Updated: Oct 18, 2021
Let’s Unravel that Pattern of Thinking!
No focus IS the focus of today’s blog.
After asking on Monday what this client’s specific action steps were going to be for the upcoming week, I was saddened to receive the following message in return:
“Hi, Jodi – I’m actually working in [location] this week, so there’s no focus.
Due to travel, no travel, or no matter what the circumstances, it is one of the most disheartening messages I can receive as a coach. So, I want to address it, because I’d be a fool if I didn’t think that we all don’t feel overwhelmed at times. However, I’m also going to give you the punch line:
When it comes to your health and wellness goals, you can always do SOMETHING to avoid getting lost in any situation.
Multiple reasons can explain why anyone might feel like sending a message like the one I received above: due to feeling overwhelmed, feeling frustrated, feeling angry or resentful about lack of effort or results, feeling rebellious, or perhaps something else.
What I do in those situations: honor the space the individual is in at the moment. You might also apply this approach in your own lives, whether it’s you or someone requests your help with their health goals. If it’s someone else, you might also know deep down that they aren’t truly ready to make those changes, or at least you suspect that’s the case. In the stages of readiness phase, true readiness must occur before effective change takes place. Readiness can also advance or regress, and I believe that’s exactly what happened with my client in this situation.
If you or someone you know feels unfocused, remember:
There is ALWAYS something you can do related to your health and wellness IF it is a priority.
If there is one take-away you will realize as a result of this blog, I hope that this is the one!
Even if you or another party aren’t ready to receive some of these ideas now, hopefully you’ll save this list for a point in the future where you might be more receptive. I can relate, since I used to have a demanding corporate job. It required 60 hours some weeks and often heavy travel. At times I found it exhausting and overwhelming, and I was especially ticked off on the days that a late night and early morning afforded me no workout and only six hours of sleep. But even in those moments, I knew I could apply some thought patterns and actions that involved keeping myself a priority:
1. “I can control my outlook – even if my circumstances aren’t ideal, I can do my best to make the most of them.” …aka, “I can LOOK for opportunities to do the right thing by myself.” Everything, as you know, begins with mindset.
2. “I can drink my water (even if the restroom visits are inconvenient).”
3. “I can pack a certain number of meals, nonperishable snacks, protein powders, and/or meal replacement bars to have as backup.”
4. “Even if I don’t have time for a workout, I can get my steps in [at the airport, before work, after work, by parking farther away, etc.] – they all add up!”
5. “Even if I am not in control of what is served at meals, I can eat mindfully and control my portions.”
6. “Just because I am visiting another city, I do not have to overeat, faceplant into a plate of food, or consume everything in sight.”
7. “I can begin and/or end my day with 10 minutes of [meditation, stretching, breathing exercises].”
8. “I can choose single-ingredient foods at restaurants.”
9. “If I am ‘stuck’ at a convenience place or fast-food restaurant, I can make choices that do not involve fried foods.”
10. “I do not have to choose alcohol, especially not to de-stress or unwind after a long day.”
11. “I can take 60 seconds to do a breathing exercise if I am stressed during the day.” *See https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/stress-anxiety/breathing-three-exercises/
12. “I can control my responses to situations vs being a ‘victim’ of them.”
I can list more, but that dozen covers a lot of ground! What else can you add to that list?
As I mentioned, we all feel overwhelmed, overworked, and exhausted at times. Teach yourself to trade hopelessness for hopefulness, and remind yourself:
In many cases, pinpointing the one thing can feel somewhat empowering – after all, it’s not everything, it’s simply one, singular action or choice (so doable!). Even if the only thing involves the fact that the stressful thing or stress-provoking party doesn’t own my mindset, then you’re still winning. More positive decisions can spin from that place! It’s also a critical moment to teach ourselves that we can control more than we think. Champions learn how to stay in charge!
Jodi Sheakley-Wright, PhD, is a Lead Mentor & Certified Health Coach with KK Wellness Consulting. She welcomes continued dialogue on fat shaming and fit shaming so that everyone can find peace in their own process and journey. Learn more at https://www.kkwellnessconsulting.com/, or reach Jodi directly at email@example.com.