The Essential First Step on Your Health Journey
We’ve all heard the adages:
Every journey starts with one step.
You can’t climb a mountain without traversing the base.
You can’t run a marathon without running the first mile.
While all of these statements are absolutely true, they leave out a very basic element - all of the foundational pieces that need to be in place prior to that first step. In order for the journey, the climb or the run to be sustainable, for that first step to lead to the next step, and the next, and the next, you need a solid foundation.
Hi! My name is Fran Paradine, a health coach and therapist, and I am just starting my own journey with TRUEENERGY®. Welcome to my first blog for this amazing company! With the mission to utilize positive energy to lift the human spirit and change the world, TRUEENERGY® embodies the values that I strive to impart in the work with my clients everyday. I am honored and excited to partner with them and I hope you find this blog helpful as you embark on your own journey.
How often do you tell yourself, “I’ll start that tomorrow. Or Monday. Or next month.” Only to not start, even though you think you REALLY want to?
How many times have you started a new behavior (eating “right”, going to the gym, meditating) only to have this great new habit fizzle out after a couple of weeks? And then feel like you’ve failed?
For me, it’s too many times to count! And, I always felt that there was something wrong with me, that I didn’t have enough willpower. When, in reality, my willpower was not the problem. The problem was that I was set up to fail because I did not have a good system in place to sustain each step on my journey.
You see, what I have learned is that, before anyone begins a new behavior, they need a solid plan of action AND they need to anticipate where they might run into trouble. So, when you are planning to climb a mountain, you need to make sure you have the correct gear, a map of where you are going, plenty of provisions and a great support team. Before you run a marathon, you need to get good running shoes, create time in your schedule to train, and devise a plan that builds up your stamina gradually. And, even with the best plan, you will inevitably hit a snag - a storm rolls in or you lose a tent while climbing the mountain; you develop blisters on our feet or you child gets sick while you are training for a marathon.
These snags create moments when you either turn back or keep going. What is the difference between the person who calls it quits and the person who keeps going?
Two things: Preparation and Mindset.
Preparation is not just buying the right gear or food, or joining the best gym, or finding the perfect diet. Preparation is planning. It’s creating a habit that you can stick with. It’s sharing your goals with the people in your life who will be impacted by the changes you are making, and getting them on board. It’s recognizing that you will hit snags and planning to work through them. It’s creating a support network that will help you stand back up and nudge you forward. These are some of the things that will serve as the foundation for your new habits and healthy lifestyle.
Mindset is important when things get hard and you need to decide whether you are going to stop or keep going. The decision to stop a new habit is easy - you simply go back to the way you used to do things. But this often reinforces the belief that you can’t do it, you’re lazy, it’s too hard, you’re not strong enough - all of those negative things we all tell ourselves.
More often than not, however, the decision to stop a new habit comes from one of these four things (or a combination of them):
When you hit that sang and think about quitting, try to identify the thoughts and feelings behind the desire to stop. What do you tell yourself? Identifying these thoughts is the first step to challenging the beliefs, shifting your mindset and making sustainable changes. Once you recognize what you are saying to yourself, you can challenge the thoughts and create a different mindset. Here are some examples of ways to challenge them:
Once you identify and challenge the reasons you tell yourself it’s okay to stop, you will feel energized to plan and take that first step. And the next. And the next.
Decide what makes sense for your first step, keeping in mind that it needs to be something that is sustainable over time. Make it reasonable and doable and then…GO!
Success builds on success and eventually small steps take you great distances.
This blog is my first step and I can’t wait to see where this journey with TrueEnergy takes me!