Day 5 of 31-Day Series “Your Last Health Resolution”

Expectations can enliven or kill your commitment to your health.  Before my wife and I were first married, we went through several premarital books.  One of them required us to talk through a multitude of expectations.  I shared my strong desire to pull the toilet paper off the roll from the top, not from the bottom.  She shared more important expectations, like how she wanted me to pursue her heart each week.  We felt like we turned over a lot of stones and made sure nothing was hiding that would cause conflict.  We soon learned how naive we were.

Within the first week we were already having conflict over who would do the dishes and when I should take out the trash.  And why doesn’t eating at Chipotle count as a date night?  We failed in a lot of ways to communicate hidden expectations we had for each other.  We felt like we went from running through a sunny meadow into a briar-infested thicket.  It hurt.

The same can happen if you don’t do a little emotional planning with your health.  What expectations do you have?  What should they be?

Like I spoke about on Day 3, it pays to know yourself.  Learning about your own desires, ability, and triggers will help you set some healthy expectations.  Can you make it to the gym six days a week?  Or should you start with two?  Will your body drop five pounds a week?  Or should you shoot for one?  Will your body type let you look like Cindy Crawford in six months?

Recognizing how your body adapts will help you set appropriate goals and experience the thrill of surpassing them.  Listening to magazine covers and expecting your best body in five easy moves will set you up for a lot of frustration.  Creating a very positive experience will help you remain consistent (and positivity will help extend your life – more on that later).

Young Woman Biting Her Finger NailSo let’s get practical.  What’s your main motivation?  Why do you want to work out or eat better?  Write it down.  Do you want to look good, be stronger, have more energy, or relieve stress?  Don’t just say, “All of the above!”  All those may happen, but you have a central motivation.  State it.

Now what are some expectations you have about achieving it?  Write them down.  Don’t question them or filter them yet.  Just write freely.  When will first need to see change?  How much affirmation are you looking for from your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, or friends?  How much help are you expecting from external sources, like magazines or a trainer?

Now think positively but realistically and reevaluate your list.  If you don’t see change happen or hear a compliment in a week will it crush you?  Are you expecting a magazine, mobile app, or a trainer to make it happen for you?  Do some introspection and find out what’s running around in your heart and your head.  To make a real, lasting, and fruitful lifestyle change you’ll need both of those on the same wavelength.

Get ready!  Tomorrow we start into the first step of the PRIMEpathway™ – Physical activity.  What do you need to do to maximize your physical results?  We’ll dive in.