It doesn't have to be an uncomfortable journey.
Most of us feel we have too much on our plates, both literally and figuratively. So, we start on a journey from here (wherever you are) to there (wherever you want to be)—pursuing a personal version of sexy vibrant health and happiness.
Usually, this path to wellness is seen as an uncomfortable journey that requires a lot of inner willpower. As Mick George sums it up, "Anytime we say we 'have to' do anything, it means we are living our life reluctantly." There is a distinct lack of enthusiasm.
This is why we see diets and health programs fail again and again as we try to adapt ourselves to someone else's idea of normal. No wonder there are so many obstacles in our way; we simply feel powerless and misunderstood.
There are three steps to this process to creating your own path to wellness:
1. Discover your current status quo.
What is your lifestyle like now? What have you tried in the past? What worked well and not-so well? How would you like to feel when you reach your goals? What values are showing up for you in the vision of 'my best self'? What obstacles do you have or can you foresee? What obstacles are perceived and which ones are real?
The discovery phase of the three-step plan is thorough and matter-of-fact, somewhat similar to planning a trip. Tools, questionnaires and surveys are helpful, and I share the most efficient ones with you.
2. Create a successful environment.
This process can be as simple or complex as it needs to be. A straightforward action plan might be cleaning out the fridge, dusting off that diet book that worked so well years ago or joining the gym next door.
Other, more subtle strategies might include setting and maintaining healthy boundaries, using positive affirmations, time management skills, appropriate goal-setting, problem solving techniques, basic nutrition education, mindset, revisiting outdated belief patterns and trying new things we may never have thought of trying before (a cooking class, salsa dance group, asking to borrow a neighbor’s bike, etc.).
Strategy is taking what has evolved from the "discovery" session and taking the next step forward. Your strategy can include four to five goals at a time, such as getting to bed on time, bringing a bottle of water to work each day, buying a new pair of sneakers and changing to low fat options when grocery shopping. Strategy is the place to be creative, not restrictive.
3. Work towards and impliment your goals.
Expect and plan for pitfalls and challenges. The founder of the most important wellness coach training school in the U.S. admitted, in front of hundreds of workshop participants, at a Harvard Medical School event, that it took her 10 years to find just the right meditation style for her character and needs!
Goals are there to be reviewed, improved or rewritten entirely. Starting a yoga class and hating it may just lead you to something better for your needs. Implementation is the most misunderstood and overlooked part of embarking on something new. If things don't work out, simply revisit and revise the discovery and strategy steps; rinse and repeat.
You'll be on your way to a better life, becoming a better person in the process.