Written by Nyomi Graef
Is something stopping you from making the life changes that you desire? Perhaps not enough time? Or lack of confidence, self-belief or self-esteem? Some limiting beliefs? Read part 2 of this series (below) about ways to breakthrough barriers to soar to success.
If we don’t think we have a problem, we aren’t going to change. Facing reality can be confronting and difficult. But to improve our lives, we must face the truth/face our problems, and make some changes. Harness our resources, get support if we need it, and go towards our goal with our plan in place.
Not enough time
Lack of time is one of the biggest excuses not to do things. Make time for making vital lifestyle changes. How? Make them a high priority, and schedule them into our lives. If we can do unimportant things, like watch mindless TV shows and waste time on social media, we can make time for important things.
Lack of confidence/self-belief/self-esteem
Do you lack these qualities? If so, boost them to fly to new heights! They are all important for success, including making positive lifestyle changes.
Read good self-help books, articles and blog posts. Listen to motivational speakers Oprah Winfrey, Tony Robbins, Dr Wayne Dyer, Bob Proctor or Denzel Washington... whoever connects with you and inspires you. Put appropriate ideas into practise.
Set small achievable goals (on their own and/or as part of bigger goals) and feel proud when you achieve them. Small successes all add up. There is nothing quite like the feeling of achievement to make us feel great!
Failed past attempts
Past failures can cause low confidence, self-esteem, self-belief and motivation. Forget the past and move on. The past does not have to dictate your future. Create a different plan. Use better strategies. Update your resources. Do whatever it takes (within reason). Just keep going. Persist!
Beliefs that prevent change
Beliefs can keep us where we are, make us spiral down, or motivate us to be better. Swap limiting beliefs with empowering ones. Check out some ideas below.
Limiting belief: I’m fat because my family is fat, so I’ll never be a healthy body weight (no matter what I eat and how much I exercise).
Empowering beliefs: Families often share the same eating and exercise habits. These habits promote either weight gain, weight loss, or weight maintenance.
Low levels of exercise combined with an unhealthy diet high in sugar/white flour/junk food/soft drinks, and so on, is very likely going to cause weight gain.
Consistently good eating and exercise habits often leads to a healthy body weight. Good dietary ideas to start with are to eat:
Limiting belief: I’m not fat, I’m big boned.
Empowering beliefs: Yes, people have different sized bones (and body frames). These range from small to large. But love handles are not big bones, and neither is excess belly fat and excess fat on and around other parts of the body. With the right goals, plan, strategies, resources, and so on, many people can lose excess weight and maintain a healthy body weight.
Limiting belief: I’m not sporty, so I can’t do any exercise.
Empowering beliefs: People don’t have to be sporty to exercise. There are plenty of exercises to choose from, some more sport-oriented than others. Choose healthy movement that we feel comfortable with. Walking, swimming, yoga and cycling are examples of exercises that don’t require us to be good at sport.
Limiting belief: I’ve tried every diet and nothing works. I have given up. I will always be overweight.
Empowering beliefs: There are so many diets around that it’s VERY unlikely that anyone has tried all of them.
Many people all over the world have lost weight in healthy and reasonable ways, and kept the weight off.
Long-term weight loss requires sustainable lifestyle changes, not a quick fix/unrealistic/impractical... diet.
Have the right mindset for weight loss. Set worthwhile goals and plans. Use the right strategies. Put in the time and effort. Persist and be patient.
In summary, to make positive lifestyle changes we must (among other things):
Read part 3 in this series of blog posts, with more barriers to change and ideas to overcome them, coming soon.
Written by Nyomi Graef
What stops us from making vital life changes? Ones that can boost our health, happiness and success. Common reasons include not setting any goals (or setting bad ones), fear, and having low standards. How can we power through these and other obstacles to make important life changes? Check out the ideas below, in part one of a series of blog posts on this topic.
If we accept low standards for ourselves and our lives, then why would we change? We won’t! Improving our health, eating habits, living standards, relationships, and so on, means increasing our standards. It’s like saying, “Enough is enough! I won’t settle for this quality anymore! I want better quality, so I will raise my standards, and I am prepared to do whatever is needed (within reason) to achieve it.”
Fear can immobilise us. It can stifle even the greatest achievers, and it’s one of our biggest goal killers.
What are some common fears? Failure, the unknown, going broke, pain, stress, and friends and family criticising or rejecting us, to name just some.
Let’s take fear of failure, as an example. Failure is a normal part of life. Not all plans and goals turn out as good as we hoped. Disappointing, yes, but it is often up to us whether we get completely crushed or not by failure. Get up and try again. Re-group/re-plan/re-organise...
Rise above failure to rise to the top. Most of the greatest achievers in the world failed at achieving at least one goal in their lives before they became very successful. In fact, many persisted through lots of failed attempts for years. Arnold Schwarzenegger has fantastic ideas about persisting through failure. Listen to his views about this topic on YouTube. He is a great example of rising above failure to become extremely successful.
Another common fear is “fear of the unknown”. This makes us stay in our “comfort zone” instead of making changes. The comfort zone might not even feel comfortable, but it is familiar. Lots of people stay with what is familiar to them rather than risk delving into the unknown (future), even though making changes could mean living a better life.
Life is full of risk. We all know that some risks are worth taking, and some aren’t. Make wise and constructive lifestyle changes − take that risk.
Be bold! Conquer fear to make the changes we must make to live the lives that we desire. Read books and articles about overcoming fear. See a specialist trained in treating your particular fear. Learn from people who have succeeded at conquering their fears to make the same life changes that you want to make. If we really want to change, then with the right resources, mindset and so on, we can.
Fitzhugh Dodson said the often quoted saying: “Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” So true.
We might have fun going nowhere in particular, but, then again, we might feel stressed or upset, but we still aren’t going anywhere with a clear purpose. What a waste!
In order to succeed, we must set goals. We must know what we want to achieve.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Robbins and many other motivational speakers promote the value of goal setting. Listen to these success gurus. Their YouTube videos/podcasts are a good start.
We might set goals, but are they appropriate? Goals that are unrealistic, irrelevant, too vague, too difficult, and so on, are a waste of time.
The SMART technique is a common way to set goals. Many people like it and use it for goal setting. SMART stands for:
Every goal needs at least one plan. Benjamin Franklin apparently said the well-known saying: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Wise. So plan to win. How? As a start, why not use relevant elements of SMART goal setting (above) to create your plans? Also, have good reasons for your plans, as well as the right skills, knowledge, support, strategies and resources.
To make changes it’s vital to:
Use the above ideas that connect with you to help you overcome some common barriers to change. Read my second blog post on this topic, coming soon.