Create Accountability. Set Goals. Start (and Stay) Simple.
Before we dive into setting goals we want to recognize the importance of this one thing. See it is endlessly frustrating to go it alone (albeit not at all impossible, but why submit yourself to the added stress and frustration?) ‘Two are better than one because they have good reward for their toil. For if they fall one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!’ Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. There is so much power in the group! To lock arms with someone is invaluable especially when we are trying to change habits that we’ve had for years, or decades! Surround yourself with others who can guide you as well as support you and stand for you on your journey. For me I found accountability in my health coach/mentor and the community of people at the Answer. Perhaps, the Empower community and our health coaches can be that for you too!
I know … Eye roll right (at least that was my response) … I already have a goal, to get healthy! However, my coach prompted me to dig deeper than that.
What does get healthy mean as it pertains to you?
Now go even deeper, Why is that important for you?
What will achieving this goal change for your life?
See this question that seems so basic has a breadth and depth beyond all others. Looking closer allows us to not only clearly define our target, (for truly it is impossible to hit a target we never aim at) it also allows us to discover our motives behind the goals. Properly harnessed our goals can pull us through any difficulty! But, if driven by the wrong reasons they can breed demons within us. These can take many forms; such as unhealthy relations with our food, our fitness, our bodies, and our minds. If left unchecked we then travel our journeys feeling guilty, incompetent, defeated, and ashamed. This ties back into accountability as having a coach or a friend to help keep your motives in check is a huge way to avoid this trap.
It also is a bridge for us to develop a solid why. Our why is what keeps us going when we have bad days. When we are tempted to take the easy approach or indulge in things that while delicious or fun don’t serve our mind/body/spirit. Our why is where our motivation to stick with it arises from. Without a solid reason to develop the discipline and habit of making a healthy lifestyle we will quit at the slightest resistance. This is where it stands alone. Others can inspire us for a time but if we don’t learn to be self motivated, to truly desire change for ourselves, then we can not hope to succeed.
For me my biggest driver was to regain energy. I was constantly exhausted and feeling horrible because I was not being a good dog mom to my young huskies, my lack of energy and focus was negatively affecting my schoolwork, not to mention my poor attitude impacted my relationships with those close to me. Getting healthy for me meant having the physical energy to provide the active lifestyle my huskies needed, having the mental energy to be able to focus and retain information in my classes, and having the emotional energy to show up better for my friends and family instead of being ill tempered and short with them because I constantly felt like crap.
Once we got clear on what my goal was, we were able to take the information from my wellness profile (my body’s current needs for protein, carbs, fats, etc and my current lifestyle) and construct a plan specific to me. There is not one single individual on this planet that is an exact duplicate of you. So why do we treat our health as if there were? Understanding how unique you are and accounting for that in your goals is HUGE in reducing the stress and frustration along the journey to a healthier and happier you.
Start (and Stay) Simple
This. If I had to pick one lesson to impart as the biggest and most important… this is it. As the saying goes ‘Don’t try to overhaul your life overnight.’ Taking the step to create a healthier lifestyle is a big deal and to be honest there is a lot to it, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact the more complicated we make it the less likely we are to stick to it. We are striving to break habits that some of us have had since we were children. Have patience with yourself, these things take time.
After we define our goals and our why it is important for us to create an action plan; pick 1 to 3 things to focus on. That’s it. 1 to 3 things that you can begin right now to change. Don’t miss the importance of that. Things You can change Right Now. Select small things and just focus on 1% better. Every day. Over time those small changes begin to accumulate and gain momentum. Before you know it you look back over the journey of many small changes and realize it has led you to incredible life transformation!
My first changes were adding a Herbalife Healthy Meal Shake and some Herbal Tea Concentrate into my morning routine (I was a notorious breakfast skipper .. or rather evening binge eater as I would ‘forget’ to eat all day!), and creating time twice a week to walk my huskies. That’s it. Baby steps. Looking back though that was really hard for me then. I had to get up an extra 10 mins early to make my shake (were talking a shaker cup shake, not even blended!) and tea before class …. it was torture (y’all I was NOT a morning person back then… I was the roll out of bed in time to toss on clothes, barely make it to class, and most likely zombie through the lesson in a half awake stupor kinda person). I cringed at the thought of etching out time to go for a 1 mile walk with my huskies … I couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs in my house without being out of breath let alone walk a whole mile! But y’all … look at how far I have come! Beginning with those two simple changes I’ve built a whole new lifestyle. I now wake up at 4:30-5 am (still shake my shakes because let’s be real in this I am still lazy LOL), cook most of my meals from scratch (remember I started eating boxed meals/freezer meals/fast food), go for 5-10 mile bike rides with my now 6 huskies, run fitness classes daily, and have energy to spare! Over time, small changes add up to major life transformation! 1% better each day, keep going! Don’t give up!
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