Back to the Monday grind, right?
Mondays are my absolute favorite day of the week!
Always have been.
A FRESH new start.
From the time I was in elementary school, I loved hearing the week’s worth of announcements, reconnecting with friends after some time apart over the weekend, and making my to-do list for the week.
Now, as an adult, not in school, Mondays can feel less than exciting for many [that whole ‘work thing’ can be a downer for some (womp, womp, Office Spacey) and the weekend can seem heck of a long ways off]…
BUT what if, for today, you reframed your mindset just a bit?
Reframed your mind-set to see today as a day full of opportunity…Opportunity in particular to do something different.
An opportunity to STOP saying “tomorrow” and start saying TODAY.
In other words: Make a change.
Any change is hard.
I know this because as I visit with clients daily, I learn most of them actually do know what healthy eating, exercise and lifestyle behaviors look like.
- “Sleep 7-9 hours per night”
- Drink more water
- Eat fruits and veggies
- Say “no” to sugar and processed foods
- Exercise regularly
However, there is something that stops them from following through, or integrating those healthy choices into their daily lives.
I, too, can relate: 7-9 hours of sleep a night is typically confined to the weekends; There are days that I realize my water intake has been lower than it should; And variety doesn’t always happen in my diet with a busy schedule.
Did you know that nearly 70% of our own health is related to the choices we do and don’t make (our habits) on a daily basis.
Why are ‘bad’ habits so hard to shake? Why is ‘staying stuck’ in the comfortable—even when we WANT or KNOW HOW to change so difficult?
This study out of Washington University confirmed “that the responses we learn first are those that remain strongest over time.”
In it, the participants first learned one way of responding to a cue word (e.g., “Say ‘cup’ when you see ‘coffee’ ”), and then later learned another way (e.g., “Now say ‘mug’ when you see ‘coffee’ ”).
They were then given memory tests both immediately after learning the words, and the day after. Some people were told to control their memory and give only the first response (‘cup’). Others were told to just give whichever response came automatically to mind.
Here’s what they found:
Those controlling their responses did a good job of giving only the first response on both days. However, for those people who responded automatically (giving whichever response came to mind), they tended to stick to their first learned response.
On the first day, their answers were split evenly between the two possibilities. However, on the second day, they gave the first response (‘cup’) much more often than the second response (‘mug’). The second response seemed to fade from memory, while the first response grew even stronger than it had been on the first day.
This is only one explanation for why old habits die-hard.
Change is hard, no doubt.
Be it changing:
- The route you take to work
- Your order at Starbucks
- Your wakeup time
- The day you do your grocery shopping
- The side of the bed you sleep on
- Your meal prep staples
So, knowing this, (knowing change does not come easy), when it comes to changing something you’ve been wanting to change; or thinking about changing; or contemplating getting help or coaching to change…that change will not happen until you actively take that first step—ONE STEP.
Instead of thinking about the overwhelming amount of things you have to do to make change happen (think: lose or gain 20 lbs.; write a novel; ‘get stronger’; improve your Diabetes or other health condition; etc.)…Think about ONE thing you can do today—and commit to THIS WEEK—to begin making that change happen.
For instance, when it comes to diet, one of the baseline ‘changes’ I often begin clients with from the get-go is water intake.
How much water are you drinking?
The common answer: “Um…well…I drink…some…”
Or, they think they are drinking a lot.
But when I then state: “Half your bodyweight in ounces at least?”
The common response is: “WHOA! That’s A LOT!”
So…we start with water intake.
And, by the next appointment, with that ONE SLIGHT CHANGE, that ONE FOCUS, 10 times out of 10, those who were not drinking enough water in the first place report feeling AMAZING!
Is there something you’ve always meant to do, wanted to do, but just … haven’t?
If so, I have the perfect THRIVE challenge for you on this Motivation Monday.
Write down ONE THING you want to change or accomplish at this season in your life.
- Finishing a project that has yet to be started
- Connecting with a small group community through your church (you’ve been meaning to do it)
- Finding a new job and reaching out to some contacts for potential new job leads
- More direction in your nutrition with a nutritionist or coach who can help guide you
- Varying your fitness routine from the hamster wheel of your treadmill to incorporate more yoga, or outdoor hikes
- Stressing less and having more fun incorporated into your schedule
What is stopping you?!
Check out this short TED TALK clip about the power of making things happen.
Speaker Matt Cutts suggests: Try it for 30 days.
Now go out there and make things happen!