How to Succeed in Making Lasting Change in Your Life
Well, the New Year is off to a great start and I am hoping that you are all crushing your New Year’s Resolutions. Right? Maybe not so much...
I recently learned that 97% of the people who make New Year’s Resolutions break them by January 15.
Two weeks really?
Frankly, I am not at all surprised.
We throw a resolution out there at midnight while drinking Champagne like it’s some birthday wish and we think that it will magically happen like waiting to see the ever elusive Unicorn or Narwhal.
We might join the gym, or give up wine for a week, maybe you buy a juicer and then two weeks go by and you’re right back sipping wine on the couch binge watching Netflix.
I “Googled” the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions and no shocker what came up. Number 1 – diet and eating better, 2 – exercise more, and 3- lose weight. While all of these three things combined would lead you to a life that would be filled with more health and vitality than you could ever imagine, the question remains, why do people fail at achieving this so often? If people were successful, these would not still be the top three resolutions made each year.
I will tell you why I believe people fail because the rule system that they have unconsciously set up around their goals sabotages their success.
To me, all of these resolutions are under the umbrella of what I would call health and vitality. Getting in shape is just one component of the equation and when we focus on just one thing it is short sided.
Getting in shape isn’t just about a dress size, or looking good in a swimsuit because you are going on vacation in 3 months or starting the latest diet fad to drop 20 pounds in a month. It is far more than that. These things do not work long term and they never will.
How many of you have done this only to gain the weight back or fall back to your old habits? I know that I have.
So how do you create lasting change in your life?
What works is a change of your mindset and your belief system. As my mentor Tony Robbins says, CHANGE YOUR STORY CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
Health and vitality is the cornerstone of your life. If you don’t have your health, you have nothing. And the earlier you start your health and vitality journey, the better!
I know this first hand.
You see, seven years ago, I was diagnosed with a very rare tumor disorder that changed my life forever. I will not go into all the details, but in October of 2012, I had to have a very radical and painful surgery to remove a tumor that was growing over my heart. The surgeon lopped off 3 of my ribs, cut out my pec muscle removed all my breast tissue and took a sternal saw to my chest and literally popped out the left side of my chest wall. This resulted in 7 more surgeries, countless months on heavy pain medications, rehabilitation, PT, acupuncture, essential oils depression, anxiety, a very messy divorce and a lot of crying. My plane was crashing and I had no control over it.
Today I am still dealing with this condition but I do not let it define my life.
And in the process of trying to understand why this all happened to me, I got really clear about the value of health and vitality in my life. Getting sick was a gift to me in so many ways.
I share this story with you to let you know that for anyone, getting in shape after any kind of life experience can be very difficult. After a C-section, having a baby, the loss of a parent, or a devastating health diagnoses. This is why I believe there is so much suffering around getting and staying in shape. Because we do it for only one reason. That is only one-third of the equation.
When we shift our belief system from the size of the dress, or the number on the scale, or getting in the bikini for vacation or back into the skinny jeans post-baby, to truly believing that your health and vitality is in direct correlation to your mind, body, and spirit, that is when you create lasting change in your life.
When you change your mindset around this concept, set rules to be successful, and consistently do the work, this is when you create the lasting change you are seeking.
This is when you get in shape, this is when the weight drops off, and this is when you feel better because through exercise you are releasing all the feel-good hormones in your brain. This is when you make the time to make it part of your daily life, this is when you start saying YES to yourself and NO to things that take you away from this non-negotiable. This is when it becomes a habit this is when your entire body system benefits - your mind, body, and spirit.
So, let’s talk about rules.
The rules are actually more important than the goal itself. Here is what I mean by that.
The problem is most people create a rule structure around health and vitality that is so rigid that when they don’t follow the rules they feel like a failure and give up.
When you create rules that are easy to follow, you feel successful and when you feel successful you keep doing it. It is a simple form of rewarding good behavior.
Let me give you an example so you can better understand what I am talking about.
Here are my rules for health and vitality.
I feel healthy and full of vitality anytime I am:
Moving my body, OR
Eating healthy food, OR
Working out, doing yoga, hiking OR
Taking my supplements OR
Getting good sleep
Notice that I don’t say the word AND?
By changing the word from AND to OR we automatically create space and grace for ourselves to be successful. Can you imagine if the ORs were all ANDS?
I feel healthy and full of vitality anytime I am:
Moving my body AND
Eating healthy food AND
Working out, doing yoga, hiking AND
Taking my supplements, AND
Getting good sleep
If we tried to do this in our lives we would just say screw this, give up and go right back to the couch with our glass of wine binging on Netflix.
Today, health and vitality is my number one value in my life because I know without it I have nothing, I cannot achieve what I was put on this earth to do without it. So I make sure to do one or more of my rules for health and vitality each day and, bam—I’m all good!
The reality is, the quality of your discipline is more important than the quality of the activity.
Keeping your routine going is way more important than what you do. If you only have 10 minutes to work out that is better than not at all. If you eat healthy all day but have a couple of glasses of wine on a Friday night that is better than not eating healthy at all.
It is the many small steps you take CONSISTENTLY that will get you to your goal. There is no silver bullet, magic trick, one shot Sally that will help you reach your goals. Nope, nada, no way.
There is a great book called the Compound Effect by Darren Hardy that I would suggest that you read. The premise is similar to that of compounding interest. The little things you do overtime COMPOUND into the greater thing. Small choices + consistency + time = significant results. The other key concept is that you always take 100 percent responsibility for everything that happens to you. No being a victim in your life. It is your life, own it and do what you need to do.
It is the consistent, and repetitive actions that you take each day that will ultimately net you the results that you desire. I challenge you to rewrite your rules around health and vitality, start doing something each day and see how you feel on December 31, 2019. I look forward to hearing all about it!