I am an idea person. I can come up with hundreds of ideas of things I want to try or start. Business ideas, exercise classes, fad diets, etc. The list could go on for pages. I am a queen of good intentions. I get these ideas and then I run full force into them.I don’t think them through, I just bolt and try all of them. I get so excited about these grand plans that I have conceived and how wonderful my life would be when I succeed but the only problem is, I don’t succeed. I get a few weeks in, sometimes only days in, and it becomes hard or I get bored and I quit. I have lost count of how many times this has happened.
When I started on this health journey, I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I did know that I had to do EVERYTHING different. I had to figure out my “why” and then I had to go slow. One of the first things I realized was that I had to be All In. That means that I needed to do whatever it would take in order to succeed. I couldn’t quit.
With this goal in mind, I started thinking about what needed to happen in order to succeed. The first thing I realized was that I could not go full steam ahead like I have so many times before. I did not have to try everything all at once. I needed to take things one step at a time. I soon realized that this was the key.
When I decided that I needed to make changes in my life, whether physical, emotional or spiritual, it was important that I look at my past, my history. I needed to look at what has NOT worked for me in the past and figure out WHY it has not worked. In my case, one of those things was feeling the need to try everything at once. I would go full steam ahead and give whatever I was focused on at that moment, everything I had. The problem I ran into was that eventually I became overwhelmed, bored, it became too hard and I would quit. I had to figure out how to avoid that this time if I was going to be successful. So I decided I needed to take my time.
So that is what I did. Once I decided on the lifestyle change that I was going to make, I decided I needed to take some steps in order to insure my success. Now I want to pause for a second to make sure you understand how hard this was for me. I am in instant gratification kind of girl. I don’t like taking my time on anything. I want to take off and go! I had to be super intentional about the steps I took to make sure I avoided the same pitfalls that I always fell into. Being intentional is the only reason I can proudly say that I am on week 10 of this journey and I have learned so much! The even better part is, I am not done learning. There is so much more for me to learn and I am up for the challenge.
I decided that I couldn’t be the only one that has had these issues. There has to be others that have had some of the same struggles with trying to change some life habits. So I thought I would share some of the things that have helped me so far on my journey. Who knows, maybe one of these things could be helpful.
So here are my 5 ways to help you be successful on your health journey:
- Write down your goals: Whatever your health goal (or any other goal) is, write them down. Losing weight should NOT be the goal, it should be a product of the goal. For example, one of my goals is to get rid of my migraines. That means to cut out sugar and processed foods. Because of this, I am having less migraines AND I am losing weight. Your goals should have some depth to them. Challenge yourself!
- Focus on one thing at a time: When I would change my diet, I tried to do everything the diet required all at once. That was overwhelming for me. This time I have taken one step at a time to focus on. For example: I am on the Keto Diet. The first week I focused on Carbs. I read all the labels and all the ingredients. I focused on figuring out what foods I needed to stay away from (that was high in Carbs) and what foods I could eat. This released me from worrying about all of the other things and trying to figure everything out. Then the next week I focused on Proteins. So now I had the Carbs down and I was able to focus on the next step. Then the next week I focused on fats. Each week I focus on something different. Week 9, I added exercise. So I set a goal of walking at least 3 days a week. Week 10 (this week) it is walking 3 days and trying to get 10,000 steps per day. Doing this has allowed me to make sure I am doing everything correctly and allowing me to pay attention to how food makes me feel and how exercise makes me feel. It is helping me meet each of my goals.
- Be aware of how the your choices make you feel: I had sugar on Friday night for the first time in 9 weeks. I woke up on Saturday morning with a horrible migraine. I realized that the little bit of flavored popcorn, cotton candy and cookie dough that I had was NOT worth how I felt. I had been feeling so good and I undid that all in one night. I have been able to pay attention to how some of the foods I eat makes me feel. I am now able to make an easy decision to stay away from some things because I choose the foods that are good for me because of how they make me feel. Know what helps as well as what hurts your body.
- Celebrate each victory! One of the things that I have been intentional about is not really paying attention to the scale. Remember, my goal isn’t to lose weight, it is to be healthy and get rid of migraines and fuel my body correctly. So I celebrate when I have gone a week with no migraines. I celebrate when I can put on a pair of pants that I haven’t been able to wear in years. I celebrate when I have an abundance of energy at 2:00 in the afternoon when I used to wanted to curl up under my desk and take a nap. When you start to see a change, celebrate! THAT is transformation, my friend!
- Give yourself permission to mess up: We are not perfect and we never will be. I have messed up too many times to count. Don’t let the derail you. Part of the journey is about messing up and learning from that. So give yourself permission to start over. It’s easy. Tomorrow is a new day. You won’t figure it all out overnight. Transformation takes time and patience. When you decide you are All In, that means you don’t give up. So hang in there and start over.
You can do this, my friend! It will not be easy all the time. It will require sacrifice. A journey is all about learning, struggling, trial and error, but the destination is oh so worth the pain of the journey.
So decide to be All In but don’t do it all at once. Make those changes! Start your journey! I would love to hear about what changes you want to make. I would love to encourage you along your journey. Tell me about your struggles or your current journey in the comments. There is can be Joy in the Journey!