Many of us want to lose weight and many of us want to be healthier. Many of us want to change aspects of our lives or substantial parts of our lives that we don’t feel are serving us well. And many of us just can’t seem to make that change happen.
First, we have to be completely honest with ourselves. We put our energy where we get payoffs. In addition, we spend time on payoffs that are relatively quick. In other words, we’re into immediate gratification. Health and personal growth are investments. These investments inherently don’t have immediate payoffs.
The payoffs are by definition longer term. Going to the gym or eating a healthy meal doesn’t have the same immediate delight for many folks as eating a chocolate chip cookie. Part of being honest with ourselves is asking whether we really want to change. Is where we are someplace we are OK with?
More importantly, we have to ask whether we are willing to pay the price of moving from point A, where we are now, to point B, where we want to end up. If the cost isn’t worth it, we have to be honest with ourselves. Often our actions reflect our true beliefs. If we aren’t taking those actions, then we know the answer.
One way to take advantage of our preference for immediate gratification is to turn those actions that are long-term investments into more quick payoffs. For example, post workouts to get support from friends. Each day of eating well may translate into some weight loss that can be celebrated in the morning.
Looking for quicker payoffs can help us take advantage of our natural short-term thinking which in turn helps us take steps further down the path of a long term health transformation.
Second, we should be honest about our priorities. We do what we prioritize or at least what we feel is important in the moment. Sitting down and defining our personal goals and priorities is an important step.
List what your life goals and priorities are and then account for how you spend your typical day by the hour. Does the allocation of your time line up with your goals and priorities? If not, how can you bring your priorities and time into better alignment? This exercise can be very eye-opening.
And finally, acknowledge that you can’t make all the changes you want all at the same time. Start with one change at a time and layer on those changes. For example, decide to stop drinking soda as a first step. Don’t modify anything else except that one thing.
After you feel you’ve become comfortable with that change, add another. Slowly and over time you will start to experience substantial transformation.
With these steps, you can assess how ready you are for change and also prepare for that change.
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