This is the first year in countless that I won't be making empty resolutions such as: this year I will eat healthier, drink less, workout more, improve my marriage, excel in business, etc. Because they are a load of manure.
Like so many of you, I would enjoy the holidays to the fullest (which typically started at Halloween) and vow to Do Better and Get Straight after the new year. It was always a strange concept to me that I could lead a successful change management business yet changing myself was always a struggle. Oh, I made plenty of excuses: the business is stressful, kids need me, husband and I have more fun when we eat and drink, I am almost 50 and my body is simply not the same, I am a happy person (for the most part). Not one of those excuses was my truth. I have come to realize just how high the wall of lies can be to hide behind.
In June of 2021 I faced my truth, not in the way some are forced to through a doctor-prescribed health crisis, but after seeing pictures of myself at my 50th birthday party. It was an amazing day and likely will go down in my history as the best party ever. However, in the photos I noticed my poses and that I was hiding behind other people, flowers, or furniture just to hide "the bulk of me" from the camera. I was not the bold, empowered woman I projected, not as I hid behind furniture and flowers. It was time to define my desired truth and get there.
I found an amazing program and my health journey began. My journey required real conversations with my coach, my family and myself. My truth revealed that I used wine and food as self-care treatment. As referenced by Dan Sullivan in his book "Gap vs Gain: The High Achiever's Guide to Happiness", I was personally living in the gap, rather than the gain. I was doing this over and over and accepting failure as my reality. I would never let a client go down that path so why did I, and likely so many of you, find myself on a struggling road?
Just as in business, if our desired truth, our Why, is not defined or important enough to commit to, we will not stay committed. Willpower is temporary. It is not a plan. It is a desired emotional state of perceived strength, a test against ourselves and our demons. When we truly define our desired truth and get behind it, we can kick willpower to the curb.
So how do we do it?
- Get real about your desired truth. Make a real Why Statement – write it down and post it multiple places.
- Get out of the gap. Stop using language like, "I have to lose, I have to quit, etc.". Look to the gain. "I want to ski, surf, pick anything from my closet, etc."
- Find a coach/community of truth supporters.
- Work on all areas – mind, body and spirit. I am not saying work on each one hour a day, but energy flow is necessary to complete the quadrant of your why. Dedicate a few minutes daily to each and your energy flow will soar enough to make the challenges of lifestyle change easier. Relying on willpower alone can be a recipe for failure.
- Believe in whatever plan you choose and don't make excuses. Life will always get in the way. Remember the list of excuses I shared above? They are easy to talk ourselves into and halt our change. Utilize your tool of logic rather than giving into the ease of an excuse. Have a busy day of meetings? Make a plan to pack healthy snack options and fill your water jug. Plan for bathroom breaks (there is no rule that meetings have to be back-to-back or a full hour long). BUSY is a four-letter word that we love to throw around to make ourselves feel important while giving ourselves another brick for our wall of lies. You may be saying, "you have no idea about my life". I actually think I can relate, and I believe you think so too, or you wouldn't still be reading.
My intention behind writing this article is not to brag about my achievements (although I am extremely proud of my journey), but rather to encourage you with hope, guidance and grace, a path forward to those seeking to get out from behind the furniture, flowers and proverbial wall of lies and make 2022 about defining and chasing your truth!