If You're Waiting for the Perfect Moment, You'll Just Keep Waiting

12SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/29/2012 10:00 AM   :  46 comments   :  20,839 Views

Often I hear people talk about their desire to change their lifestyle and adopt healthier habits.  “I’m ready to do it, but I’m just going to wait until after vacation to start.” “I really want to lose weight, so after things slow down at work in a few weeks, then I’ll get to it.”  For most of us, life is hectic.  We’ve got jobs that keep us busy, family, social events, and lots of other things that can make it challenging to focus on ourselves.   I can see why people want to wait until the time is right, so that they have the greatest chance of success.  But I don’t necessarily think that’s a good idea for a number of reasons.  Interested in knowing why?

I’m a big advocate of slowly making changes to your life that you feel you can live with forever.   That’s the best way to move from a “diet” mentality to a permanent lifestyle change.  Waiting for the right moment implies that there’s going to be a huge shift from what you’ve been doing to something totally new.  You can’t go on vacation and still enjoy yourself if you’re on your “diet”.  There will be too many temptations to fall off the wagon, so you need to wait until you get back to start.  But if you’re really thinking about this as a permanent change, there is no “falling off the wagon”.  You learn moderation, enjoying the foods you love without feeling deprived, while most of the time still eating food that is good for your body.  You might not lose weight on your trip, but you also don’t gain 10 pounds because you gorged yourself on food and drinks for a week.  Waiting for the right time also implies that there is a start and stop to the changes you’re making, instead of just a gradual shift toward a healthier lifestyle.

If you’re busy like most of us are, there’s never going to be a great time to start.  There will always be things that can get in the way of your scheduled workout, or temptations in a social setting where food is available.  You’re not expected to be perfect all the time.  Sometimes you will miss a workout, whether it’s because you stayed out late and just couldn’t get out of bed in the morning, or you’ve got a meeting at the office that you just can’t miss.  Sometimes you’ll eat a little more than you planned.  The key is to learn how to adapt to those instances while continuing to keep the bigger picture in mind.

Before I had kids, I needed conditions to be perfect in order for me to exercise.  I felt like anything less than an hour was a waste of time.  If I was tired, I’d put it off until I felt more rested.  These days, I’m happy for any amount of exercise I can squeeze into my busy day.  Often times it’s a 20-minute workout video before my kids get out of bed.    I might be beat from a long day, but I’ll push myself to do something (even if it’s not much at all) if I’ve got the time. 

The time is never going to be just right.  There’s always some excuse you can make, or something you think you need to wait to finish before you can start working toward your goals.  In reality, there’s no better time than right now.  Even if you’re making tiny steps towards your ultimate goals (finding 10 minutes to take a walk today or passing up that second helping of dessert), you’re still moving in the right direction. 

So what are you waiting for?


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Comments

  • 46
    This is so true. Reading this was like an "ah-hah" moment for me. I've been wishy-washy about my commitment to SparkPeople for years now--thinking that if I couldn't do it all, I might as well not bother doing anything. Thank you for an insightful blog! - 4/3/2014   8:19:03 AM
  • 45
    Great advice. I like the emphasis on a "permanent living" versus "diet" mentality.
    As I read recently, the "right time" may never happen, so NOW is the right time to act. - 2/23/2013   10:18:15 AM
  • MANDELOVICH
    44
    I love the idea of taking charge now, but also in a way that is permanent and moderate. In other words, incremental shifts towards a goal, with slip ups along the way, as long as we are constantly growing and learning from them. Brilliant! - 7/15/2012   10:34:02 PM
  • 43
    So true....I am still learning to take those first baby steps and not wait until I can do them PERFECTLY! Just one after another and keep moving forward. Any forward progress is ALWAYS better than a step backwards! - 6/5/2012   11:30:36 AM
  • 42
    Nice blog - "slowly making changes" is the way to do it. You cannot change habits overnight, and we all have better days and not so good days. My mantra is "Anything is better than nothing" - a little bit of exercise is better than no exercise, a little less of a special treat is better than a big piece. It all adds up to the results we are looking for - a healthier body and mind. - 6/4/2012   9:18:47 PM
  • 41
    All very true!! Just do it! Stop making excuses b/c life never seems to slow down. - 6/2/2012   12:36:38 PM
  • EAGLES_WINGS
    40
    Once upon a time, I really liked a guy friend of mine. He ended up telling friends that I was too heavy to date, rather too fat! I know that I shouldn't be motivated by what other people think of me but I truly want good health now. My motivation is me. I want to be the best possible person that I can be. This weight is not helping me with anything particularly my health. So, my thoughts are that I don't want to waste too much time. I am getting older and I do not need to live another year wasting away with food. I probably binged when I heard what that guy said. I don't want to have to do that anymore. I want to be happy in my own shoes and binging, overeating, emotional eating just doesn't cut it anymore. I need other ways to deal with my weaknesses. As someone said, "Seize the day!" Yes, moment to do something about my problems is now!!! - 6/2/2012   5:36:08 AM
  • LADYBUG713
    39
    yeah,this resonates with me too. Seize the day, live in the present. This is what Ive been doing for 1 month now.. and my new weight loss is currently 16 pounds.yeah... - 6/1/2012   9:02:21 PM
  • 38
    Yes that spoke to me!

