Are you actually READY for change? How many times do we stop and ask ourselves this actually pretty important question. I’ve spent the bulk of my adult life wanting positive change and yet there are so many times I “failed” to achieve the end result desired. Can you relate? The areas of Health and Weight-Loss seemed to be my Achilles heel in particular.
So often we want change, we hope and think and talk about positive growth in all the various areas of our lives, and yet something- and it’s different for each of us– a critical piece of the puzzle is not present, causing us to either not try at all, or try and struggle and ultimately fail.
At the end of 2016, I was somewhat surprisingly and abruptly in this place where all systems were a go for making significant changes in my health and well-being. Up until November 2016, I just wasn’t in that place- I wasn’t “ready.” For 6 years I had tried and failed dozens of times, but now all of a sudden, anything was possible. What was the magic bullet? Why was I suddenly able to lose 20 pounds in the last two months when every attempt in the previous 6 years ended in failure?
Why was I suddenly able to lose 20 pounds in the last two months
when every attempt in the previous 6 years ended in failure?
Why was I suddenly able to stick to the program? I have never in my life successfully stuck to a weight loss program! This was worth exploring.
ALL year, whenever I thought about my health, my intention was that I was healthy and strong. I sporadically spouted affirmations of great health and every once in a while I remembered to say food blessings (usually about 4 bites in), instructing the food to serve my highest good. It was always in the back of my mind, but in hindsight I was not taking any consistent action to change anything. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t taking any inspired action.
Then in August, I set a goal – I wanted to weigh 135, which to me represented a solid effort in the right direction- I saw that as healthy. If you look back at any of my journals in the past 6 years, you will see basically the same intention written over and over again in slightly different ways, but I had never previously written it as a measurable goal. To clarify, I don’t believe there is a magic number that the scale needs to reach, but since I wanted something to aim towards, back in August, I set the goal- I will weigh 135 pounds by December 31st, 2016. I had the ongoing intention, was sprinkling in affirmations, albeit not on a consistent basis, and now I had this goal with a definitive deadline.
Despite doing nothing more, in response, my body was sending me signals that change was needed- I experienced illness, swelling, allergic reactions, and increased inflammation, just to name a few. I was achy and constantly hurting my back- I felt how I presumed an 85 year old in bad health felt. The reality of illness and disease kept popping up around social media and in the news. My dad’s cancer battle with Leukemia including his diagnosis at 42 and eventual passing 5 short years later seemed to play on repeat in the back of my mind.
I really did want something different. I always have. I liked the idea of allowing this change to manifest in my life- I wanted positive change- I wanted to be a good example for my kids- I wanted to live a long and healthy life and yet, I was still eating whatever I wanted, putting no effort towards exercise and to be completely frank, dying a little bit every day. One night, in tears I confided to my husband that it felt like after the age of 30, doing nothing suddenly stopped equating to maintenance of the status quo and started meaning that your health was deteriorating. That’s how it felt at least.
And then one day- I can’t even tell you what day it was, one day the contrast in my life- the simultaneous contradiction between what the life of my dreams looked like vs what I was experiencing in my current reality– was too great. The proverbial straw had broken the camel’s back. Suddenly, it all mattered enough to me AND I was willing to do what I knew I would need to do in order to be successful. I was magically ready.
It was kind of like when you are pregnant and in labor and you know it’s time to push. For 9 months, you are told “don’t worry- you will just know when it’s time.” You ask your friends what labor is like and despite it being something they can vividly remember, they still have nothing of value to share. As the pregnant one, this of course is beyond annoying. You want someone to tell you exactly how you will know. But they can’t. This felt like that to me. Just like after 11 hours of labor when I intuitively knew from my body’s signals that it was time to push, in November, the message was undeniably clear- it was time for this caterpillar to emerge as a butterfly.
It was like all of God’s universe was conspiring on my behalf to reach this goal. All the pieces fell into place. Suddenly, this extremely strict eating protocol I had known about and previously scoffed at as ludicrous and impossible sounded very doable and perfect. And then I did it. And let me be clear what I mean when I say that:
I did what I KNEW needed to be done for the quirky, idiosyncratic, paradoxical Jamie Goins to be successful.
We know why we have failed in the past. We know what in our lives makes it very challenging to accomplish our health goals (or any goals). Own up to them and treat them as known risks that need assessment and either mitigation, avoidance, acceptance or transfer (hah! Can you tell I’m a project manager?!?!).
What did this mean for me personally?
