It sounds so simple. If you want to create change (i.e. achieve something you don’t currently have) you MUST do things differently. Yet so many women I work with come to me determined to create lasting healthy changes by forcing themselves to “succeed” at a plan that has failed them time and time again.
If what you crave is a breakthrough, than you must do things differently than you are doing them now. Consider how this applies to you, to the healthy lifestyle you want, and to how you cope with what you have on your plate (literally and figuratively). Where you are now, whether it’s thriving, satisfied, or stuck, is a reflection of your current approach, mindset, feelings and beliefs. If you want to be or do something dramatically different, it’s essential to approach things in a whole different way. Too often, we set out, determined to make a change by trying harder or doing more of what never worked or never lasted before. No wonder so many women feel stuck in a vicious cycle of starting and restarting weight loss, fitness, or other health / life balance practices.
Here are my tips for creating real healthy lifestyle breakthroughs that last:
- Know Your Why: Know your real why. Why do you want what you want? For instance, if you want to lose weight, what’s that about? Breakthroughs happen when we have a compelling, juicy reason for moving forward. No one has a breakthrough doing something simply because they think they “should.” Take your goal and keep asking “Why?” until you get to the reason that makes your heart sing. Examples I’ve heard recently: I want to lose weight so I can move with confidence and ease on stage; so I can go on bike rides with my daughter; so I can really ride my horse the way I used to; so I can fit into a certain outfit that makes lights me up when I wear it; so my knees don’t hurt and I can dance with passion. Get the idea?
- Know What Hasn’t Worked Before: If you’ve been on this path before, don’t ignore past attempts that haven’t worked out so well. One of the keys to doing something in a completely different—and successful way—is paying attention to what didn’t work, where you got stuck, and what you DON’T know about how to move forward. I’m not suggesting you get bogged down in these things, I’m suggesting that you take note of them and use them as fuel to create a new approach that doesn’t contain the same minefields.
- Know Who You Are: Round pegs don’t fit into square holes. Lasting change doesn’t happen when you create a plan of attack that doesn’t fit you, your lifestyle, or your preferences. Breakthroughs and enduring change are created when we leverage our strengths—the things we can do with ease and grace—and incorporate these into our plan of attack.
- Above all, Don’t Resort to the Same-old, Same-old Just Because You Don’t Know What Else to Do. That won’t make you a breakthrough, it will make you tired. Leverage support. It’s difficult, and sometimes impossible, to create a breakthrough when we’re stuck inside our own head and the narrow conception we have of how things need to be done. Your breakthrough solution might be right in front of your nose (it often is), but our brains are trained to notice the things we expect to see and to fit what we observe into the way of thinking that we already have. The easiest way to create powerful change and breakthroughs is to see your situation through someone else’s eyes. This is also the most effective way to identify and clear out unhelpful mindsets and inner critics that can lead to self-sabotage.