So you’re All In, but need help making the decision that change is right for you? You are standing with a multitude – those that have become aware of themselves and have decided that their current course isn’t meeting their goals. Many people come to this place and not just for wellness. They know change is required in order to align their lives with their true desires, but aren’t sure how to do that.
A decision for change starts with a reason – the reason you’ve decided today is the day.
If your reason for change is whimsical and half assed, so too will be your results. The beauty of our world, our universe, is that we are each unique. The reason you choose will be uniquely yours – at the very least, the meaning of the reason for which you are changing will interact with you in a perfectly unique way – as unique as your fingerprint.
Here are some reasons for wellness that suck (I know, I’ve used a couple of them)
I want to lose weight. (remember, only fat people diet)
I want to be the same size (or smaller) as my friends.
A doctor told me I have to.
My spouse no longer likes that way I look (they want me back the way I was).
Let me dissect why these reasons suck, and why they almost universally don’t work.
I want to lose weight – Losing weight isn’t the goal – not if you want to keep the weight off. I’ve discussed this. The reason for this is that a diet is a temporary change, it won’t finish the job. And frankly it’s dangerous. When you rapidly change your chemistry, the body adapts – if the changes aren’t slow, methodical, and careful, the environment inside your body can change rapidly and that adaptation can have dangerous side effects. With most biological systems, your body included, rapid chemistry changes will cause stress.
I want to be the same size (or smaller) as my friends – Whenever you use an external source for motivation (some people do naturally) you are tying your success to a person or entity outside of yourself and your control. This might work, but because you do not control your success criteria, failure happens regularly. What if your friends are no longer satisfied with you after losing weight – you get “dumped”? Who will you be healthy for then? This happens more than you might think.
A doctor told me I have to – A doctor gave you some good advice, “You need to lose weight.” Of course, he hasn’t given you any tools to do that. The problem with this motivation is that it is based on the fear of consequences. These consequences might or might not occur, and you know this. Fear is rarely a long term motivator. In fact, in my estimation, it is the weakest, most anemic of all motivators.
My spouse no longer likes that way I look (they want me back the way I was) – Again, this is using an external motivator and is likely to only drive limited results. Honestly, this reason really irks me. You aren’t the same person you were when you were younger, literally. Those cells are dead and gone and you are beautiful exactly the way you are, even if you’ve got some work to do. Often, the spouse doing the complaining isn’t that great looking (are they ripped, lol?) and have helped you get to where you are by taking you to “wing” night at the local pub. Stand tall.
The reason for change must come deeply from within you and be something that will burn – something that you love, and something that loves you back.
Here’s how I found my reason: by going backwards.
TZ Lavine said:
And if I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life – and only then will I be free to become myself.
I believe the exercise of considering your death is one of great importance, no matter your age. At some point you will no longer exist on this mortal coil, and your life will come to a close. You will decide at every moment of your journey here what and who you are. Often, you won’t understand what was truly important to you until your last days.
We have been gifted with a mind so incredible, the body doesn’t know the difference from the things we imagine and the things that are real. Take time to visualize your last moments. Go somewhere alone and vividly imagine the moments where you’re closing your eyes for the last time.
Who will you think of? What are the things that truly drove you? What’s important in that moment? This is the fertile soil upon which the truth of you might just become apparent. In this forest of sometimes difficult emotions (if you’re taking the exercise seriously), you might just stumble upon the reason you’re alive – your great I am – and the reason you need to be well. For a long time.
Knowing the why will gift you with great power – the power to stick with your goals for a life time.