How to create strategic hope for the possibility of lifestyle change
“Thank you for changing my life.” is the card that came with flowers. It hangs on my fridge to this day. Before we met, my client was lugging around a lot of mental baggage that made it hard for her to believe in the possibility of lifestyle change. In youth, so much more of our lives seem moldable. Then we transition to the part of life with the responsibilities of juggling work, paying bills on time, and getting dinner on the table. Roughly 80% of teenagers set a New Years’ resolution compared to 30% of those over 60 years old. As we age, we start to allow other people’s opinions, our past, our current crazy schedule, and other outside factors to dictate our thoughts on who our future self can be. The impossible has happened before for more than just an individual. Pilots once thought it was impossible to fly faster than the speed of sound, and athletes believed that no human could run a mile in less than four minutes. Change is possible, but if we create change without a good plan, it will stick just about as long as cooked spaghetti sticks to the ceiling.
Clients often ask what they should do to make themselves healthier. Most questions center around radically changing what people put in their mouths or the magic sauce exercise they need to start. The biggest issue is most people tend to reach toward an all or none solution to become healthy. When they fail, they don’t try anything else for months or years. My general answer to those who are ready to make a change is, “Have you ever written down goals before? Have you broken them down so they can work even when you have a rough week?” Being healthy or getting well is not just one particular change that went well the first time you tried. There is no genie in a bottle solution. Getting to the point of being healthy requires a specific focus on a few goals that will address your struggles while not trying to quash all of your bad habits at once. There is science behind crafting goals. A good goal is setting up the steps to retrain your brain.
Action Step for Today: Determine your health and wellness goal. It could simply be stopping a bad habit. Write it down, and next week, I will address how to write your dream wellness goal for the coming year to see lasting results.
Looking Ahead: In the coming weeks, I will address the steps involved in creating goals that will work for you in the coming year instead of bringing disappointment and disillusionment. The information in the coming weeks results from combining research from neuroscience, psychology, and goal-setting books from notable authors such as Micheal Hyatt, James Clear, Charles Duhigg, Richard O’Connor, and Wendy Wood summarized into 3-4 paragraphs, maybe 5 minutes of your day. Please join me on the journey to create lasting change.