Saturday, October 10, 2009

There is something I have noticed happening a lot this past year. People taking the first step towards change and then after a few steps forward, they stop.

For years people, articles, the news, and talk shows have written about and talked about the need for people to take the first step. It is often said that if people can just get up and take that first step they will be on their way to success. However, the first step, even though very important, is not the step that gets us over the finish line, the last step is and there are so many steps in-between.

I seem to be witnessing a different phenomenon in the last few years. So many people taking first steps to get started on their way to success. However, after a short period of time their investment wanes. They do not have the continuing energy, desire or determination to finish what has been started. I believe this is due to the length of time that it takes to see results.

People can often gather the needed excitement and energy to get to a trainer, life coach, dietitian, tutor, therapist, counselor etc, but the focus and dedication needed to sustain is often not there. I believe when people make a lot of these starts and stops, it can be quite damaging on their ability to even get started in the future. These short term dedications without success start to build a level of dissatisfaction or even jadedness towards any of these activities or people that can help.

Sustaining a new regime or new way of doing things can be so difficult. When faced with whether or not to go or whether or not to change actions, it is much more comfortable to do things the old way, even if it doesn't produce the results that we want. That is why so many people wait until there are dire circumstances or they are in a lot of emotional pain before they actually make changes. Why do you think addicts don't change until they've hit their bottom?

This doesn't have to be the case. If someone is armed with knowing that after a short period of time it will be hard to sustain, they can have the professional they are working with set up situations to help them continue. They can pay ahead for sessions for example and schedule a month or two during there first few sessions while they are still in the honey moon phase. For some things, like personal training, they can find a buddy to do it with, or even have the trainer find a slightly more advanced or dedicated partner to pair the person with so they have even another person to be accountable to.

Most of all, being emotionally and mentally prepared at the beginning to know that these slumps will occur and that triumph can be achieved and excitement and/or contentment will come back, especially as results start to show.

Believe in yourself, and after you make it through the first step, keep moving forward and you will be able to attain positive results.

Laura Fortino
Bella Body & Mind of Huntington Beach