When people adopt my Small Steps approach, they notice when they’re taking on too much or too little. And more importantly, when they do, they know they have the power to adjust and adapt to ensure that new, healthy behaviors stick around long enough to become habits.
In adopting this approach, people begin to see hard truths about themselves. Hard truths they may not have faced or wanted to face before.
Here’s what happens: When people take control of their lives, they more clearly see both what is and isn’t working. They begin to…well…see more.
While this clarity does lead to a healthier and happier life, the hyper-awareness of “what isn’t working” can be uncomfortable and even downright painful.
I help people negotiate their lives better. I help people bring in healthy habits in ways that empower them to actually continue with them long-term. I help people define the life they want to be living, and then understand the power they have to immediately move closer to that life.
Without burnout. Without stagnancy.
With action. With accomplishment.
But I want everyone to understand this: Many of the unhealthy habits we desperately want to change exist because we aren’t fully living life on our terms.
Rare is it that we regularly eat junk food because we don’t know that junk food is unhealthy. More often than not (like, almost 100% of the time), a junk food habit is a reaction to how we’re living overall.
Rare is it that we don’t exercise because we don’t know that exercise is good for us. More likely we stay on the couch because we’re over-tired, stressed, fatigued, and over-worked.
However, when we learn there is a way out–when we learn that adding a single stalk of celery to the fast food on our plate makes a huge difference and that getting off the couch for just a one minute walk around the living room makes a huge difference, we begin the process of improving out health and happiness. Right then.
This is incredible, amazing, and even more synonyms, but…we also can’t help but be more aware of the things we’ve been doing that we really don’t like. I mean, really don’t like.
Here’s what I believe…
I believe we all know things about ourselves that we don’t want to think about or sometimes even admit.
I believe to survive in the modern world, we need to compartmentalize certain hard truths about ourselves so that we can frickin’ get up in the morning, work, raise families, and pay the bills.
I believe that at least some of our “free” time is spent distracting ourselves with junk food, social media, news or anything else that occupies us enough to keep the hard truths at bay.
But understand this:
Surviving is one thing. Living is another.
Staying alive vs. feeling alive.
Getting clear on who you truly are, what you stand for, and the life you want to live is freedom. It is liberation. But it takes time and cannot be forced. Freedom all at once can be overwhelming.
Learn how to take your time. Learn how to avoid overwhelm. Learn how to keep your stress levels low enough that you’re able to face and correct the parts of your life that aren’t a reflection of who you are. Face the hard truths slowly, and understand that it is a position of strength to ask for help if really seeing these hard truths causes you an inordinate amount of pain.
These truths are hard because on some level we know them, but don’t want to think about them.
But when we do, when we engage in our lives and bring these truths out from hiding, we live the lives we’re meant to.