I’m writing this on the night of Monday, August 21st, 2017. The day of this century’s “Great American Eclipse”.
And, I gotta admit… I din’t think it really lived up to all the hype I kept hearing.
“The first time in a Century!”
“A Total Eclipse!”
I was expecting this grandiose, blackout-like experience. I was even having dreams about what it would look like (that was crazy, until my friend told me it’s common for people to have crazy dreams during an eclipse). #moonstuff
Anyways. The day came. The time came. I had my cardboard with a hole in it, and the reflection on my phone (I also ran around last minute trying to find the official glasses at every store on my block but was unsuccessful).
And you know what… I didn’t really see anything. There was one moment I could tell the sky got a shade darker, but not what I expected after reading that in LA 62% coverage of the sun would happen…
This got me to thinking how common it is for us to be set up with a grandiose idea of how an event will go, just to have it actually happen very differently. How often do we get our hopes up for something, to the point of having a detailed vision and expectation of how we see things playing out?
Maybe it’s anticipation of a movie you’ve heard is a blockbuster, a restaurant you’ve been told is stellar, or a new music artist that’s gonna be the next star.
So you go to the movie, the restaurant, the concert. Only… when you experience it, whether it was just not your personal favorite, or maybe you liked it but not on the level the referral seemed to, and it becomes this sour experience. We feel robbed, let down, disappointed.
I think the same thing happens with our health and nutrition.
You can start to see how this relates to information we are given on a daily basis about what is ‘healthy vs. not healthy’ and what ‘new diet’ or magic pill is all the rage.
We want results. So we buy into it. We listen to the promises. We trust the information.
And then, maybe we experience a little change, or a temporary result. But, if you’re like 97-99% of people who try to overhaul their health (or any behavior/habit/challenge for that matter) with a quick fix… You will ultimately come away feeling robbed, let down, and disappointed.
I’d like to point out, this was me with the Eclipse… I wanted the result of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So why didn’t I ‘get what I was promised?’
Being completely honest with myself, I waited until the last minute to prepare and get the glasses. I could have been more committed to getting the best information about what to expect in my area. I could have followed streaming coverage from an area where the eclipse was closer to 100%…
In doing these things, I may have had a better experience. I may have still been disappointed, lol. But these are things I intuitively know were actions on the table that I chose not to take.
Taking responsibility (for what we CAN control) is part of growing into the next best version of ourselves. If you are stuck in blame, shame and making-excuses-land… as much as I am a softie-ish coach with a ton of compassion… I can flat out say, you will have an extremely difficult time moving forward in life.
The good news is… I believe we can ALL develop, transform, and grow into better versions of ourselves, and BE the 1-3%
1. Check in with what YOU want.
- If you want to lose weight – Why? Is it for personal empowerment/health/energy? Or is it MORE for society, fear of being judged, wanting to look a certain way because that is what media describes as sexy/healthy/beautiful?
- If it’s for reasons that have to do with what other people think, your practice may be more along the lines of body image work, self-love, embracing your beauty and confidence. This is you if you feel like you are actually satisfied with how you are eating/moving, and you wouldn’t change anything except for how you feel about yourself or your fear of what others might think. One exercise I recommend if you find yourself here is called the Practice of Mirror Work . I learned this from the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
- If it IS for personal reasons and you’re intuitively feeling like your ‘healthiest self’ is a different body weight, then it’s time to…
2. Check in with what you’re Doing.
- This is where that fine line between discipline and self-compassion comes into play. In order to get fit, we gotta work hard. In order to eat high quality food, we gotta put some effort into it. So, again, if you’re being honest with yourself…
- Are you struggling with the actual behavior change around some of the things you intuitively know may help you? (ex. – you’re eating foods you know make you feel icky, not getting enough sleep, stressing yourself out with over-committing, or maybe making excuses to skip the gym?) or…
- Are You doing everything you know to do to take care of your health?
- If you’re the first one…
3. Set Up an Experiment.
- At this point, you’ve discovered that you need to work on either the body confidence side of things, the behavior part of taking care of yourself, or perhaps both.
- The action step is to set up an experiment. I love the practice of ‘experimenting’ because it A. Takes the Pressure off. You know, that feeling of ‘do this one thing forever and don’t stop or you’re a failure’ type of pressure. and B. It’s a specific time-frame from which we can achieve measured results.
Here’s an example:
- Challenge: I’m feeling icky in my body, think I may need to lose a little weight, and know I’m not consistent with my fitness routine.
- Check in with What You Want (focus on feelings): I want to feel strong in my body, I want to feel sexy, I want to feel energized by my food.
- Check in with What You’re Doing: I’m skipping a lot of meals. I only work out 2x a week. I’m emotionally eating a lot at night.
- Set Up an Experiment!
- Length: 30 Days (I recommend this be a minimum time frame for an experiment)
- Objectives to Practice: (Even though it’s tempting to shoot for the Moon… I HIGHLY RECOMMEND starting with only one regular habit. Ex. – Work out 3x a week. or, Have a good breakfast every day. Or, sit down at every meal, enjoy my food, and breathe.
- Measure: You can Use this Handy Habit Tracking Calendar I created just for you!
- You can print it out (My personal favorite cuz I like the markers and writing and drawing)
- Or, if you’re a computer-only person…
- When you open the PDF, click to print. On the window that opens, click at the bottom where it says ‘view in preview’. This will create a ‘copy’ and in the top right there is a box/briefcase-lookin’ icon that’s called “mark-up”. Click that, and you can insert your own text/pics/etc.! Y Voila!
All in all, we may not be able to control all of the circumstances that make for a great experience, or reaching our goals in the way we imagine.
But experimenting with, committing to, and practicing habits we CAN control, is super empowering, and just might lead to BETTER results, more confidence, and a higher, more purposeful outcome than when we were frantically and inconsistently trying to follow what everyone else said to do.
Remember, ‘control’ does not mean ‘obsess’, or ‘freak out if you miss the mark’, ‘restrict’, ‘punish’… It simply means being aware of and responsible for your choices, actions, beliefs and habits in a way that allows you to gently re-direct and course-correct along the path to a better you!
**Don’t forget to Download Your MONTHLY HABIT TRACKER
**When You pick your first experiment, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line MY MONTHLY HABIT. In the email, let me know what your practice is, and I will gift you a Complimentary Coaching session to keep you accountable and help you succeed!
Here’s to You!
? ✨ Love & Shiny,