I’d venture to guess that there aren’t many people out there who wouldn’t want to improve their health in some way. The desire is there. And that’s great–that’s the first step. You have to want to be healthier…but what does that really mean?
Back in the day I learned that a healthy weight would be 100 pounds for 5 feet, then another 5 pounds for every inch after that. I’ve been about 5’7 since middle school, so that would mean that 135 would be my healthy weight. I haven’t been below 140 pounds in decades.
I’ve been reading lately how the measurement of BMI isn’t an effective measure of healthy weight.
What about those PMS symptoms? Is that something you think you just have to live with? What about itchy, dry skin? Thinning or brittle hair, gums that bleed when you floss, or that chronic plantar fasciitis?
When you think about getting healthy, what does that mean for you?
With any goals that we set for ourselves the first thing we need to do is get really clear on what success will look and feel like. TV doctors, magazines, the FDA, your mother, and the trainer at the gym might all have a different ideas for you (and they might come across less as suggestions and more as “this is what you should do”), but I’d like you to get real with yourself.
When you are successful in reaching your health goal, how will you feel?
- How will you feel when you wake up in the morning?
- How will you feel when you look in the mirror?
- How will you feel when you climb up three flights of stairs/run 3 miles/squat 30 more pounds/drink 80 ounces of water per day/whatever is appropriate for you where you are right now.
You need to define success for yourself, because if you’re using someone else’s measuring stick alone, you’re never going to feel satisfied.
It’s mid-April right now. What is one goal you’d like to set for your health that you can achieve by mid-June? That’s 8 weeks away.
Grab your journal, think about your life, be conscious of letting go of the “rules” you’ve learned over all these years and feel in to what you really want for yourself.
Keep writing, using the following prompts:
What will success look and feel like for you?
Close your eyes and allow yourself to create a vision of you reaching your goal. Imagine what that will look like: what will you now be able to do/wear/participate in/say yes to? Imagine what that will feel like: how will your body feel/your mind feel/your heart feel?
Tune in to your WHY.
Why is this a goal worth working toward? Make sure this answer is about YOU, and not about anyone else. You need to be able to find an internal motivation for being healthy because that satisfaction comes from within you, not from outside of you. A good way to get to the root of your WHY is to continue to ask yourself what this will offer you, or why this is an important goal for you.
For example: “I will become more flexible so I can spot my daughter in gymnastics without pain.” Why is this an important goal for me/what will it offer me? “This will enable me to be present with my daughter in an activity that she cares deeply about and spends a lot of time on.” Why is this important? “Because my connection to my daughter at this age is extremely important to me as a mom. I want her to know I care about what she cares about and that I support her in her ambitions.” THAT is a pretty compelling WHY. So in this case, you can jot down:
“WHY: Becoming more flexible means I can have a more meaningful connection with my daughter and I can be the kind of mother I want to be.”
Create an affirmation.
Begin with a statement that declares your intention with as much detail as possible. For example: “By June 17 I will experience more freedom and greater balance in my yoga poses with a regular practice of 2 1-hour yoga home yoga sessions per week.”
Get all left-brainy on it.
The imagining and visioning yourself in your self-defined success is the right-brain creative part of the process. The scheduling, planning, and accountability is just as important and engages the left-brain logical, linear part of you. It’s the “check the boxes” of the life-creation process.
Pull out your calendar. Find a green pen (green is the power color for health–we’ll talk more about that in next week’s blog when we dig in to the Feng Shui for this theme). Go to your success date (in this example, June 17) and write CELEBRATE HEALTH SUCCESS!!
Make a list of all the things you need to make this happen without excuses. Some examples might be…
- yoga mat
- yoga DVD or a yoga app (Gaia is great!)
- props, like a couple blocks and a strap
- an accountability partner (someone you can share your goal with who you can send a text to when you complete each class–a friend, your partner, or a Coach 😉
Then start working backwards on the calendar. This is called reverse engineering. Your goal is 2 classes per week at home. Moving backwards from your success date, choose your 2 days per week and mark a dedicated time slot in your calendar with your green pen. This is non-negotiable. This time is yours and nothing else is going to bump these 2 hours per week off your priority list.
You are worth it, your health is worth it, and your big WHY–your connection to your child and your fulfilling your motherhood dreams–is worth it!!
Lastly, you WORK THE DAMN PLAN. You DO IT.
Pay attention to your start point (your current flexibility in the example)–notice what that feels like. Allow yourself to go a little bit further each time. At the 4 week point schedule in an extra 30-minutes to journal about your progress and what this process has been like for you. Consider adding a third session in or adding a longer savasana at the end. Or just celebrate the fact that you’ve stuck to what you committed to!
I work with my clients to identify the areas of their life that they want to polish and sharpen and boost, and we go through the process above with great detail and support. When we set goals for ourselves our ego can often step in like a bully on the playground and start saying nasty things to us. You see, our egos think the safest place to be is right where we are. Change is scary for that piece of us, but the bolder, more authentic piece of us–that piece that lives deep in our heart, that doesn’t listen to the expectations of the outside world, and that wants to be a part of something bigger–she knows that the courage it takes to step out of comfort or conformity is only going to make her stronger and more impactful in the world.
This isn’t easy. But, oh my goodness, consciously taking the steps to be a better you (whatever that means for you) is the only way to live. I call it Inspired Living and I’ve made it my life work. Let’s explore what it would look like for you to step into Inspired Living and have my support in creating the life you really desire for yourself. Shoot me an email right now at email@example.com and we’ll talk about it. It’s my joy to walk this path with people–your success is my success.
peace & love,