- This meant putting my money where my mouth was. I invested in my health. I paid to participate in a monitored program. I decided I was worth it. My health and future was worth it.
- This meant, ironically due to my rule-breaking nature, that I picked a strict and inflexible protocol that required perfection or face the consequence of bigger-than-average setback. It was NOT one step forward, two steps back.
- This included a plan that leveraged my adherence to the protocol and got me better-than-average fat loss as a result.
- This involved accountability.
- This involved a serious talk with my hubby about helping out more with the kids, especially their meal time.
- This meant admitting to my boss and coworkers that I was engaging in an extreme nutritional protocol for health reasons.
- This meant saying no a lot because I didn’t want to put myself in a difficult position.
- I had to take a long hard look at the calendar and decide what span of 8 weeks would I be best set up for success- and again, I had to be willing to sacrifice. For me, Christmas and New Year’s both fell in my 8-week program.
- I didn’t eat out- I prepared my own food, day and night, for the entire plan. Compare that to eating out almost daily and you can taste how extreme this change was.
- I eliminated the most common 7 allergens completely from my diet and from any products I was using on my body.
- This meant having fmy own cabinet with the food I could eat and food prep.
- It meant written affirmations on my bathroom mirror.
- I had to add a bunch of reminders and alarms into my phone because the timing of what I ate was as important as what I ate.
I’m not saying that the above will make you successful- this is not what you or anyone else other than me personally would require. Each of us has our own requirements.
I took a long hard look at my life, my failures and my successes, looked at my client stories and what has made them successful, and the main ingredients to success always seem to be:
- Deciding on what you want – setting goals and intentions and affirmations and reviewing them as regularly as possible
- Getting Real and Honest about your (limiting) beliefs and whether it’s easier to simply accept them or if it is worth it to change them. I could not shake the limiting belief that if I don’t do something soon, I will be diagnosed with a disease. What you think about, you bring about. I 100% believe that (hah- see, another belief)
- Setting up your environment to support and reflect the positive change being successful warrants
- Communicating your goals and needs and desires to everyone around you. Own them and profess them to the world.
- Supporting yourself with loads of self-care, ongoing positive self-talk and complete and utter, unconditional self-love. I told myself- regardless of what the scale says, I believe I have changed the trajectory of my life. I told myself, even though I want to see change on the scale, I deeply and completely love and accept myself just as I am.
- Building in incentive – I love rewards and positive reinforcement, I love bonuses that you get for adherence and I am also motivated by negative consequences as well- when I spend money on something, I want to get value out of it- I hate wasting money. Most people do!
- Being held accountable– Accountability is the holy grail of success factors, especially for me. This helps me to be the impactful coach I am today (she said modestly as she tossed her hair back). Accountability has to be built into everything. For me, this meant daily weigh-ins at home and weekly accountability to the people administering the program.
- Feeling Ready– being ready and excited to move forward! This doesn’t mean you aren’t nervous and excited, but it does mean you are going to listen for inner guidance, inspired ideas and take action from a feel good place.
And just let me temporarily get on my soap box for a moment: it is for these reasons that I recommend engaging a coach for those times in your life where you have consistently struggled with something. Obviously I am a coach, but I am simply speaking from the heart here. It can be a challenge figuring this out on your own and can feel impossible without consistent and positive support- having a coach is like an insurance policy for the life of your dreams. ::dismounts soap box::
That said, whether or not you choose to have a coach by your side for your journey towards better health, or for any of the areas of your life like your relationships, career or other personal growth- do yourself a favor and be honest with yourself. If what you are doing isn’t working, there is a reason why. Review the main ingredients to success listed above and troubleshoot what areas are lacking.
We all have the potential to have the life of our dreams. We all have the power to change our lives. And the best news is we can change our mind and start over any day we choose. I love Walt Disney and will leave you with two of my favorite quotes of his, “If you can dream it, you can do it” and “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
**For a Limited Time Only: 30% of Monthly Email Coaching Package!**
Jamie Goins is a transformational life & business coach extraordinaire, speaker, certified Success Principles trainer with Jack Canfield & founder of Intentional Perspective. ::Switching to 1st person:: It is my absolute passion to provide support, guidance, accountability, and encouragement to individuals and businesses on their journey to gain clarity, overcome obstacles, discover new opportunities and achieve their highest aspirations. I love life, love having fun, and have a pretty outstanding track record for helping my clients become outrageously successful. Let’s talk about how I can best serve you or your business!