Updated: May 29, 2019
When it comes to reaching heath and wellness goals, things don't happen to you. They just happen. What matters is our chosen reaction. So when life doesn’t go according to plan, what do you do? How do you react?
Getting to any goal is dependent on your ability to problem solve. You must be able to take in new information, make an educated choice, and move ahead. Life is dynamic. It doesn't play out like a movie, or a fairy tale in our minds. It plays out how it plays out and we have to handle things as they come.
What do you do when you've planned to walk on the treadmill at the gym, but when you get there, they’re all full? You can make a number of choices. You can panic, get back in your car and go home. You can stand impatiently behind someone and wait for them to finish (awkward). You can choose a different mode for your cardio. I know it’s a simple example, but you get the idea.
The way we react to life's situations can either make us, or break us. Think about the most recent challenge you've faced. How did you react? Was it with anger, frustration, or stress? Are you playing a victim in your own life? Or are you actively solving challenges to reach success?
Very few things in life go as planned. Even right now, I know you could think of countless BIG life examples of things not going according to the plan in your mind. The ability to adapt, creatively solve problems, and think about potential solutions is what keeps us moving forward in life, despite setbacks or change.
How do you know you might be a victim to your own responses and reactions?
You can find out through your internal dialogue or responses when you’re faced with someone who you think has it easy in life.
Some responses might be:
"If I only had one tenth the discipline you have!"
"I sure admire your commitment."
"How do you stay on track at these long days?"
"Still bringing all your food, I see."
"Wow! You have will power!"
“Wish I had more time to workout like you.”
“If only I have your life and job.“
“Who cleans your house and does your meal prep?”
“Well, your kids are grown now.”
“I see you have a spouse who is supportive and helps you.”
What do they have that's different? How are they able to make it last? What's their secret?
I'll tell you THE secret. It's twofold and it has nothing to do with the above internal responses:
THEY have clarity in THEIR values
THEY are deeply connected to THEIR goals
The key to your success is thinking about those things, then aligning your actions with those. That's THE secret, and the secret is out.
We are the only ones accountable for our choices. Our spouse isn't accountable. Our families and friends enjoying themselves at happy hour aren't accountable. The world around us isn't responsible for our outcome. We are. Accepting that accountability comes with knowing that nothing is owed to us. We don't "deserve" wine or pizza or ice cream. There's no situation where we ”earned" it, not even when having a bad day, dealing with stress, feeling sad, or even celebrating a happy occasion. None of those things “earn” us a reward.
But why? Because those things don't align with our values and goals. So choose to make choices in direct alignment with your goals and values. This is how to manage overall healthy lifestyle and wellness. Next time you are faced with this kind of problem, I advise you to stop, breathe, and assess your situation. Take a moment to focus on what you really want, and make a choice that aligns with your goals and your values.
Your health goals are not mine. They belong to you. Find clarity in them and you'll find you are not elbow deep in a bag of chips, drinking an entire bottle of wine because you had a stressful week.
Your goals are waiting for you to win!
The difference between “if only” and “doing it” is just one step. That's it. And it means repeating that one step every day.