Not too long ago, my hubby walked into the bathroom and witnessed me standing on the scale with my eyes gazing down at the number. He knew exactly what I was thinking— “How has it not budged?”
He interrupted what could have become an excessive (and unnecessary) analysis of why my lean-out had stalled with a simple but powerful statement, “Don’t look down— look forward.”
I picked my head up and saw my reflection in the mirror. Contrary to what the scale said, I saw a leaner body than I did a few days prior. While I appreciated the reminder that the scale doesn’t always tell the whole story, my hubby’s statement had a much more powerful message from which we all can benefit.
If you hang your head and dwell on what’s not going right— be it your fitness, finances, career, relationships— you’re not going to move forward and beyond these struggles very quickly. (Try walking forward with your eyes focused on the ground— it’s pretty clumsy and highly ineffective.) Rather, if you want to make a change in life with maximum efficiency, you must stop dwelling on your current situation and instead set your sights on what you want.
Well, easier said than done, right? We all have our personal challenges that can get us stuck, but the truth is that most of these are self-imposed limitations born out of fear and self-doubt. I know— I’ve struggled with and have overcome both many times, and so can you. Here are a few of my go-to strategies to help you get unstuck, looking forward and pushing toward your best:
1. No more dwelling. As you’ve probably heard before, what we focus on expands. So, don’t waste another second recounting your problem— unless you are looking for solutions. Not only will it free up time so you can make a change, you’ll feel more positive and energetic. Each of these is a key asset for making change.
2. Take one small step. Whether you are trying to lose weight or land a new job, the process can feel overwhelming— you may doubt your ability to make change or fear what others will say or think. The best thing you can do is to just take one step— no matter how small it is. You will be amazed at how doing so can boost your confidence, generate support and provide clarity. Ever notice how once you set your intentions on something and take action, all the pieces just start coming together?
3. Solutions brain dump. Sometimes the biggest stumbling block for change is that we don’t know where to start and we get concerned with having the perfect solution. Here’s the deal— rarely is there a perfect path to making change. The key is to just get started doing something. I always recommend brainstorming every solution you can think of to help change your situation and choose a few to incorporate each week. If you want a little structure, you can begin by listing all the obstacles for change, and then refute them with solutions.
PROBLEM: I hate working out. It’s boring.
SOLUTION: Try a new kind of exercise like the Barre Method.
PROBLEM: I can’t diet. I like food too much.
SOLUTION: Check out dieting strategies for foodies at Hungrygirl.com or follow a meal plan from the Mediterranean diet or South Beach Diet.
4. Make it a habit. Keep forward momentum by doing something daily in support of your goals. Yes, life happens and you may have to miss a training session, but you can still take 10 minutes to do a plyometrics set. While it may not be the same as a tough 60-minute gym session, it keeps inertia on your side.
5. No matter what— don’t look down. Along the way to making change, you will face tough days. Remember to never look down… never hang your head… never dwell on a setback. I know that motivation is drained when you feel that your efforts aren’t paying off, but the best way to refuel is with action. So, focus forward, adjust your actions if you need to and keep making a difference DAILY. Remember, you may not have arrived at your goal or be exactly where you want, but you are better than you were yesterday.
Push Toward Your Best
If I could give each of you a holiday gift, it would be the following: the awareness of your unique beauty, the confidence to chase your dreams and speak your mind, the strength to face your fears, time to sooth your soul and feed your spirit, love from all directions (especially from within), vibrant health that inspires all, a soft heart full of compassion, the ability to harness your unique gifts and share them with your world, and finally, an unrelenting burning desire to reach your best.
Your Best is presented by Gaspari Nutrition.