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"Breaking THE Bad Habit that is Holding you Back"

To follow up on yesterday's Zen Blog post I wanted to share a thought with you, my fellow readers, that I love discussing with clients as my career evolves:

You already know what you need to know to be healthy

Let me share some examples:

-Water is a necessity to human life.

-Fruits and vegetables are good for you.

-Protein helps build and repair muscle.

-Movement / Physical activity keeps you fit and healthy.

-Sitting for long periods of time makes you feel like poop.

-Lifting heavy things makes you stronger.

-Too much "junk food" is bad for your health.

-Smoking is bad for your health.

-Alcohol is a poison.

and the list goes on...

I'm sure you can come up with many examples as well of things most people know. And yet, what do "most people" also do - they seek out more information. "I just don't know" they say...

Let me share a story with you from my childhood

(short version):

-From grade 5 to grade 8 I was a big kid (despite always being an athlete).

-About grade 7 kids started to get mean (despite always having lots of friends and being popular in school)

-Part way through grade 8 I had enough. I was tired of being a big kid, listening to the things others were saying, being a slower player on the field and ice, and needed to do something.

*Disclaimer - I had MUCH less knowledge of the human body and health in grade 8 than I do now. In hindsight, I think that actually helps; when we have less to work with, we make due with what we have at our disposal.

-I bought an old York weight set and bench from a friend who's Dad didn't want it anymore (because lifting weights makes you stronger), and started to lift

-I chose to stop eating 2 peanut butter sandwhiches before bed most nights

-I chose to stop eating a giant (and awesome) ice cream sundae (or other desserts) after many dinners

-I chose to get outside more often than I already did (even just to shoot hoops or play ball hockey by myself some days)

-I bought some Men's Health and Men's Fitness magazines to start learning a bit more about exercise and health to try to educate myself

-I chose to work at running (which included conquering a run around "the block". We lived in the country so "the block" was a 4-5km run).

Do you know what happened??

When I returned to school in the fall to start high school, people were asking me "where the other half" went. They couldn't believe the change from mid-way through grade 8 to the start of grade 9.

No supplements. No secrets. Just basics of health knowledge ... that I had in public school.

The Point of the Story

I was a kid. When a "pre-internet world" grade 8 student can figure out how to make healthier choices... So can an "information overload world" adult!!

We know the basics (which is all we need to know) to be healthier and happier in whatever way we choose. We get in our own way;

-we don't give things enough time,

-we doubt ourselves,

-we start something while continuing to search for new information so that we start overthinking

-we think "there must be more I 'should' be doing"

If we ACTUALLY, consistently practiced the basic healthy habits that we know as modern day human beings helps us - We would see and feel change inside and out.

Having the knowledge of WHAT is different than the HOW

We've established that most of us have all we need to lead healthier daily lifestyles.

We've established that we really don't need to be searching for and taking in all this health information of "do this" or "do that" because we have plenty.

... So why are we not healthier and happier?

Because as dedicated as we are searching out the magic of WHAT, we're completely overlooking the power of HOW. If we put our "searching energy" into the "How" there would be ALOT of healthy folks living the lifestyle they want I'll tell you that!

Just like how often times people ask the doctor for medications for their SYMPTOMS rather than actually diving into the ROOT CAUSE of their discomfort/condition/illness, in our health and lifestyle we do the same. We go directly at the details of physical activity, nutrition, sleep, meditation etc... and we ignore the foundation (or root) of why we can't seem to make change in our lives; We're ignoring all decisions, responsibilities, thoughts, feelings and activities surrounding that habit/practice you want to implement. It doesn't matter how "good" this new program or superfood is that you've discovered - if your daily lifestyle habits are working against you, it's NOT going to last for you.

What can we do then?

Start looking at your environment, relationships, daily schedule, responsibilities, commitments etc... and work the WHAT INTO your days in a way that works for YOU. Not forcing it. Not thinking it'll magically fit in like a puzzle piece. Here's some examples of what I'm trying to say...

  1. If you want to run in the mornings before work but aren't being consistent; put energy into ensuring your running shoes are at the door the night before and your running clothes and accessories are ready for you to grab and go in the morning.

  2. Having a hard time getting to the gym for an hour each day? Buy a dumbbell or kettlebell that you can have in the office or at home. At various times during your day, pick it up and do a set or two of an exercise. By the time your day is over you've done a complete workout but you didn't have to "figure out a whole other time to fit it in"

  3. You're doing your best to eat healthy but your spouse and/or kids are sabotaging your efforts. Rather than leave it alone, have a conversation with them to explain why this is important to you and talk together how you can all make it work. Maybe 1 or 2 nights per week to start is "healthy dinner" night, or maybe your spouse agrees that 3 nights per week you're going to make a healthy option for yourself, while the rest of the family can have that or make something else.

  4. You want to get to bed at a decent time but you often sacrifice sleep for another show or "doom-scrolling" time on your phone/device. Instead, you put your energy into ensuring that 30min before bed, your phone/device is in another room and/or instead of watching a show you choose to read a book, or do some stretching or breathing exercises before bed.

There are TONS of ways we can do things to lead healthier lives. I hope you see the common denominator here though - It's NOT "what" the person chooses, it's "how" they're going about it. The effort made before and after your targeted practice is going to be what best determines success or not-so-success.

This is where a Health & Wellness Coach comes in. This is how my job has evolved. Helping clients with not only habits / practices surrounding their goals, but the mindset and mindset energy in how they approach their goals. THAT is what is most powerful for people.

After that... the rest is smooth. Seriously.


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