Is the Need for Instant Gratification Sabotaging Your Health Goals?

In today’s day and age, we’re all about the instant gratification. Craving Mexican food? Seamless will have it at your door within the hour. Got a sudden urge to hunker down in your apartment for the weekend and watch all Lord of the Rings movies in succession? Have them all downloaded and ready to go on your Roku in no time. We live in a time where we’re seasoned to expect the things we want right when we want them, and where (for the most part) we have ways to achieve that. But one place that the need for instant gratification might be throwing you off pretty seriously is when it comes to your health goals.

Here’s the issue: when it comes to working out and eating right, what you’re working towards – i.e. a healthier mind and body – is largely something that it takes time to build.

“I think people start to get down on themselves when they get to the one-month mark and realize they still have a lot of work to do,” says holistic health coach Ashley Iovinelli. “They think it’s time to try something new or better. But due to the bio-individuality of the human body, everyone is going to have a different path to achieving weight loss or wellness. Some people might thrive on a 30-day plan, where others need 3-6 months. The Internet Age we live in sells the idea that weight loss can be bought and delivered like a package from Amazon, and that is not the case.”

Basically, fitness and wellness (at least when done right) are basically a long con game, so when you pair that reality with the inherent-as-of-late need to get things we want at the drop of a hat, your ability to set and achieve realistic health goals can start to get a bit fuzzy. By wanting (and, worse, expecting) to see results a lot more quickly than is actually realistic, you might be kicking off your health journey with a self-sabotaging mindset that will only leave you feeling burnt out and unenthusiastic when you don’t see quick changes. Instead, Iovinelli recommends that people consciously try to remain in tune with their bodies and maintain a sense of patience while making better choices.

“The best advice I give to my clients is to honor your body and what it needs, and to remember that it took a long time to put on that weight or fall into those negative behavioral patterns,” she says. “It is going to take some dedication and patience to get to where you want to be. But, sacrificing a few months to find a happier, healthier lifestyle is well worth the wait.”