Are you SO excited to head to the gym to train? And are you SO excited to embark on a healthful eating plan? I didn’t think so. For most people—those people who are not trainers or competitive athletes or both, for instance—going to the gym is a chore, and eating what’s “good” for you is a chore. Rather than feeling the benefits of the workout (in advance) or the delight of your body (in advance) it is much easier to focus on what you can’t eat, or what you can’t do…or how strenuous the workout is going to be? That’s old programming.
What if you reframed them both? What if you updated your operating system? Are you open to some new programming? What if they were ways of loving yourself? What if they were your Valentine’s Day gift to yourself? What if YOU were your Valentine’s Day gift to yourself?
Before we even get to goal setting, let’s change how you feel about those goals. If we want life transformation to, well, change our life, why would we approach it with the same old mindset? Part of changing our life is changing our minds. We want to be fit and well-nourished, but the way we feel about the path can sometimes be pretty negative.
Once or twice a week I head to another gym to train. It can be really helpful to get out of my own space both to train and to see what is going on in the world. (If you know me, you know this is a huge undertaking.) I run my life on a dime. I am an extremely regimented person. Sometimes I find it difficult to get my car to the dealer to get the oil changed or get to the salon for a haircut–anything that is not a daily routine is difficult to squeeze in. This is not a lifestyle that is right for everyone, but it works for me, and in truth I cherish it.
But what if I resisted it? What if I dreaded it, and hoped my trainer would cancel or hoped the grocery store had run out of potatoes so I could eat fast food French fries, and get them in minutes? How would my life be different? Certainly, I’d be less inspired, and less inspiring. What if I kept hoping I’d make it to the gym (or to the haircut or the oil change) but I never actually took the steps to build them into my life—which, to be honest, at least about the oil change, is tempting! What we do not plan is very unlikely to be accomplished.
I love what Joe Dispenza says about making choices:
“It all begins by making different choices. Whether it’s waking up and meditating rather than staying in bed, changing what we eat, or starting an exercise routine, as we make new and better choices, we help our body, mind, and spirit come back to balance. You have to start somewhere. Let’s look at the example of changing our diet by cutting out sugar, alcohol, or caffeine. As our body begins to change its chemical state from better food choices, this naturally leads to a change in our emotional state.”
See how life transformation is filled with puzzle pieces? They all fit together in a way that looks like: loving yourself. Why not love yourself BEFORE you’ve met your goals; before you work out before you make the healthy food choice? Creating one small change is a step on the path to transforming your life. It’s never too late to start.
So even if your New Year’s Resolutions are distant memories, you can start today by being your own Valentine, by enjoying every step along the way to building lifelong goals. By speaking kindly and even affectionately about yourself and your as-yet-unmet goals. By celebrating when you do add your exercise regimen for a whole week, or for two, or for a month. It’s all a process, so love the process and honor your unmet goals—while taking the next step toward them.
Being healthy is simple. Listen to your body.
One thing I have learned as a coach is that people don’t always want to listen; they want what they want, right this instant—and there are corporations longing to make your instant gratification dreams come true…they sell pills, 6 pack abs, instant weight loss…. But when you buy into the falsehood that there is something external that will fulfill you, you are committing an act against your own self. Is it possible to listen in on a deeper level, far deeper than your desire for immediate gratification, deeper than the voice that groans about going to the gym or eating clean? On that deeper level, your heart is calling out for you to live toward yourself.
What does it even mean, to live toward yourself?
If that is an unfamiliar concept, I would highly recommend seeking out some fitness and nutrition inspiration from a certified performance coach. Your heart will thank you!
There is another component to knowing yourself: honesty. To be sure, I am not commenting on morality. But we all know that the voice inside is often saying something different to us than our behavior. I often talk about alignment. When I know what I want —nothing will stop me. So it comes back to how to know what you want.