Have you ever made a grand, sweeping statement about your health? If you have chronic challenges such as fibromyalgia and diabetes, etc. you’ve probably said, “from now on, I’m not going to eat sugar!” Or, “from now on I’m going to work out seven days a week!” I’d wager you have. I have, too. But how do you bridge the gap between the nebulous phrase, “from now on,” to making it a reality? In other words … making it a daily decision?
To get there, let me back up.
Here’s where things usually begin with those who are looking to make changes. I’m asked by clients and workshop attendees, over and over, for the ONE key to health transformation. They’re looking for the one, grand, sweeping action that will gain them the most traction.
I get it. I mean, I totally get it.
When I hear that question, I know what they’re looking for. Here’s what everyone wants to hear.
- The one secret food to eliminate
- The one secret food to add
- The one secret exercise that reduces pain
- The one secret way to get rid of irritating people
(You’d think I’m kidding on that last one, but nope.)
The thing is, there IS a “One Thing” but it’s not a secret. And, it’s not anything you could eat, move, or even divorce.
The one thing that ensures success?
Making daily small micro decisions every single day … ones that support your health goals.
This is where you gain the most traction:
lead to macro results
You may not think it’s important, but that “one little” decision to take the stairs at work, or to replace soda with water can really add up. Maybe you take the stairs and sip water one day per week? Maybe you discover it was not as hard as you thought, and you go for two days a week? Selecting herbal tea over an empty-nutrient, empty calorie drink is a great success. Yay, YOU! Selecting your walking shoes even when you feel like skipping it, is a great success. Celebrate! Selecting a meditative activity (tai chi, walking, yoga, intentional relaxation) over mindless TV is a great success. Hip hip hooray!
Over time, it’s your small successes that build into big results.
And, by the way, that’s the stuff that motivation is made of. Motivation comes from seeing, tracking, and acknowledging results. Some results aren’t as obvious, but they’re still there.
The bottom line is that with every daily decision, you get to decide what you want.
I have a measuring guideline that I use to make decisions and it’s pretty darned simple. But, as I’ve just shared – don’t underestimate simple. Simple can mean powerful.
I’ve been sharing this guideline since 2008. I’ve shared it at workshops, lectures, and with clients. It’s just a quote. For your convenience, I’ve created a free, printable PDF Daily Decisions Poster (Daily Decisions Poster-RW) that you can download and use for your own benefit. This guideline consists of just one sentence.
Here’s what you need to know. For every decision you make (and we make about 35,000/day) you get to make a choice. When it comes to your choice …
Does it reflect what you want right NOW,
or does it represent what you want MOST in life?
There’s no right or wrong.
Each decision counts.
I hope you download your free poster by clicking the link above. Put it to good use. What’ll you decide?
Please share your experiences and comments below. Do you have a hard time building and sustaining motivation? Do you wish there was a way to make grand change and completely transform your health? You’re not alone – please share!
building and sustaining motivation……procrastination…..my blocks that I am dealing with. Enjoyed your blog this week
Louise — your comment is SO familiar to us all! Building and sustaining motivation is great. Then there are plateaus. It’s important to do some self-investigative work to discover WHAT is causing procrastination and sabotage. Can be super helpful either on your own or with help 😉
Procrastination………huge problem for me. Extreme fatigue and pain 24/7 definately play a part, depression and no money due to not being able to work would be more, and being alone with nobody to help or even just give me a hug and talk to me, Well you understand. Wish doctors and disability people understood, could add to this list also…..so tired of it all….
Lisa – yep, procrastination is a common hurdle for those with chronic health challenges. We become stuck in the “what does it matter? ” mindset and that doesn’t help us to feel motivated. That’s when it’s super helpful to have an accountability partner. They can often see progress and behaviors that you may not. Thanks for adding your comment here because it helps this whole community. So many can relate!
Thanks for this. It is true, as you said, we all would love a quick one time thing to fix us. But a doctor once told me “just remember how long it took you to get where you are today, it will take at least that long to remedy what you have already done”. So, I will also add your mantra to hers and keep making my changes “one decision at a time”.
That’s a GREAT plan, Shelley! And one encouraging thing to recognize is that the body is an amazing healing machine. While some of us took decades to really get sick (one accident or illness may have pushed us over the edge, but likely there were issues before) – it doesn’t take as long to feel better and see results. Stick to your plan and I know you’ll gain the momentum you need!
I think I am getting the hang of this. When I was having trouble with my cholesterol and could not tolerate a statin, I chose to use food, losing more weight, and exercise as my plan–faithful and daily. After a month or so, it worked. All was normal. I also was on the brink of getting freedom from a night time binge eating problem. God led me to Setting Captives free Bible studies. So I went from 158.5 to 139 lbs in about 120 days or so. I have had a few boggles, but they are short lived. Now I am (it’s in the works) going to go to senior citizen swims at least 3x a week until mid-December. Finally, a warm pool opened a short drive from me and I was able to budget the money as a priority. I am trusting God on all this–for motivation and joy in this journey as well. A couple weeks ago, I found a one-piece swimming suit that fit me well (first one tried on even) and was reduced by 2/3rds of an original price of $99. So I was and am a happy camper. I, too, suffer from depression (S.A.D. and circumstantial plus genetic variety). I have to be very pro-active for myself as no one else will or can do it. Choices are mine to make. Doing nothing is a choice. I’m coming along by the grace of God. But, alas, winter will follow fall! My rheumy says to get down south for a little trip. Makes the world of difference. So trying to find out what options I do have.
Comments are closed.