The other day I experienced the power of “being ready for a change”. Not the, kind of-maybe-I think I’ll give it a shot, ready. It was a definite shift in perspective. Confused? Let me provide some context. A lot of people who go to my gym were participating in something called, “The Whole 30”. It’s essentially a lifestyle change of your eating habits for 30 days. There were lots of conversations in the gym regarding who was participating and how progress was going. Every time I heard people discussing it, I thought, “there is no way in H*LL I’m doing that. Give up my coffee creamer? Friday night pizza? Saturday poutine? Forget it. It’s not happening.”
Then one day after a workout, the coach was speaking of his experience during the 30 days. He said, “I really believe that I’m mentally stronger from completing it.” And that was it. Something in me clicked; I had found my motivation to make a change. I was finally ready and now I could commit.
So, what is the lesson here? What can you take from this and how can you apply it to your own life? First off, there is probably an inkling of a feeling deep down inside of something you’ve been wanting to change, whether it be eating healthier, working out more, being nicer to people…being nicer to yourself. Here is your TWO (yes, two) step model in order to create change.
1. Find Your Why.
Why do you want to make this change? For me? uhhh, to be healthier, make mad gains in the gym and to have my skin glow like a mermaid… obviously. While those reasons may seem standard (okay, maybe not standard), they weren’t a strong enough reason in the past to keep me from eating 1kg of mini eggs in one weekend (oh, don’t act like you’ve never done it).
My “WHY” of taking on these 30 days was the challenge of becoming mentally stronger by making changes of things that I perceived to be “hard”. Why was mental strength more important to me than having a bod that is hrrrddd assss f*k? Well, it probably has something to do with my background, or that fact mental toughness will allow me to aspire faster to my goals. OR, when Mr. Only-cares-about-the-physical-Joe and his fabutanned abs are failing him during a plank-off, I will be tapping into my mental strength and will outlast him every time.
My “why” for change may be very different from yours. Maybe the physical is enough and you are going to work out because it makes your butt look great. That’s awesome (and your butt does look great). But maybe you need something else; perhaps it’s for your own mental health, the longevity of your life, or that one day you want to be the worlds greatest Grandma- running laps around your grandchildren, or to still be doing headstands when you’re 90. It doesn’t matter what it is, what matters is that you find it.
Once you know your WHY, it’s time to:
2. Change Your Perspective
Before I started this 30 day endeavor, I had the mindset, “No sugar? This is going to be so hard!” But then I read this from the Whole 30 website:
“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.”
Touché. Touché. I had to stop thinking of my changes as sacrifices and as changes that I was CHOOSING because I want to accomplish my ‘why’.
As I mentioned, if my experience is different from you and it doesn’t click right away. Don’t you fret! Changing self talk and potentially years of patterned, automatic ways of thinking could take time to change. So be aware of these thoughts, be patient and be positive.
If at this point you are totally lost or confused, go back to step 1 (you know, the step right before step 2) :) Soul search, meditate, talk to your friends, family, or neighbors dog and figure out the “WHY”; your true motivation for wanting to make change.
Good luck on your quest for change…whatever that change may be.