Playing the Long Game….
Do you have a goal you want to achieve? A change you want to make? An improvement you desire?
As a society conditioned to instantaneous gratification, expecting it to happen with the snap of our fingers has almost become ingrained in our DNA. Time? Effort? Pfft! Who has the inclination for such things!
Is it impatience? Frustration? Pride? Arrogance? Naivety?
There are many versions, but my favourite is “Change is inevitable; Growth is intentional.” Growth can be exchanged for improvement, development, advancement, anything.
When we have intent with the things we want to not only change, but improve in our lives, it helps us reach a place when we are ready.
Ready for dedication, commitment, acknowledging we need to put in the time and effort to make it happen. Would life be easier if we could do it quickly and easily? Sure. But when you work hard for something and finally achieve it, that sense of accomplishment is so powerful and overwhelming, knowing YOU showed up and earned it! The momentous and uplifting feeling is so worth it in the end, you'll be thankful for the experience. And happy you endured the battle along the way.
But that is why, preparing yourself, getting in the mindset that real, true, everlasting change and improvement takes time, consistency and bloody hard work is crucial. Because if you don’t reconcile that with yourself at the beginning, you won’t make it to the end. Things will get difficult, life will interrupt your goals and you will think you can’t do it, lose belief in yourself, give up…..and fail. And no one wants that!
Accept you are going to play the long game; show up for yourself in the way you would for someone you love. Especially, because you should love yourself. Perhaps it’s not realistic to love everything about yourself, but love yourself enough to show up, put that effort into whatever endeavour you’re aiming for. Like you would for a person you love, who you care about and would do anything for if they asked you.
Your BFF who is in crisis, you’re there! Your partner asks for your help? Of course! No questions asked. Put yourself last to do everything your kids need? Without hesitation. But when it comes to yourself…..who can you count on to show up? You might have lots of people, but the most important, is always going to be YOU. Lead by example, show up for yourself and prove you are worthy of all the things you desire.
I may be a Coach, but I don’t have all the answers. However, I can show you how I show up for myself and play that long game…..HARD!
I think like everyone, the last two years have been incredibly challenging, disruptive and at times, fear inducing. It has made us accept a life encompassing a “new normal” that is strange and bewildering and at times, isolating. For me personally, I haven’t been able to travel back to Australia, where my entire family and many of my friends live, in almost three years now. To say I’ve struggled with homesickness is an understatement.
I had also just had a baby a few months before the pandemic struck, so when everything closed down, the only thing I did for myself, (going to the gym to workout,) was taken away. I no longer had any kind of physical or psychological outlet that I had gradually been using to feel like myself again.
Obviously, contextually, there was A LOT more important things going on in the world, so I’m not oblivious to that! (This was just my little part.)
Fast forward to 2021, I still craved that outlet, that little 'piece of peace' for myself, where I could show up, be alone and focus on my own health and wellness, whatever that looked like for me. I signed up for an online workout program and thought I can smash this out and get back to myself in no time!
Call it arrogance, naivety or a misguided sense of where I really was….I did not “bounce back” like I had anticipated. And with that realisation, I struggled. Why wasn’t I as fit as I used to be? Why wasn’t it coming back quicker? Why weren’t all those kilograms melting away as easily as they have in the past? Why wasn’t I reaching my goals in a quick 4 weeks like other programs I’d done before? I had dedicated myself to completing 3 of the programs, of varying lengths of time and was not seeing the results I had hoped for, what the hell was going on?
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. There is no “quick fix”. I am not 25 anymore. I have grown and birthed and fed two beautiful children; my body has changed in various ways, both good and bad, that it’s not going to magically recover and return to what it once was. But maybe, it could be even better…? It’s going to take longer, smarter training, better nutrition and the dedication that I never gave it before. It’s not about looking skinny, it’s about being fit and healthy so I can play with my kids. It's about feeling comfortable in my own skin and showing up for myself both physically and mentally.
Once I reconciled that in my own mind, it actually gave me a sense of calm and comfort. What I once viewed as maybe a 3 month goal, may end up taking 18 months, and that’s ok. It actually makes it easier to accept that life will sometimes interrupt and get in the way, which is a little more forgiving in an 18 month goal than a 28 day one.
After completing a recent 12 week program I set from the ones available, I could feel myself increasing my base level of fitness. I am laying the groundwork for the rest of my life, not just the next month. I wake up at 5:30-6:00am every morning to get my workouts done before the kids get up, so I can feel empowered, strong and ready to take on the day before I even see another soul. This is how I show up for myself.
I am on to the next 12 weeks program, lifting heavier weights, completing harder workouts and continuing along that path for my long-term goals. Playing the long game, knowing my dedication, effort, hard work (and sense of self compassion when I get thrown off track) is going to feel so powerful and fulfilling when I get to where I want to be.
Where do you want to be…?