Your Mentality Part 2
So if you read my last post about goals vs. wishes where I talked about how every behavior we have has a positive or negative effect on our health, you may be left with a question such as: So are saying I should never… have a glass of wine, eat a pizza, enjoy dessert, binge watch TV, stay up late, etc.
Nope, not saying that at all.
Life is full of simple pleasures like a piece of cake, a beer, and a night staying up way too late talking with friends. Simple pleasures like these add richness to our existence. They are the moments we mark that make life meaningful. However, the idea I want to leave you with here is to overcome the illusion of the “minimum effective dose.”
Changing your health and the myth of the minimum effective dose
An unspoken mentality I’ve observed in so many people as they approach the change process is this: “What’s the least amount of work I have to do to get the maximum change?” Or, stated another way: “What extra little tweak can I make, (without changing the major factors that resulted in my current health situation), that will bring about big change?”
You probably guessed it. That’s not going to work. Think of if this way, if you’re dramatically in financial debt, and looking to get out of it, each little spending choice you make has larger ramifications for how fast you can be free of debt. Yet, so many people approach their health with the “minimum monthly payment” mindset and wonder why they seem to remain mostly in the same situation. If you want to get out of health debt, the reality is you have to make larger “monthly payments” in the form of (sometimes dramatically) improved habits across a whole host of behaviors, over a long period of time. The more health debt you’re in, the tougher the change process will likely be.
Exhale. How did that last paragraph make you feel? Overwhelmed? Frustrated? Aimless? Hopeless? Numb? Whatever you felt it probably wasn’t excited. No one has ever celebrated when I told him or her that information. Why? Because letting a busy, probably stressed person know they have A LOT more work to do is usually not welcome news. But hang on, I won’t leave you there.
About 13 years ago I had my own overwhelmed period of months when I was trying to overcome a degenerating shoulder and a weak immune system. The breadth of what I learned about health and all the ways I had been compromising my health, felt almost impossible to overcome. But with time, after the emotions of it all passed, I found myself in a more logical state of: “Well, I still have a life to live. I might as well try to start knocking these bad habits out and see how much I can improve…or this is only going to get worse.”
My story is that I was fortunate to find a group of different mentors (some virtual, some in person) who gave it to me straight, showed me the path to walk, and pointed out the resources and mindsets I needed to change to alter the trajectory of my health. I followed them, and it changed my life forever. Without them, you wouldn’t be reading this. I wouldn’t have found my passion, become a Personal Trainer or gotten into coaching. Was it easy? No way! Was it worth it? Absolutely.
When was the last time someone gave it to you straight? When was the last time someone sat you down and asked better questions, probably hard questions? When was the last time someone showed you why going for the minimum effective dose is leaving you stuck and frustrated? I didn’t get set on a path to quick healing, but I did get on the right path and currently enjoy a state of health that is the envy of many people. I did it, and so can you.
Be the Exception
Forget easy. Go for difficult. Yeah, you’ll have to make some sacrifices, but “difficult” thins the herd and makes the circle of those you run with that much richer. Difficult makes success that much sweeter. Difficult separates the talkers vs. the doers. It separates people who watch TV to live other people’s stories, from the people who choose to live their own. Difficult separates those who get the most out of life from those who look back with regret.
As Jim Rohn said, you’re going to suffer the pain or discipline or the pain of regret. Go for discipline! It’s much more rewarding the illusion of the minimum effective dose. You can do it…and if you need us we’re here to help!
Until next time…