A shifting of the seasons is the perfect time for a shift in mindset. It’s a time to hit reset, to reevaluate where we are on the health journey, and make changes, if needed. Think of it as a quarterly renewal.
With every renewal comes the opportunity to upgrade; to find clarity, to become unstuck, and grow. Along with that, a realization that anything is possible and that your reality is the one that you make.
So as we head into sweater-weather season, ask yourself why. Why are you here? What’s your why that brought you here? Why are you searching, striving for better health?
Ultimately, your personal health journey is just that: an ongoing, ever-evolving, lifelong journey towards health and self-discovery. But just getting started on that journey can be one of the most daunting parts of the process. So the clearer your why the more focused you’ll be as you kickstart your adventure.
Determining Your Why
To affect change, or create change that will make your new habits easier, you need to know why you want that change. We all begin our journey to better health full of intention and motivation. But sustaining that initial ambition is something of an enigma. All of us -- at some point -- have had our own moments of falling off the bandwagon. And so often, it comes right after we’ve just begun to try.
We can upend this cycle, though, by deeply examining our personal why. Thought-leader Simon Sinek explains that starting with the why is vital to creating a solid, unshakeable foundation from which inspired actions will lead to achieving goals.
As we’ve mapped out before, determining your why is best done by taking these SMART steps:
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
- Achievable (agreed, attainable)
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
- Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)
Map Out Your Process
Once you’ve determined your why, it’s important to break down your ultimate goal -- or why -- into smaller, bite-sized steps. Instead of focusing on the end result, focus on the process itself.
When you focus on the process -- or journey -- itself, you’re more likely to keep up the enthusiasm and persistence. You’ll also be able to realize when the path you’re on isn’t working and take actionable steps to reroute yourself.
Jotting down daily and weekly goals will help you feel that you have control over your desired situation, instead of focusing on the outcome. The outcome may seem out of your grasp, which can hamper your confidence and stamina. Instead, be clear about the intentions you set each day and week.
Know that these small-step goals can shift and change, and that is fine. What’s important is that you maintain specific, attainable strategies for each day. And enjoy the ever-changing process!
Treat Yourself to Health
Give yourself the time you need to refocus, get back to basics, and relearn what healthy means for you.
There are no easy fixes or instant pills to health; it is a constant, arduous, challenging, beautiful, amazing process. And, it’s an act of courage. Your lifelong health journey is extremely personal, with no one-size-fits-all, quick-fix approach. You must be OK with slowing down and acknowledging the process.
Keep pressing and trusting that your heaviest moments have the brightest opportunities to shape and refine you; don't let any diagnosis make you feel otherwise. Be patient with your progress, enjoy your very personal, vibrant adventure, and always choose to treat yourself to your best health.