As a Health Coach of over 15 years, I absolutely love helping people understand how, in order to reach your health goals, it is not just what you eat, but also how you feel & think that it translates into your daily actions and, ultimately, results.
Most people come to me for help because they need more energy and to control their weight believing that a nutrition plan I give them will get them to their goal.
The truth is, whether it is me or one of the million other coaches available – what everyone seems to be searching for is a tool that will solve their health problems, help them lose weight and … happy days. So, they search and search and select one plan that appeals to them the most, that fits their vision of health.
And some end up with me and I am honoured each time it happens.
Many truly believe they want a lifestyle change and what they soon discover over the coming weeks & months of coaching, support and education is that building new habits is not as easy as they thought and that having a long term view requires more than just a plan to follow.
Meal plan is just a tool, an external point of reference to what we should be doing and it only works while we do. Even the most nutritionally optimal & balanced meal plan is just a tool.
In order to develop sustainable healthy, active lifestyle – it becomes about something far greater than just a plan that we follow. It becomes more about developing a vision for our long, term health into which we can THEN incorporate the plan. Tool has its great purpose, but, without investing our whole mindset into it, it will not work. Not long term.
Having a vision also helps us ride the storms and handle better the curve balls that life will throw at us and so that we can give up the notion that circumstances and conditions need to be perfect for us to be & keep healthy.
Life long health quest can seem as a long journey, especially when we are young… To a 30-year old – it is preparing for the next 50 years and beyond. We are just not taught to invest in our health in each decade of our life for the next decades to come. Not in the same way as we are taught to invest ourselves in our education and career.
When we have a vision for our health & fitness, something deeper within us that inspires us each day to live the best version of ourselves – that is where the real transformation happens and it touches all aspects of our health – physical & mental health.
We plan holidays, we plan our finances & career, we plan our social life, education, etc. however, we are falling short of developing a vision and strategy for our long term health – how we want to show up not only now, but when we are 60, 70, 80 and beyond.
What we do is once or twice (or more) a year we attempt to diet so we can look better for a holiday or some other occasion. Or we have “detox” once a year believing it is enough to reset our health to some kind of a starting point. Or we get ourselves to the point of developing health conditions and only then look for remedies.
All short term fixes and tactics. However, I applaud anyone even doing the above as it shows we want to feel good and that we came to realise that health matters.
How about going deeper in order to go further?
How about learning to look after our health and planning for it in the same way we look after our homes and gardens or our cars? Or how we plan holidays and our future, in general?
How about, once we start feeling better, instead of abandoning the plan that was clearly working for us and making us feel better, instead of allowing complacency to set in (because we now feel better) – we develop a different strategy that will keep us inspired to keep going and investing in our health?
How about developing internal dialogue about what we want for our health about a month, a year or even a decade from now and use that vision to fuel us?
I see often clients losing traction exactly at this sweet point, after weeks, months or even years of creating this lifestyle and going through so much effort – because they reached their goal… and are unable to see beyond.
We tell ourselves stories that we worked so hard so we deserve a break… and then we find it hard to get off that same break.
Without a clear vision ahead – how we want to come up in the world when it comes to health & fitness – it is way too easy to lose the grip on what is best for our physical & mental health.
Could it be that we simply lack the understanding that, to feel good every day – we need a daily health strategy… for the rest of our lives.
Or could it also be that to develop and stick to a long term strategy, we first really need to be inspired to do so by digging deeper and creating a vision for ourselves when it comes to our health & fitness and why it is important to us to become the best version of ourselves.
It all comes, it seems, to an inner work again. Our mindset.
The truth is, the relationship we have with our bodies and ourselves in general will directly impact the thoughts and relationship with food & exercise that we have and those are the catalysts for our health… or lack of it.
Our thoughts about ourselves, our beliefs, will fuel our daily choices and this relationship will either set us free or make our life very difficult.
Furthermore, state of our health will have an impact on energy we bring into any other category of life – our work & career, relationships, etc.
