By Carol Phillips
Do you often dream about various ways you wish you were different? How much time do you spend thinking about certain areas of your life you believe could be improved over the way you currently live?
Perhaps you picture feeling less stressed or easily fitting into a smaller pants size. Possibly, you wish you could wave a magic wand to increase your fitness level or make healthier food choices on a daily basis. Maybe you have repeated thoughts of landing a new job that is more suited to what feeds your soul. This repeated pattern of thinking is a common occurrence for many, but this habit often increases our stress level and leaves us feeling inadequate. In fact, over time, most Americans become less healthy in numerous areas of their lives and feel increasingly powerless to change.
Countless people spend their whole lives dreaming instead of doing! They sometimes wonder why they can’t seem to turn their dreams into reality. There are many reasons why people feel stuck, procrastinate, or “try and fail,” as they watch the years pass by without making any progress. Some of these reasons include low self-confidence, picturing a mountain too big to climb, worrying about what other people might think or say, and subconsciously believing they don’t deserve to be happy. However, everyone deserves to be healthy and happy, including you! Here are some tips on how to turn your wishes into healthy living and begin your journey to personal success:
Keep it simple. Don’t picture having to get to where you want to be in one huge step. Break your goal down into small steps that are easier to mentally process and then implement into your daily routine.
Enjoy the journey. We tend to think we can’t be truly happy until we reach our destination, but that is a self-imposed limitation that can easily sabotage our best efforts. Would you go on a road trip across the country and not enjoy the thousands of sights and moments of laughter along the way? Of course not. So why not enjoy every step you take in the right direction?
Identify your roadblocks. If you don’t know the root of a problem, you can’t successfully come up with a plan to overcome it and eliminate it permanently. Therefore, spend time brainstorming the true causes of what is holding you back. For example, if you struggle with getting up early in the morning to exercise and have spent years wishing you could get up an hour earlier for a run, perhaps you need to identify that you are just not a morning person. Instead of wishing you were different (and missing out on all the benefits of exercise), you can embrace the night owl in you and exercise at lunchtime or right after work. Even if your exercise routine is shorter than you hoped for, Plan B is better than no plan at all.
Invite family and friends to share their dreams and work together as a team. We are social beings and we crave support from loved ones. Why not create a win/win by moving forward in a positive direction together? For example, go grocery shopping as a family and discover new healthy foods and recipes to prepare. As a side note, eating healthy and losing weight is not about being hungry or eating foods you dislike. The key is to make healthier choices, which will likely provide more nutrition and fewer unhealthy ingredients and excess calories. Holding a family meeting in which you share your wishes and allow every member of the family to do the same in a loving, supportive manner, is a great first step!
Celebrate your successes. Every small step or change from the ordinary is a reason to celebrate. Giving yourself a pat on the back helps to focus your brain away from the negative and toward the positive, which will significantly increase your chances of making healthier choices more and more often.
A better life is waiting for you! Set out to turn your wishes into reality by being kind and reasonable with yourself and you will be well on your way to turning those dreams into a happier, everyday life.
Carol Phillips is a national health and wellness expert, the award-winning author of 52 Simple Ways to Health, and the radio host of Ask Coach Carol. Her company, Health Design, helps businesses significantly reduce costs and increase productivity by prioritizing health, wellness, and safety practices. Health Design is a SHRM Recertification Provider. Based in Manchester, NH, she can be reached through her website at www.HealthDesignNH.com.