endurance athlete supporting well-being, one bit and bite at a time