Many set financial & career goals, only to lose health in pursuit of wealth. Sometimes to the point of no return. Many times same pursuit undermines our relationships with most loved ones and cause relationships to break. We feel lonely, isolated, hurt, guilty, etc. How long before it starts effecting our work too?
It is all interconnected. Because our life is made up of many components and it is about learning to balance them all. We somehow need them all within our view point. And that takes real effort.
Where do we start?
I say – health & fitness! Because how we feel about ourselves, energy we have, confidence we feel – has a direct impact on how we show up in most other spheres of our lives.
If you start winning here, it will show up elsewhere too.
I have been recently inspired by one of the online masterclasses to create vision and strategy for myself for all important categories in my life.
This is where this breakthrough came from for me. From a simple awareness what is required to have an exceptional life – to look at the life as a whole, not just one aspect of it disregarding others, which then creates an imbalance in another area.
What a concept, I thought!
To create a set of daily intentions that truly helps us play our best game – that nourishes our relationships with loved ones, makes us a better parent as well as a more caring & romantic partner, allows us to work smarter rather than harder by doing our life’s work with purpose, have a social life that creates meaningful connections with like minded people, etc.
To understand that lack of vision, purpose & strategy in any one single category will cause one or more to eventually break down.
I don’t know about you, but I aspire to this. I aspire to showing up in the world better than I am right now. And I am enough and worthy of this. My life is. My children are. It is a worthy legacy. Who knows where it could lead and to what impact on the world it could have.
It all starts from a believing that all this can be achieved!
And it all starts from your health & fitness vision
Because, when you have your health & fitness under control and are operating at the highest level – you will have more energy, you will think more clearly and will be more attractive, I am not necessarily talking about being physically attractive, but your vibrancy & energy will be attractive to people and that will open new opportunities and bring power and efficiency to your daily work…
Let me guide you through the process as I understand it and as I have done it for myself:
BELIEFS: Start from asking yourself what your current beliefs are about health & fitness. Where are you right now? What are the beliefs that are driving your current behaviors? What behaviors are serving you and what are not serving you? Who do you spend time with? How influenced are you by the behaviours of the people you spend most time with? What have they got you doing, thinking, believing?
Do you even believe you can reach the health of your 20s or 30s even when you are 60, 70 or beyond?
So, we start from figuring out where we are right now and what our beliefs are. All the good stuff that we can keep and and all that does not serve us and that has to go!
VISION: Imagine your life & health in the next 3-5 years. How do you ideally see yourself. This is your vision of your best YOU! How does it feel? This is the place to get very clear what you truly want, even if it feels impossible right now.
We sometimes set goals that are way too achievable and, therefore, goals that do not inspire us either.
So, dream big!
PURPOSE: “Motivation pales in comparison to purpose!” – because when we know our WHYs – we are self-fueled and do not need motivation or blame the lack of motivation for the lack of progress. No one needs to push us either!
We only have a lack of motivation because we lack purpose!
Ask yourself why your vision is the way it is. How your life would be different if you were at your very best health & fitness? Who would it impact? Go within and then some further more. Until you get to your why that makes you cry!
STRATEGY: It is only when we know what we want and why we want it – we can then develop a strategy that we can follow – set of daily actions – that will essentially make all the difference and help us reach the transformation! This is the point where meal plan becomes a useful tool.
Once you invest time & effort to put the framework in place – this will help steady the course and help you develop long term habits until they are automatic, like brushing teeth is.
I don’t know about you, but I got so excited about this.
This sort of exercise makes us take full responsibility for our life and, whilst some might find this difficult as it is easier to blame others or circumstances – think about it differently – it puts us in control and in a driving seat of our life.
And do not worry about HOW you will achieve it – when your WHY is strong enough, how will come to you in a form of inspiration or even certain people and coaches that will suddenly drop into your life when you start paying attention.
When the student is ready – teacher appears.
Now the only thing left to do is to get excited and start setting your vision around your health & fitness!
Let me know how you do and if you would like me to facilitate the process and help you on your journey, give me a shout!
Until next time, yours in health,
“Health is never owned, it is rented and the rent is due every day!”