Changing any habit, especially a health habit, is an evolution that takes time. One client was really struck by that realization this week and it brought tears to my eyes. After only a few short weeks of easing into a new way of eating, a new way of thinking, a plan for adjusting brain chemical balance, hormones and any other physical factors that might be getting in her way, she bravely journaled these words, “I might just be on a great path RIGHT NOW.”
Yes! I could not have said it better. THE MINUTE you start to try new things, think new thoughts, eat new foods….you are on the path. The ONLY way you can get off the path is by giving up all together. Minor set backs and temporary slips ARE NOT a failure…you only need to stay on the path.
This shift in my client’s thinking was so significant because it means that she is no longer looking for the “all or nothing.” All or nothing is one of the most dangerous forms of self sabotage because it is nearly impossible to achieve “all” especially at first. For example, if you decide you are NEVER going to eat sugar again. How long do you think that will last? Many factors, including your brain chemistry, might make it impossible to keep this promise to yourself and the “all or nothing” philosophy dictates that the minute you have a small bite you have failed. It is the same with weight loss. If you set a goal at losing 30 pounds, success is not achieved even at a 29 pound loss. Doesn’t that sound like setting yourself up to fail? Wouldn’t it make more sense to celebrate every darn pound as it evaporates and consider every day that you don’t gain a pound a success?
A key strategy to thinking in terms of evolution is to focus on what you CAN do instead of what you can’t. Many of my clients ease into their goals with baby steps like:
I’m not ready to give up coffee, so I’ll start by making sure I eat in the morning before I have my coffee.
I don’t have time to exercise 5 days a week, so I’ll begin by finding 10 minutes a day to move around.
I don’t think I can give up my dessert so I’ll first make sure I have 6 servings of vegetables with every meal.
Instead of vowing to never think a negative thought again, I’ll learn to recognize the negative thought when it happens and give it 90 seconds to run its course.
The success lies in what you do RIGHT NOW. You always have another chance to focus on what you CAN do RIGHT NOW.
For me, this evolution has taken place in regards to using personal care products that do not contain chemicals or xenoestrogens. I absolutely know how these products affect hormones, skin, immune system yet it is a goal that took time to ease into. Unless I was prepared to go completely make-up free and turn into a grunge girl, I wasn’t sure I could do this. But I eased into it. Step 1-I gave up perfume. This wasn’t visible to anyone else, so it seemed like an easy thing to eliminate. Step 2-I found truly organic shampoo and conditioner. Again, this was something that didn’t “show” to the outside world and once I found a product that still worked for my hair, it was easy. Step 3-I let go of unnecessary make up products-ex. eye liner and eye shadow. As I age, I found these products accentuated my wrinkles anyway! Step 4-I started experimenting with “food” replacements for cleansers and moisturizers. It took awhile to find things that were convenient enough for me to keep up with. Can I just say-Coconut Oil-the best body moisturizer there is! This brings me to the present. I’m still in search of an “upgrade” from my mineral, powder foundation and my clay based (but still chemical laced) mascara. My baby step for now? I keep an eye out for any day that I can get by without these products and when I do-that’s a win!
Life is all about the rebound, the upgrade and the best choice you can make RIGHT NOW!