Are You Willing to do What Successful People Do?

Effective-Ways-to-Create-Healthy-HabitsAs a health coach I occasionally work with clients who move toward their goals like an arrow toward a bulls-eye. More often however, there are times in the journey to health when people really battle to stick with their health program. Why is that? What is it that separates the two groups?

I can identify certain qualities and patterns in my clients and colleagues who have been successful in achieving their heath goals and the health coaches I have met who have achieved long-term health and ultrahealth:

Successful people have a strong and detailed image of what they want to achieve.

Nearly always, in the process of getting healthier, the initial momentum toward health is geared toward getting out of pain, physical or mental. Focusing on getting out of pain is a limited mindset and will only carry you so far, because the will to stay on track gets smaller as the pain gets smaller. The most successful people I work with do not focus on their pain. They have a big, clearly defined future outcome. If you are struggling to stay on track it will be helpful to examine where it is you are hoping to go, and in what ways EXACTLY life will be improved when you get there.

Successful people do not plan for failure, but they do plan for Very Special Circumstances.

My most successful clients are consistently maintaining a high confidence level. If they are going to a wedding or a big holiday is coming up they do not plan to fail.  I am not saying that they stay on their health plan 100% every day. Nobody does that! But, suppose their health program says “No Cake.” They may plan to have a piece of cake in a Very Special Circumstance.  Successful people plan when and how much they will deviate from their health program. Planning a deviation turns a slice of cake from a mess-up to an acceptable treat. What do many of us do after we “mess up?” We really beat ourselves up – and then that drives us to really go off the rails. So, don’t mess up, PLAN.

Successful People Don’t Make Excuses

Everyone makes mistakes; failures to plan ahead, poor choices, distractions from priorities.  However, successful people do not spend a lot of time justifying mistakes. Mistakes are learning experiences. Excuses do not change the outcome of a mistake, except to maybe make you feel better, which can make is easier to have the same misstep again.

Successful People’s Goals Are Woven Into Their Daily Routines

Routines, routines, routines. I would challenge any of us to identify a successful person who does not have strong routines surrounding their area of excellence.  The activities that support your healthy choices need must be on the schedule FIRST. A healthy routine cannot be made cramming your workout or trip to the grocery store in while you are scrambling to do other things. Is it daunting to imagine scheduling yourself to exercise or meditate or preparing healthy food? Try setting just one appointment for self-care this week. As you add healthy routines, track your progress. Just as it is essential to have a detailed vision of the future you desire, it is also essential to review progress as part of your routine.

Successful people are not afraid to fail

Simply put, you must be sometimes in the position to fail or you will never have the ability to succeed.  Fear of failure is the shortest route to not-even-gonna-try. One mental experiment you might try is the “What’s the worst possible outcome?” Sometimes the worst case possibility, unlikely as it is, isn’t even that scary.

We sometimes avoid striving to be better because we are afraid it will be “too hard.” There’s a choice between the difficulties of adopting the mindset of success, better habits and routines OR the difficulty of living with the things that you wish were better about yourself, which difficulty do you choose?

Whatever the path you are following, winding or straight, feel the joy in your journey, keep learning and always be kind to yourself!

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Digestion: Something is just not right down there!

imagesMore than 2000 years ago, Hippocrates stated that “All disease begins in the gut.”  Knowing the digestive tract at the beginning place where our nourishment is transformed into our energy and our body itself, I think that Hippocrates must have been correct.

Food should leave us feeling nourished and energized.  Eating  should not be something we dread, not knowing how our body may react to a meal.  Like all normal body processes, digestion should be something we do not have to think about.  Sure, we can reasonably expect to have some changes in how things are working if we at times do not drink enough water or eat enough vegetables, or if we eat too many marshmallow Peeps.

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Diagnosis: Not-Sick-but-Not-Well

What is the ultimate measure of health?  Some folks like to rely on certain numbers;  resting heart rate, cholesterol level, blood pressure, weight.  Others look at health more holistically, feeling that the measure of health is how well a person can function and enjoy life.  This second view makes more sense to me as a holistic health practitioner.  After all, the body is a dynamic system that cannot easily be defined by a single number or parameter.

Many people I help in my practice are not technically “sick.”  They are not in a disease state that can be measured by abnormal vital signs or laboratory findings.  However, despite being “not sick,” they are certainly not healthy and well – and they know it.  Many of my patients, from children to adults, suffer with difficult digestive function.  Many experience fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, and anxiety.  Some have body pain in their joints, back or neck.  What these situations have in common is that they are not diseases.  In most cases the vital signs and standard laboratory tests will be normal.  But the patient knows that something is not right.

Being not-sick-but-not-well can be frustrating.  You may be told that everything appears normal by your doctor and dismissed, or perhaps given recommendations for symptom care.  To the person who is not-sick-but-not-well I say “Great!  You are not (yet) in a disease state so your health challenge may be easier to resolve.”

At The Healing Center I do not attempt to put every patient in a box neatly label with a specific disease or diagnosis.  My goal is to find structural, nutritional and energetic sources of stress and apply a remedy or give a recommendation to address that stress.  The body will naturally self-heal and self-regulate when the stress levels are managed.  Removing and reducing stresses on the body will allow the body to get itself in balance, symptoms will resolve and health is enjoyed once again.

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