It’s not what you know; it’s what you do. Chances are if you are reading this you likely know that lifestyle plays a monumental role in the quality of your life: how you look, feel and age. Unfortunately for many women we know enough (maybe too much!) about what we need to tweak, we just need to stick to it. You’ve likely felt at certain times that you’ve failed at making changes and some days it’s just easier to keep on resorting to your usual habits even though you know in your heart that they don’t serve you. You absolutely can make changes and stick to them. As a busy mother of four and CEO, I have had so much practice making changes to have the life I love. Here is what works for me. I’d love for you to try it and see what it does for you.
It’s not what you know; it’s what you do
Focus on MINDFULNESS, not motivation. While motivation is great, it’s essentially a quick jolt of inspiration. It’s why you make it through your first week on a diet but give up after the second or third. Mindfulness, however, allows you to tap into the process that fuels your triggers. For example, if your goal is to lose weight and you know that your challenging time is afternoon or early evening, take a pause and reflect on what’s bubbling up for you about that specific time of day. Do you snack too much after your afternoon meeting? Do you eat your kid’s leftover dinner? Do you come home and pour yourself a glass or three of wine? Taking time to slow down and understand your patterns will help you lay the groundwork for long-term changes.
Discover your WHY. Why do you do what you do in the first place? After you practice some mindfulness work and become more aware of your triggers, it’s time to consider both why you’re being triggered. Going back to the example of weight loss, if you notice you consistently snack on autopilot after a specific work meeting, look into why. Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you feel bored? Does your boss or colleague rub you the wrong way or intimidate you? Get to the root of why you’re being triggered and perhaps journal about it to fully understand what it’s about.
Focus on WHAT you’ll get, not what you’ll lose. We all have that tendency to ruminate on comfort foods we know we need to cut back on (or give up entirely) or complain about making time for exercise or relaxation. You do it; I do it – it’s pure human nature. The thing is, it gets you nowhere. Instead of getting caught up in the negative thinking trap, focus more on getting what you want. Each time you are presented with an opportunity to make a choice that brings you closer to your ultimate goal, immediately remind yourself of it through a visualization or mantra. Fully tune in to how it makes you feel to focus on what you want whether it be fitting into your clothes better, loving the way your skin glows or having the energy to enjoy motherhood or your job.
Avoid the comparison game. This one is by far the hardest for women, but please trust me that avoiding comparing yourself to your friends or strangers is one of the healthiest things you can do. A mindset of comparison yields nothing but lousy feelings. Instead, compare yourself to the one person that matters – yourself. I love tracking specific markers of my health and wellness in a journal so I have a baseline I can compare my progress to. This way I keep the focus real and relevant and leave the background noise out. Since we are all so uniquely built with different body types, genetics, and environmental inputs, there is no reason to ever assume that you should measure up to another’s standards. Save yourself the stress from wanting what someone else has – especially because you never know what they’re struggling with behind the scenes. For all you know, you have something they want!