I network with a lot of female business owners. And in the business world, we are encouraged to dream BIG. Map out the steps that will get us there, but never take our eyes off the end goal.
It’s exhilarating. It’s what drives us. Eyes always on that prize at the end.
But things are a little different when it comes to our personal health or lifestyle improvement.
Maybe your goal is to lose 50 pounds. Maybe even more. Perhaps you want to complete a long distance race – half marathon anyone?? Surely I’m not the only one who fights a sweet tooth – especially when feeling a little extra stress.
In all of these instances, when we keep our eye on the end goal – 50 pounds gone, crossing that finish line, no more sugar – rather than feel that same excitement we have for our business, we go to a place of “I could never to that so I won’t even try.”
And I’m here to tell you why.
There’s something in the wiring of a woman that naturally leads us to take care of others first.
That business we’re busting our butts to grow? It will meet the needs of our clients and customers.
That 90 minute training run once a week, plus 30-45 minute runs two other days….well, that takes us away from the work that will benefit the people we serve. Or maybe it takes us away from our family.
What we often forget is that we cannot be at our best for the people we serve at home, or through our work, unless we take care of ourselves first.
I know what you’re thinking…..That’s a great word, but how does that help? It doesn’t buy me more time to run my business. Knowing I need to take care of myself doesn’t help me do it. This weight isn’t going to come off on its own.
Those BIG lifestyle goals I mentioned? They are great. They’re necessary. We always need to have something we are working for in the end. And some people can keep their eye on that end and succeed. The rest of us need to become more nearsighted.
I have THREE keys to share with you that will make all the difference in the world. They are essential to getting your journey started in a way that will keep you excited to continue.
Are you ready?
Key #1: Focus on one small change you can make RIGHT NOW, and be successful with it.
Want to lose weight?
Decrease the amount of calories you drink in a week. Whether it’s switching to diet soda, drinking 4 Cokes a week instead of 6, add half and half to your coffee instead of heavy cream, decrease the serving size on that glass of wine.
Want to run that big race?
Go take a 10 minute walk/jog/run – whatever your speed is. Do it 3 times a week.
And when the small changes become part of the routine, you add another level. Swap out chips for a salad at lunch. Add 5 minutes to your walk.
Getting to that health goal might take longer. Or you might find you enjoy the benefits of these decisions so much that you can get a little more aggressive with the frequency of your changes. Notice I said a LITTLE more.
You see, when we make the changes gradual, they are much more likely to become permanent.
Key #2: Make it enjoyable.
If you HATE Diet Soda, don’t make yourself drink it. If you HATE walking outside, find a way to walk inside.
Let me share a couple of examples from my own experience……
I’m all for trying new foods, eating healthy foods….I love vegetables and a LOT of them. But I have TWO non-negotiables when it comes to healthier eating – Bacon and Ranch Dressing.
Low fat ranch, fat free ranch, turkey bacon…..no way, not gonna happen, keep those nasty things FAR away from me!!!!!
If you tell me my new lifestyle cannot include my full-fat ranch dressing and real bacon – I. AM. OUT!
So……what am I willing to adjust or give up so that I can keep these things around??
I love walking. And I love when I can do so outdoors. But I live in Ohio, and am writing this during winter when I’m pretty sure I’m never going to warm up again. Seriously, I’m sitting at my desk wearing handwarmers. INSIDE!
Needless to say, the chances of me walking outside this time of year are non-existent.
So…..what can I do to still be able to walk and enjoy it??
Key #3: Make it convenient.
While not all changes over time can be convenient, in the beginning….they MUST be. Otherwise, you won’t stick with them.
Let’s use my walking example from above. Obviously I can’t walk outside in the winter. So if walking is truly what I enjoy and want to continue doing, it makes sense to get a gym membership so I can walk indoors.
There are some great gyms with really inexpensive memberships. As low as $10 per month. Fantastic! But…..the two closest locations to me are each 20 minutes away. That’s not very convenient. What IS convenient? The gym I drive past at least twice every single day. Yes the price is higher, but this is a short term solution with a perfect location.
It must be convenient.
These three keys are the beginning. Adopting these will greatly reduce the overwhelm, and put you in a place to experience the up-front success needed to continue.