    I am back working full time and am really struggling for consistency.

    I am going to change my mind set and be positive about all the exercise I do! and not what I don't do! - 6/1/2012   5:59:32 PM
  • 37
    This article really hits the nail on the head. For me, May seemed like the worst time to start a diet, because of Mother's Day, and friend & family birthdays. I also came to the conclusion that I was never going to find the RIGHT time, AND that I was fed up my weight ... fed up with my body, at this point in time. Knowing that there's never going to be just the right time, and feeling rather defeated about my weight, I just bit the proverbial bullet, and started my diet -- the day before Mother's Day. I'm doing a protein diet, similar to Atkins Induction. It hasn't been the easiest, particularly in social situations, and this week has gone rather slowly, in regards to weight loss. However, I am down 11 pounds in almost 3 weeks. Had I waited for the 'right time', I'd still be waiting, and feeling displeased with myself. Now, I feel as though I'm doing something proactive! - 6/1/2012   2:19:55 PM
  • 36
    Great Blog...thanks... - 6/1/2012   2:08:13 PM
  • 35
    I used to wait until "that time of the month" was over because i knew i would give in to the carb madness and "blow it". I finally decided that I would fight, instead of feeling like a victim of an onslaught, which meant planning meals better, seeking support and not feeling that since "i blew it" what's the use of trying? I've surprised myself and feel better physically and mentally. I'm not as weak as I thought. - 6/1/2012   1:02:03 PM
  • 34
    I would say if you are waiting for the right moment- don't hold your breath. lol - 6/1/2012   9:42:58 AM
  • KAAZEVED
    33
    I learnded that waiting for the "right" moment never came as there was always a celebration of some sort coming up in the near future. Here it what I mean:
    January .... New Years Day, three family birthdays
    February.... Valentines Day, More birthdays
    March....St. Patrick's Day
    April....Easter Sunday
    May.... Mother's Day, Teacher Appreciation Week, Graduation Parties
    June....Summer Camp,Father's Day
    July.... 4th of July
    August.... Welcome back to school parties
    September.... Labor Day, Grandparent's Day
    October.... Halloween
    November.... Thanksgiving Day
    December.... Christmas

    Not to mention extended family birthday, bridal showers, baby showers, weddings,visiting relatives, etc.
    You get the idea. Now is the time to start working towards your goals.
    Good luck. - 5/31/2012   1:21:45 PM
  • GETTINGFIT2FIT
    32
    Wow. Talk about perfect timing. I stumbled upon this blog and it's the very encouragement I needed. I'm doing the very thing you're sharing about. I'm always providing an excuse to start because of so many events in my life lately. But now... now... I can start by taking in small moments in the right direction and move towards a healthy lifestlye and not just start a diet. Thanks for sharing. - 5/31/2012   7:51:48 AM
  • 31
    I tell my students this all of the time. - 5/30/2012   8:23:45 PM
  • 30
    THIS ARTICLE WAS A BLESSING.THANK YOU I ENJOYED READING. - 5/30/2012   5:48:43 PM
  • 29
    Great blog! Don't put off what you can do today. - 5/30/2012   3:46:05 PM
  • 28
    Excellent advice. I think the "waiting for the perfect time to start" attitude can also lead to feeling like if I screw up once I may as well just give up because I have blown it. It's the all or nothing mentality. Instead, as suggested, if we start right now with any little steps that just get us moving in the right direction, we'll find we have started almost without knowing it! And then we keep going with the momentum we've created. That's the only way this whole thing works for me. If I get too far off, I need to take those little steps back to the right path. - 5/30/2012   11:59:37 AM
  • 27
    Yes, more I wait the more I weigh !! - 5/30/2012   11:20:40 AM
  • 26
    Very true. It's better to figure out how to incorporate proper nutrition and fitness in your most hectic schedule than in your easiest schedule to ensure that you can always fit it in. - 5/30/2012   11:05:36 AM
  • 25
    So true. Thanks for the great reminder, Jen! - 5/30/2012   10:58:38 AM
  • 24
    I have to agree with Kathy. The only thing I have gained by waiting is weight.

    The moment is now - go for it!
    - 5/30/2012   8:57:33 AM
  • 23
    The only thing I ever gained from waiting for the "right" time was more weight.

