What Will It Take?

When I’m in social situations with people I’ve just met, I inevitably get asked, “So what do you do?”  When I tell people I’m a holistic health coach that usually inspires more than a few questions.  What does that mean? What do you actually do? Why did you go into this?  I love talking about my job, so it’s always a pleasure.
But something that many people have said to me has me thinking.  When I say that many of my clients are trying to lose weight and learn to eat right nearly everyone says something to the effect of, “Oh! I need you!” or “I could use some help with that!”  I’m always happy to answer questions and talk casually about health and wellness, but I can’t help but wonder why so many people say this.
Sure, we have an obesity epidemic in this country.  I know that regardless of actual weight or body composition, nearly a third of American women are currently “on a diet”.  I am not wondering about what the motivation is for saying these things, I’m wondering why there are so many people who do.  Why do so many people say they want to be healthier, but the statistics show that most people aren’t actually achieving it?
My question is this: Where is your tipping point?
The tagline at the top of every page on this website, on my business cards, and on my t-shirts is “Make the choice to make a change”. I love that because to live a healthy lifestyle, to be well, to feel good inside and out, to get fit requires making daily – maybe even hourly – choices to change what you were doing to something else that will take you closer to your goal.  One has to consciously choose to change habits and mindset.
I find that when I’m talking to people, whether I’m in the aforementioned social situation or chatting with prospective clients, nearly everyone wants the final result – weight loss, increased energy, improved overall health, a greater feeling of contentment and happiness, self-acceptance, etc., but few are actively in pursuit of these things.  What is it going to take to inspire change?
I heard someone say one time that most people are miserable with their own state of being, but not miserable enough to do anything about it.  If this is true, just how much misery, or even discomfort or dissatisfaction, are YOU willing to put up with in your own life before you decide to make changes?  Why is it human nature to wait until we’ve reached the point of misery before we do something?
In working with my clients I have found that nearly every one of them has reached a point where they can’t stand “X” anymore.  Everyone’s “X” has been different – weight, various health problems, etc. I always ask why they waited so long to call me.  Why did they put up with this issue for as long as they did when they could have sought relief months or years before?
I know that everyone has his or her own tipping point, that instant when feeling bad just got unbearable and the prospect of making changes seemed less uncomfortable or unbearable than enduring one’s own X factor any longer.  I am just urging you to reassess where that tipping point is.  Nobody has to put up with negative feelings and physical discomfort when there are ways to change the situation.
So, I’m asking you to give these questions some thought.  Write your answers down on a piece of paper with the date at the top so you can see your responses and use them at a later date for inspiration to change your circumstance.

  • What do I want to change about my life?
  • What are the things or forces in my current circumstance that make me unhappy?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being mildly disgruntled and 10 being abject misery), how badly do I feel about these things?
  • How many things did you rank with 5 or more?
  • What are the factors in my current life situation that are keeping me from making changes towards a healthier lifestyle?
  • Among the factors listed above, which are out of my control to change?
  • Among the factors listed above, which are within my control to change?
  • What can I do today to make one simple change towards a healthier lifestyle?
  • Do I need help with making changes in my life?
  • What resources do I have available to me that can help me change things that make me unhappy?

Writing these responses down isn’t just meaningless busywork.  I’m asking you to give these ten questions some serious thought and meditation.  Take a few hours or days to think about each answer.  Hopefully after careful reflection you’ll start to see very clearly all of the forces and circumstances that are keeping you from feeling healthy, strong, capable, and looking your best.
If you find the above exercise to be difficult to complete, give yourself time to truly be honest about the responses.  Shining a light on what makes you sad can be a uncomfortable or even painful prospect.  Don’t rush.
Contact me if you feel you’re stuck or want someone to who will listen to your responses without judgement.
We all possess the power to change our circumstances for the better.  Waiting until you can’t stand the negativity anymore before you enact change doesn’t have to be an option.
Make the choice to make a change.

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