Each day is an opportunity to start over. So is each moment. With every thought you have as the day progresses, there is the possibility to be aware of how you feel about it. It’s important to be aware of our thoughts because then we can make use of our power.
Many people underestimate the blessing of self-awareness, especially when you may not be good at changing your habits consistently yet. Becoming aware of how you feel and what you think is a gateway to change. Remember, there’s a stage before self-awareness where you’re unconscious about most of your bad habits and feelings. You don’t want to go back there, right?! Very likely you won’t because you’re already evolved in that way.
If you’re in a place right now where you’re aware of your thoughts and feelings, but haven’t changed your habits consistently, don’t feel bad about it. If you are persistent and desire change, then little by little you will get there.
Gradually forming a better habit is like placing loose change in a big jar. You may throw a few coins in there every day, and then months later, you look at the full jar and say, “Whoa! When did that happen?!”
Hundreds of people have asked me how I’ve lost 80 pounds without a diet and kept it off. The shortest answer I’ve said to people is, “The real way.”
“The real way” is the long, windy, seemingly endless trail in the woods. It takes many winters, springs, summers and falls to make it through. In my case, maybe around 8 years. The real way might include tripping over rocks, tree roots, and unstable ground. The real way includes blinding bursts of warm sunshine that feel like pure bliss. The real way is often lonely, but occasionally you make friends with someone who is also on that path. They walk with you for awhile until one of you slows down or speeds up. The real way includes feeling a little blue, until a beautiful Monarch butterfly zips alongside you, seeming to accompany you. The real way includes sprinting, crawling, skipping, and sitting on the ground crying. And very likely, desperate prayers.
But once you completely embrace the beauty of “the real way,” you’ll understand why the shortcuts didn’t work. They didn’t get you to the sunrise, the treasure chest, the pot of gold, the inner peace. You need to experience pain to know joy. You cannot feel the bright light without the dark. You need to sit on the ground in the woods and feel your pain before you can get back up and skip along down the path again.
If you want to make lasting change, the new habits you commit to must be sustainable. Think about this. What new habit are you making? Is it juicing every day? Can you do that most days for the coming months or years? What about going from zero days at the gym to six days a week at the gym? Can you keep doing that?
Think about this when you jump into a fitness or health program. Many, many programs seem like a good “jumpstart” but a large majority of people will not sustain the results. I’ve seen it in hundreds of people. Sure, there are a handful of people who benefit long-term from “jumpstart” or “30-day” or “bootcamp” programs, but before you commit to that, ask yourself what that program is requiring of you? Are they changes that you honestly think you can sustain?
Contemplate and perhaps commit to the idea of making change “the real way.” It’s a way that includes trusting yourself and listening to your body. It’s a commitment to the pot of gold at the end of the long trail, without any promise of getting your results in a certain number of days. It all begins with you making sustainable changes.
What new thing can you do for your health, that you feel confident you could do consistently for months?
- drink 2 glasses of water in the morning before any other food or drink
- eat one serving of veggies with your dinner
- go for a 15-minute walk 4 days a week
Make it small. Make it doable. Make it stick.