When personal goals are set, we often have our eyes on the prize and nothing less. However, change takes both patience and progress. When working towards a better diet or fitness plan, striving to achieve goals in a practical manner works best.
Long-term goals are most successful when you transform them into several short-term goals. If you are trying to eat healthier, eating healthy for six days and enjoying a well-portioned, sweet snack on the seventh day provides something to look forward to each week. Rather than enduring a long, miserable process with no recognizable improvement, short-term goals are much more effective.
Take it from the experts. Nutrition major Shaun Jackson believes in the benefits of taking breaks from a newly developed diet. If you have a goal in sight, “It’s a good idea to award yourself once a week with a treat that you took away from your previous eating patterns,” Shaun says. Why is this method healthier? Shaun explains, “If you don’t treat a diet as if it’s something you have to suffer through, you’ll gradually notice your desire for unhealthy foods decreases.”
For those trying to get back into shape, the same holds true. Going to the gym every day will only drain your patience and motivation. However, going to the gym for several days and rewarding yourself with a light workout, or day off, at the end of each week is much more reasonable. It also powers you with the motivation to keep going. Sooner than later, your initial goal will not seem so far away.
Skipping the gym once a week is not only relaxing, but healthy. Rest is the time when you’re muscles repair and rebuild themselves from a workout. Without rest, you’re exhausting and overstraining your muscles. Consequently, you may not see improvement you want.
We often feel guilty about having a sweet treat or cheat day here and there. With a little self-control, incorporated breaks are encouraged for healthy physical change. If chocolate ice cream is your weakness, then have a little ice cream! As long as it does not knock you off track completely, there is no reason to feel guilty.
Taking breaks has several benefits, such as giving you energy. A day off provides your body with the necessary rest it needs when undergoing change. Rest prevents sleeping problems, loss of appetite and illness. Mentally, taking a break refuels and recharges your spirit and mind. Nothing is worse than giving up after a week or two simply because you are too burnt out to keep going.
It is so important to take a day off once a week, from whatever goal you are passionate about achieving. Respect your body with the rest it needs and improvement will be healthy.
Photo by Teddy Walker