Readiness for change
The biggest question when considering a health change, or any change for that matter… are you ready? And by that, we don’t mean you must have everything in place necessary, as that can be part of the process. What we do mean is, do you, wholeheartedly, want to make changes and now. There are many reasons why someone may contemplate change and be looking into ways to do so, but the final decision and commitment lies in a certainty that –
- this is the right time
- this is the right action
- this is the right way forward for you.
Otherwise, you could be setting yourself up for failure. Let’s stop and think about it – are you ready?
Do it for you
Are you undertaking a health change for you or for someone else? If for you, then awesome! You are on the right track. If you are doing this for someone else, motivation may start off in the right place, only to dwindle as time goes on or challenges arise. It’s only natural for loved ones to have concerns about our health, and you are absolutely doing the right thing by listening to them and exploring their ideas. However, that final decision to take action, must come from within. So ask yourself –
- is this for me?
- do I believe in what I am about to take on?
Habit formation, lifestyle change and lasting results take time. We can fall victim to the trap of a quick fix, and set our expectations beyond our means. Instead, what we should be doing is –
- assessing our starting point
- setting our major goal
- slicing this into mini goals
- starting small and building over time.
We then set about laying the foundations to get us to the finish line. You may be surprised at what you will achieve with some time and patience.
Take small steps
“This month I want to get eight hours of sleep a night, eat only healthy food, exercise five times a week and work productively with it”. Though this is a fantastic end goal, we need to ask ourselves, if this is not 95% where we are already positioned, then is this a path to success, or are we likely to get overwhelmed with all the changes we need to make and give up? Instead –
- list your ideal health changes
- number them in priority order
- choose the top one and work to make adjustments necessary to achieve it.
When you feel this has become second nature, and you have capacity to look at priority two, then take that on, and so on. Naturally you will find some things go hand in hand – you may be surprised that when you start exercising consistently you actually crave the healthy food to fuel you, plus your body is tired and you start to sleep more, noticing these flow on effects is the fun part.
Avoid complete restriction
‘Diets’ often indicate restrictions on particular foods or calorie intake. Therefore it’s only natural that we decide we have to cut all ‘bad’ foods from our daily intake if we are going to reach our goals. It is common to try to remove ‘fat’ and ‘sugar’ and suddenly after a week or two ‘on track’ we crave that king size chocolate bar and large coke, devour it, then have more, and more, as we are ‘off the wagon’, resulting in giving up entirely. (What have we been taught about fat, sugar and calories? What do they mean for our bodies? This is an entire blog on its own!). What’s important, is that we still –
- enjoy our food
- allow ourselves ‘treats’
- reassess what those look like and how they fit in with your day.
Small and realistic adaptations to what our body’s recognise and live off is key to any health change.
Now this can be a tough one, as we cannot necessarily control what is around us. Throughout any life change, we need support. That’s why coaches are so beneficial. We do however require this support, for success, in our close network. Do your closest friends, family, and day to day network support what you are doing? We suggest you –
- take a look at who can help you
- notice who understands your vision of where you are wanting to be
- don’t be afraid to ask them for their understanding.
If they aren’t in the boat with you to change themselves, that is okay – this change is yours not theirs, you just need their backing.
Find what you enjoy
It’s important you keep the joy in your life in any health change! Personally, I am not a fan of kale, nor do I enjoy partaking in large team sports. If someone told me to take these on to get healthy, I wouldn’t be interested. Ensure you –
- are honest with yourself on what you can do to change that is going to be enjoyable (most of the time)
- start by looking at what healthy choices you are open to, and work from there
- remind yourself that good food and exercise can be fun!
There’s nothing more demotivating than being prescribed a list of items to eat, or ways to move that you find little to no enjoyment in. It’s all about finding the right fit for you.
Be nice to yourself
There will be times when you may fail on your health change journey, and have to get back on track. Try to avoid the voice inside your head telling you to give up, or that this is pointless. We are human, we live busy lives, and it’s only natural that things will arise to throw us off the end game. But stick to it! It will get easier, and you will achieve your goal through persistence and self evaluation. Most of all, don’t forget to celebrate the victories by acknowledging your hard work and dedication. You did this, imagine what you can achieve next!
Ready to take the leap? Get in touch