Change takes time.
Fitness requires practice. Yet, there are moments when it can be hard.
The story of the tortoise and the hare is useful here.
The story is renowned for being known for slow and steady gains overcoming the quick rapid-fire wins that fizzle out.
But another not-so-well-known part of the story was how overconfident the hare was in his abilities to win the race.
While confidence is important, there lies a fine balance between practicing confidence and being mindful of arrogance.
The turtle, although not certain that he would win, was quietly confident in his abilities to persevere. He also demonstrated humility as he continued along his path.
How often do we approach our fitness journeys with the same high-powered expectations and overconfidence?
Instead of using a mindset model where you face your fitness with the same intensity and short-burst energy like the hare, a more helpful model is being patient.
Similar to the tortoise, coming from a place of patience and humility can do more for your fitness and results than any short-term hare-brained (see what I did there?) tactic which will slowly fizzle out.
So how do you cultivate the same qualities, that our good friend the tortoise, created?
While this goes against the grain of most people’s fitness and how they attack their workouts, coming from a place of compassion can change your fitness journey.
It’s easy to come from a place of aggression and rude behavior in gyms and fitness centers.
So focused on our goals and reaching them as quickly as possible, that any concern for how we feel or how we treat others tends to get thrown to the wayside.
Yet, it’s this exact lack of concern, of deep compassion for our individual journeys and others that slowly pulls us further away from our end goals and fitness lifestyle.
As vegan professionals and people who care for the animals, planet, and ourselves, we can do better than this.
Give back to ourselves, practice self-love, and practice giving our best selves to each other.
A few possible results from cultivating this?
A more enjoyable journey full of memorable moments, with the possibility of making a slew of new friends along the way.
Take your time
How often do you see highly motivated individuals eagerly start their fitness, nutrition, and training journeys only to find themselves burn out within a month or so and revert back to their former habits?
Look no further than every New Year’s Day and you’ll find a similar pattern everywhere.
Approaching your fitness with the all or nothing mentality is a recipe for disaster.
Yet, it doesn’t need to be that way.
Instead of focusing on being the fastest one to kickstart your fitness journey, a more beneficial approach is taking your time and ENJOYING the process.
Rather than being fueled by short-term motivation (which eventually fades), focus on small changes that are sustainable.
The vision for your fitness still remains.
You can still aim for goals, specific outcomes, and targets.
However, without the all or nothing mentality (trying to do it all or nothing), you’re ready to grow with a growth mind (set) – a mind that is happy with taking one small consistent step each day.
The difference between both approaches?
You can continue to attack your fitness with the ferocity of a tiger only to wear out a few months later by lackluster results and burnout.
Or you can choose to pivot and approach your fitness with a patient mind, a mind like the tortoise in the example above who proceeds slowly but steadily each day.
The choice lies within your grasp.
Create a strong support system
Without a strong group of people, a community to support you along your journey, it can be easy to give into fears, anxiety, or even lack of motivation.
We all depend on each other and live in interdependent communities.
While it can seem like some of us have special powers that allow us to live independently without the help of anyone else, the truth is no one can exist without another.
So how does this relate to your fitness journey?
When you create a strong support system around you that allows you to THRIVE and move forward each day, long-term consistency will become a natural trait for you.
Fitness can be a lonely journey.
Putting in the reps, sets, and healthy eating (not to mention the plethora of other fitness habits), can be overwhelming and a daunting task.
But with the right group of people, people just like you, you can strive to improve and even aim to inspire those around you.
Take the Vegan Fitness Redefined Community for example.
In our private Facebook Group, we offer a safe space for busy vegans who want to drop fat, craft lean muscle, and have fun in the process.
Inside the group, you’ll find vegans giving support, encouragement, and inspiration as each individual takes on their own journey while sharing their wins and insights with each other.
Connect with others on a similar path and you’ll find yourself enjoying a life-long journey with meaningful relationships and friends.
Seeking guidance from others is a crucial component of reaching your goals without going years on end and no results to show.
Similar to the principle above, none of us can accomplish anything completely by ourselves.
We need the support of our peers, teachers, mentors, and coaches.
The communities that thrive the most and give back to their communities grow the most.
The same applies to your fitness.
Seek out mentors who have achieved what you want to achieve.
Find a teacher who can guide you along the path similar to Master Yoda as he guided Luke back to his own potential.
That’s the sign of a good teacher – one who can point you in the right direction while helping you unlock your true potential.
Be the tortoise – and win every day.