We’re so thrilled to have our friend, health and wellness mentor Amanda Wilson, here to share some tips for sticking to those 2019 goals. Follow her on Instagram (@awilsonwellness) or visit her site, awilsonwellness.com, to learn more about her approach to healthy living and wellness.
Doesn’t it seem like every year we get to January with new goals, high hopes, and a renewed motivation towards our health? All of those things are great, but what usually happens? The end of January comes and we see them dwindle, and by March they are usually nonexistent. What a bummer of a cycle that we experience each year!
So, instead, let’s catch it before that cycle starts running its same ol’ course. I can tell you one thing: The reason that many experience this cycle every year is not because healthy living is unattainable or unsustainable, it’s because our approach is. We need to approach this change with grace, but with willingness and discipline. With goals and motivation, but flexibility where needed. With dedication, but not obsession. We do this by equipping ourselves with knowledge and practical steps, and then having the courage to implement them little by little.
Here we are at the end of January—and the majority of us are experiencing the aforementioned dwindle. Is our discipline really going to push through when willingness isn’t strong? Did our rigid and high goals abolish the mental space for flexibility? Did we start out obsessed, which is now turning into dread or burn out?
I think we can agree that our end goal is for this to be a lifestyle. We don’t want to be trying, sacrificing, and convincing ourselves forever. We just want to DO and for it to not be so much effort, dang it. There are a few approaches and mindsets I want to address that I think are critical in the turning point of healthy choices becoming a healthy lifestyle.
TIME IS A FACTOR
We all know this to be true, but few want to actually see it to be proven. We expect to put in a few weeks of good, hard work and be able to see our efforts turnover into the very picture of our expectations. If this were to be true, no one would need a workout schedule or a meal plan, and I wouldn’t be writing this post. Time is a test of our character; it proves what is important and what is worth our efforts, despite its ease or difficulty. It might even be helpful to not put a timeline on wellness. That doesn’t mean you don’t create and pursue goals—those are great for structure and encouragement—but it means we don’t let those goals become our end game. Why? Because there is no end game or timeline to wellness; it’s a constant pursuit of stewardship in the time, place, and circumstances we find ourselves (more on that in #3). Putting in the time to make your body and mind believe, experience, and know that real food and movement are where it’s at (and that you enjoy it) is where the lifestyle happens. Have courage to put in the time, and patience to make it a lifestyle.
SACRIFICE VS. CHOICE
Any shift or change we make in regards to our normal routine or preferences feels uncomfortable and inconvenient; and therefore, can be translated in our minds and emotions as a sacrifice. When we categorize eating healthy and moving our bodies as a sacrifice, how do we ever expect ourselves to not only prioritize it, but for it to become a lifestyle? So, let’s change it up. What if we changed it from “this a sacrifice” to “this is a choice?” The exchange of one word is powerful. When we do that it puts the power in your hands instead of the thing we feel like we are sacrificing. It eliminates the power struggle. Soon we will see our mindset toward workouts and healthy meals shift from one of sacrifice, struggle, and joylessness to stewardship, empowerment, and enjoyment.
The mental switch isn’t easy, because you literally have to rewire your brain toward healthy living efforts. No matter who you are, you have formed belief systems toward working out and healthy food, and now you have to reframe, eliminate, and rework those thought processes. Have courage to push through that first handful of times it feels like a sacrifice. The more times you do that, the easier the choice will become. On the flip side, the more times you quit or choose the mindset of sacrifice, the easier that will become as well.
CONSIDER YOUR SEASON OF LIFE
Taking my season of life into consideration has been one of the game changers in making healthy living a lifestyle. Every season of life has its “non-negotiable” aspects—things that cannot be worked around and are just a reality. But we have to remember this, wellness isn’t just for some seasons of life, it is for right now. Healthy doesn’t have to be your hobby, but it is your responsibility. However, that’s going to look different as seasons of life change. When we dive head-first into a workout schedule or eating plan without taking a minute to consider what life is requiring of us right now and what we can re-prioritize, remove, and restructure, it only sets us up for discouragement and failure in the end. It’s not because YOU are a failure, but because your approach was unattainable and unsustainable for your season of life right now.
We must approach wellness considering our season of life and with the flexibility and willingness to constantly reassess. You are not a victim of your season of life, you are a steward of it. While you may not be able to do the exact workout schedule you prefer due to those “non-negotiable” aspects, movement can be made a priority. It just might require some letting go of “ideal” or eliminating unnecessary things in your life to make it a priority. You have this one body for this one life. Stewarding your body well will in turn allow you to show up for this season of life better.
If you’ve dropped those 2019 goals already like a hot pan, pick it back up with the oven mitts of time, the power of choice (not sacrifice), and your season of life. If you were too scared to make goals because you’ve ridden that cycle we talked about year after year, take a few minutes to look over the three aspects above and consider what might’ve been your culprit.
We can make healthy so complicated, can’t we? It doesn’t have to be. It’s as simple as “How can I best steward my body where I find myself right now?” That’s going to look different for you and for me. True lifestyle change CAN happen. The power is in your hands, my friend, as long as you let time, mindset, and real life have its proper place.
Thanks for joining us, Amanda! For more info on the tanks shown or to purchase, click here.