I don’t know if anyone else is like me, but when I start something new. I love starting with a bang. I’m going to completely overhaul my life and I’m going to make sure everyone is aware of my new journey. Whether that’s weight loss, cleaning, self-improvement, a new job, you name it. I’ve always been a huge fan of the “I’m gonna start Monday” camp. It’s like I’ve always assumed that I would just wake up on that day and be ready to tackle whatever goal I’ve laid out for myself.
It took me a really long time to realize how
incredibly wrong and counter productive that was.
When you want to make a change in your life, it seems like a natural thing to do to have a starting point and an ending point. Isn’t that the point of every cleanse, retreat, diet, or program anyone starts? You have it in your mind that at the end of those 7 days, 30 days, or however long you’ve set, that you’ll be done. You have set your own finish line.
I’m here to tell you that after trying to force dozens of start points and falling off the wagon after many of my finish lines. I was tired of setting myself up to fail.
One day, while browsing on my phone, like I usually do, I remember coming across an article about habits. I’d never really thought about habits before. I mean I knew there were good habits and bad habits but I didn’t realize how incredibly complicated the human brain is when it comes to setting up these natural points throughout our day.
I want you to think of something you do every day without fail. Do you check your phone when you wake up? Do you wash your hair twice every time your shower? How about your diet? If you have a cheeseburger at Mcdonalds – do you always get the fries with it? (I mean c’mon who wants a fruit cup with a Big Mac.)
I bet there are set behaviors you have that you don’t even notice!
I finally realized that in order to change my life, my way of thinking, my diet, and my relationships with other people. This was something I could not start and finish.
I realized I would have to take this one day a time,
one thought at a time, one meal at a time, one interaction at a time.
Stop aiming for perfection. It’s ludicrous, harmful and frustrating. Stop telling yourself that tomorrow you’re going to wake up and suddenly not want those chocolate mini muffins for breakfast. I’m here to tell you after years of eating egg whites and oatmeal I STILL want chocolate for breakfast. The crazy thing is, guess what? Sometimes I do!
And that is perfectly okay.
If you’re planning on making a life change or you really want to push yourself to be better in a specific area. I want you to try something, I want you to try and change one simple habit. Maybe you constantly put your keys down and can’t find them? I want you to try to set a place for them and for 10 days. I want you to put your keys there every time. Maybe whenever you go out to eat you ALWAYS eat the bread or tortilla chips. I want you to ask the waiter not to bring them every single time the next 10 times you go out to eat.
You start slow and you move forward. You don’t give up when you fail and you let go of the mind set of “Well I messed up, may as well give up and restart tomorrow.” Stop trying to change overnight. Make incremental changes and after time has passed, you’ll realize the impact of what you are doing.
Whenever you look at your daily habits, your conversations, even your personal thoughts. Shouldn’t you be proud?
Being happy and kind is not something people are just good at.
It’s something they practice.
I was never successful at changing my habits until I started journaling. Now I write down not only what I eat, but my moods, thoughts, and goals. Every day I look back and I can see how I felt after I ate those 4 pieces of pizza or I can go back and experience my happiness when I was journaling after crushing a goal at the gym.
You have to practice being present and I think journaling is a great way to do that.
Our society tells people, both men and women that being selfless and sacrificing their needs and comforts for the needs of others make you a great human being. I’m here today challenging that and saying that they’re wrong.
Your personal well being, your thoughts, your wants, your disappointments, your grief, your happiness. All of that is yours. Unless you take care of yourself physically and mentally, what good are you to the people around you?
Be selfish. Make changes and don’t be hard on yourself when you fail. Push yourself to find out what you want in this life and how you’re going to get it.
Find your happiness in the face of constant disappointment. Make that choice.