I was feeling frustrated the other day. For the last couple of months, I had been working really hard on my nutrition—trying to eat healthy. It was a tough change, but I had been doing pretty well at keeping to my program. But the other morning, I looked at myself in the mirror, and I didn’t feel as if I looked any different. I felt like I was putting in a ton of work, but I wasn’t seeing much progress.
No Results Yet
It’s easy to feel down during the first steps of a change process. You have made the change in your behavior (which is really challenging), but you haven’t yet seen the results of your change. The tough reality is that most meaningful change efforts take a long time for the results to show up. I might not start seeing the fruits of my labor until month 6, 9, or 12.
Once you start seeing the results, it’s easier to stay motivated. You are getting the outcome you want, and you see a direct correlation between the work you are putting in and the results you are getting. This is great—once you get to this point, the change effort is often self-sustaining.
But there’s that initial stage you have to get through, where you are putting in the consistent effort but aren’t seeing the results… yet. This is the hard part. It might seem like the work you are doing isn’t making any difference. The reality is that it IS making a difference—but you just haven’t seen it yet. There’s a lag time between when you start a change effort and when you start seeing results. The key is to dig down and keep at it through the lag time.