The Fundamentals on the Road to You
Have you ever had a plan, good intentions, or a thought that centered around self-improvement of some sort, but just couldn’t get yourself moving on the right track? I thought so. Most of us have. Very often, always in fact, when I meet people in my profession, the goal is behavior change.
I cannot cut corners with you here as behavior modification of any sort is hard. There are no secrets. Simply put, it takes plenty of time, effort, commitment, and getting back up again and again. But, I do have a little secret. There is one thing and, as far as I know, it’s the only thing that may help bolster your experience. Your “Why”. You must find it. Understanding it helps in:
1. Mobilizing your efforts.
2. Providing staying power, grit, and tenacity.
3. Maintaining the energy and spirit to get up, get moving, and keep moving.
As you may have figured out by now, your “why” is really just another word for uncovering your values. It’s taking the time to figure out what’s important to you as an individual and developing a blueprint to plan out successive steps to closing the gap between your current and ideal states. It sounds easy enough to ask yourself what’s important, but it can and does take a bit of soul searching to get to the heart of what is of utmost importance to you and what will keep you moving in spite of whatever you may encounter on your journey.
For example, your doctor tells you that you are hypertensive and need to lose weight. Perhaps the scale doesn’t hold motivating power in your life, but avoiding a life of chronic illness and dependence on pharmacological interventions does. Or perhaps you were born into a family with various chronic illnesses and you desire to be an example of how to end the cycle for future generations to come.
The most important thing in changing human behavior is the person’s motivation.Milton H. Erickson
Or, moving along with the same example, you decide that it’s important not only to follow the doctor’s orders to lose weight but you choose to use it as a learning experience for your family by growing a garden, visiting more farmer’s markets and shares, and focusing on more locally sourced foods, services, and the local economy.
The point here is that there is no one “right” way to change behavior. The only correct approach is to be committed to getting in touch with yourself, your values, and your raison de vivre. This can be done by using a search engine to tap into online resources or with the help of a professional health, wellness, or lifestyle coach to facilitate the process.
Behavior change is consistently marked with two steps forward then back. It can be difficult to remain motivated and inspired to stay the course when the path to “success” is non-linear. But the catch here is that the phrase Life is a Journey is 100% true; however, getting back to the basics of what ultimately speaks to you makes the path more clear.
Do you have any experiences with large lifestyle changes? What resources did you tap into the make the commitment and stay the course?