What gets in your way? What trips you up when pursuing your health improvement plans? There is always a roadblock or a plateau that creates a challenge on the way to reaching goals. The key to success is finding the motivation, power and creativity to overcome the obstacle in the path.
For me it’s being too busy to prepare nutritious meals and exercise regularly. For you it might be something different. The bottom line is; how much do you value your health? How much do you want to achieve that goal of having more energy, feeling good, and worrying less about serious health complications as you age?
Finding the Inner Strength and Outer Method for Better Health
Realizing that you need to make changes is one thing, but being able to make those changes is entirely different. Learning about health and wellness, diet and exercise is a first step in understanding what the body needs to thrive. Beyond that there has to be an emotional shift powerful enough to break through old habits, and a practical method that works for your life.
To identify the unique inner strength and outer method that will work for you, start with the things that stop you. By reflecting on your personal roadblocks you will discover whether to make your first changes internally or externally. Here’s a list of issues commonly cited as obstacles to better health:
- Lack of time
- Stressful job
- Social environment
- Frequent travel
- Inconsistent schedule
- Lack of energy
- Not knowing how to create healthy meals
- Lack of interest in exercise or sports
- Lack of interest in food
- Emotional eating
- Putting your own needs last
- Low income, lack of resources
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Sleep problems
- Chronic health issues
- Addiction to carbs and sugar
- Addiction to drugs or alcohol
Internal Motivation or External Circumstances?
If your primary problem is an external circumstance related to your job, schedule, or environment, you will need to find creative solutions that accommodate those things. You could talk to friends, family and co-workers to get some ideas and support for the changes you want to make. It’s not usually too difficult to make external changes if you are motivated to find solutions. If you’re having difficulty here, consider that the real problem might involve your thoughts and emotions.
It’s hard to separate internal and external because one is always related to the other. However, it’s important to find your starting point for change and that will be related to either motivation or a physical circumstance. Once you’ve found the solution to this beginning point and successfully made some healthy changes, you may find another obstacle preventing you from progressing. If your first problem was not having time to exercise and you solved that by walking for 10 minutes before and after work, your second challenge might be having the motivation to push yourself further. Be aware that reaching your health goal is a process and you will continually need to discover what the next step is to fly over the hurdle in your way, whether it be motivation or circumstance.
Go Step by Step and Don’t Give Up
Sometimes the process of change can seem overwhelming especially if you’re dealing with chronic health problems. Your long term goal may seem impossible to reach. Decide on one smaller change at a time and give yourself a chance to be successful at that. If you’ve decided to eat healthier, try adding a new fruit and vegetable to your diet each week for a month. Once you’ve accomplished this and are enjoying your new food choices, your next step might be to give up Fast Food for a month while continuing to explore more nutritious food options.
You don’t have to decide all the steps ahead of time. Just find your starting point by dealing with the most obvious obstacle in front of you first. Realize that there will be more changes to make and you can manage them one at a time. You don’t need to become a star athlete or a health food guru to be successful; your goal is to improve your current state of health one step at a time.
Never give up. If you stumble or fall just pick yourself up and find a new starting point. If you lose motivation or energy – that becomes your starting point. There are so many resources now both online and in your community that it’s always possible to find help.
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