    Kathy - 5/30/2012   8:43:05 AM
  • 22
    That is so true! - 5/30/2012   8:15:02 AM
  • 21
    One word that I don't use is diet. Too any people think of a start and end when working on losing weight. That's what a diet is. A life time of living, and eating healthy and in the process losing weight, maintaining weight has a start, but no end.
    And in the process of creating that life, enjoy each and every day. Don't wait for tomorrow , you really only have today. Tomorrow is just a thought. a hope , a maybe. - 5/30/2012   8:14:35 AM
  • JPEARL127
    20
    Baby steps and stepping in at any time without feeling a need to catch up apply not only to exercise but also to housework as "taught" by flylady.net! - 5/30/2012   7:33:06 AM
  • 19
    I have to agree with you Jen. I am training at a Market that helps people with disabilites/those who can't find jobs find and keep one. I am around junk food a lot. Since I love it, I have to keep watch and make sure I don't consume a lot of empty calories.Thank you for posting this blog. Hope that you have a good week!
    Holly - 5/30/2012   7:00:39 AM
  • 18
    Wow, that really struck a chord! Thanks for a great blog. - 5/30/2012   4:39:12 AM
  • SPARKGAL7
    17
    To anyone who is still "waiting for the right time" or is struggling to "stay in track", listen to this songs' words on youtube /watch?v=eGL_ClYVmzs&ob=av2n It's one of my FAVORITE songs to workout to and a very motivational message (in my opinion) to anyone going through any major life change or struggle. IT'S NOW OR NEVER! LETS MAKE IT HAPPEN! - 5/30/2012   1:17:12 AM
  • 16
    I totally agree. It seems we always find excuses and it shouldn't be that way. If you want to make a lifestyle change, why wait. - 5/30/2012   1:02:03 AM
  • 15
    Too true LIFE IS TO BE LIVED. - 5/29/2012   9:23:06 PM
  • MJ7DM33
    14
    Really good blog! Thanks - 5/29/2012   9:22:58 PM
  • 13
    I was walking down the street with my husband one day, and a woman who was truly out to impress her friends, said "that girl there is just WAY to big". Well, of course, her friends laughed...it wasn't funny to me, and I didn't want to eat dinner that evening. Then, I got to thinking, yeah, I'm gonna show her. Next time...I may be the one saying "she's just to big". In a way, she was my motivation, I had decided at that minute, I'm going to loose weight. - 5/29/2012   8:28:41 PM
  • 12
    If you wait for the right time it will never come. - 5/29/2012   8:08:19 PM
  • 11
    An insult or a snide comment that makes me mad and puts my "I'll show them" motivation into gear. - 5/29/2012   7:31:50 PM
  • JULIA1154
    10
    Similarly, there always seems to be time to take care of others - but never ourselves. Once we overcome these two problem mindsets we're well on the road to a happier, healthier lifestyle. - 5/29/2012   4:57:39 PM
  • 9
    Well said! I think this is what held me back for a long time before I got over it. - 5/29/2012   2:59:08 PM
  • 8
    There's never an ideal time to get sick, but it happens and we can't control it. Instead we take care of ourselves then go back to everything in our lives when we're feeling better. Why is getting healthier - something we CAN control - not given as much concern? Probably because 'there is always tomorrow'. If you knew you'd get sick the next day if you weren't healthier today, would you put it off then? Considering every day lived in an unhealthy lifestyle does make us sicker, there's no reason to ever wait! Make better choices today instead of attempting perfection. If ever meal you left behind 3 bites of food, that will add up. If every day you add an extra few steps, that adds up. If every time you have a choice you choose just a little better, it all adds up! Then you never need to start - you just keep going! - 5/29/2012   2:12:34 PM
  • PROVOST13
    7
    I appreciate this reminder. Too often we get ourselves into the mindset that we have to be just perfect. It is good to know that when we fail, we can pick ourselves up, figure out what derailed us and KEEP GOING! Life is hectic. This is why I need to make good lifestyle choices so I can be prepared for whatever life throws at me. - 5/29/2012   1:56:31 PM
  • MRSJ953
    6
    Totally true! - 5/29/2012   1:54:10 PM
  • 5
    Great Blog. The time is NOW! - 5/29/2012   1:53:09 PM
  • MELINDANP
    4
    So true!! We all need to look at "how do I want to feel in 10 years"? Exercise and a healthy 'diet' is not about a quick fix. It is about making good choices most of the time so that the small amount of time that your choices are not so good do not matter. - 5/29/2012   12:50:31 PM
  • KDMAMA2
    3
    Great point! Thanks! - 5/29/2012   12:40:19 PM
  • 2
    Great article - there is always a reason to wait until tomorrow, 1st of month, after an event, etc. It is a lifestyle change and tiny steps will add up! - 5/29/2012   12:39:50 PM
  • 1
    Thanks!!! It was necessary for me to read this article! Be healthy! Take care of yourself and your family! - 5/29/2012   10:59:19 AM

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