What are your health goals? Weight Loss? Heart health? Diabetes? Joint pain? Fatigue? COPD? Cancer? Looking and feeling your best? Avoiding serious disease? It doesn’t matter what your goals are, but how you approach reaching them makes a HUGE difference!
If you’ve been diagnosed with some disorder or disease, you may be feeling guilty for having done things that contributed to it. For instance, I’ve always had problems with my gums, regardless of how meticulously I have always cared for my gums and teeth. However, when my children were young there was a period of years when we didn’t have dental insurance and we were on a strict budget. In order to be sure my children had regular dental visits, I neglected my own. Years later I had to have gum surgery to undo some of the damage that was done. I was tempted to fall into those feelings of guilt and regret but I realized what I want to share with you – they will serve no good purpose!
So maybe you smoked or your diet has been less than stellar or you’ve been a couch potato for many years. Ok, that was then and this is NOW! You can only begin now and you can only start where you are at. So begin by putting the past where it belongs – behind you.
Here are 7 things you need to know in order to begin moving toward achieving your health goals:
1. Before you put the past entirely behind, you must honestly acknowledge what you need to change! If it’s cleaning up your diet, then honestly agree you need to make changes. If it’s starting an exercise program, just admit you are a couch potato! Dr. Phil always says “you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge” and that is why this is so important! Unless you know and accept where you are, you can’t effectively move to where you want to be.
2. Be absolutely certain you are really ready to make changes. If you are doing this because your significant other, child or parent wants you to – chances are you will not be able to make the changes. Consciously choose if you really want to stay where you are, repeating the same patterns that have lead you there, or if you truly want to move in the direction, one step at a time, of a happier, healthier lifestyle. This must be your choice. And you have to be ready – spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.
3. Commit to taking baby steps. Realize that you do not have to change everything all at once. That’s a recipe for failure. What I do with clients is make a list of the steps they need to take. Then I suggest they make one small change and live with it for a week or two until it becomes the new normal for them before they attempt to make the next change.
4. Get rid of guilt and regret. As I mentioned before, those two emotions bring nothing positive to the table! Sure you may have known better – you may have known smoking was bad for you or eating so much junk food would make you fat, but you did it anyway. Ok. Acknowledge it – and realize that you were not ready to do something different then. You are now.
5. Forgive yourself. This is closely related to #4 and just as important. Yes, you may have messed up, but now that you know better you are motivated to do better. Be as forgiving, non-judgmental and loving with yourself as you would anyone in your life that you love. Also just forgive yourself of occasional lapses as you make changes and move on. We all slip and get side-tracked now and then. Holidays are one example. Consistency is the key. It is not what you do between Thanksgiving and New Years that counts, it is what you do between New Years and Thanksgiving! I can pretty much guarantee you’ll hit a few bumps along the way. They don’t have to derail your efforts.
6. Set yourself up for success. Getting regular support and encouragement is more important than you may realize. Surround yourself with people who will cheer you on and not try to sabotage your efforts. This is one of the many ways a health coaching program benefits you: by providing encouragement, motivation, support and accountability.
7. Celebrate each and every step toward success. Losing half a pound rather than four pounds may discourage you, but you must see it as moving in the right direction and celebrate that success. Each one builds upon the previous one and creates momentum. A healthy life is a journey, not a destination because we will always have to maintain what we create! So find healthy ways to celebrate your progress.
What steps can you take right now in order to make healthy changes in your life?
About the author:
Ann Musico is a holistic health coach and wholeness advocate who works with women of all ages to empower them to exemplify lives of vibrant health and wholeness – spirit, soul and body – in a way that is simple and effective, in order to be a positive influence in their world. Her focus is on nutrition, detox and healthy, long term weight loss because she believes those areas are most often the root cause of so many other problems. And she addresses them not only from the physical but also the spirit and soul as well, which are often overlooked. Learn more at her website. And be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for free exclusive giveaways as well as daily inspiration and motivation!