As we plan each action step on our lifestyle journey, a little preparation will go a long way to keep us moving in the right direction.
Keep the following in mind:
Get Together: Who are our best friends? How do we feel when we get together with our families? Do we enjoy being with the people at work, school, our neighborhood and church? The most important step towards health and happiness is recognizing who are the important people in our lives and learning to nurture these relationships. And one of the biggest factors in making successful lifestyle changes is support of friends and family.
Ask Why: How often does it seem we hear the words, “What’s the matter with you?” This question may come loudest from our own internal dialogue. What would be the difference if instead we heard, “What matters most to you?” Focusing on what we most hope for will provided ongoing motivation to continue our journey even in the face of setbacks.
Decide What: There is no shortage of things to do. But we can’t do everything. And if we try to do too many things at once we are setting ourselves up for frustration. We should also remember that no amount of effort put into well intentioned actions will get us where we want to be if we are pointed in the wrong direction. We first need to decide what is most important to us. Then we need to decide, perhaps with the guidance of a good coach, what steps we can take with confidence that will lead us to success.
Get Started: Pick a day to start each new action. Write it down. Tell someone. Commit to a few weeks or maybe months. Whatever it takes, just get started.
Get Support: Hopefully, some of your family and friends will agree to join you. At least let them know how they can best support you. Also, there are some very smart people in the world who would love to share their wisdom and experience with you. Find them. Listen to them. Thank them.
Enjoy: Joy is a funny thing. It’s not the same thing as happiness, although they often come together. Even in the midst of struggle or grief we can experience joy if we are connected with others and are being true to what matters most to us. We also need to be careful not to get too sad about days past or too worried about days to come. We should be secure in who we are and know that no matter what happens, we are loved. Enjoy today.
Prepare: Be ready for bumps in the road. Expect setbacks or relapses. They will happen, but they do not have to lead to failure. Have a plan to quickly get back on track. Learn from them, and move on.
Celebrate: Take note of little successes, even if they happen unintentionally. Make plans to honor the big accomplishments. Be proud. Be thankful. Be generous to ourselves and others. It’s ok to let some excitement flow. And maybe while we’re celebrating, we will begin to wonder, “What’s next?”
Print the Lifestyle Steps Planner tools to help decide which lifestyle steps to take next.
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