Ch-ch-ch-choices

It’s September.

Already.

And I don’t know about you, but I had a wee bit of an indulgent summer filled with plenty of cottage/beach/park/patio/BBQ/concert time…which is what summer is all about in my books.  But with autumn just around the corner, I’m looking to make some healthier choices and here’s a few things I’m keeping in mind over the next few months.

1 – Remember “You always have a choice.”  I often find myself saying that line when in negotiations with children (they’re great negotiators ;)) but the same goes for us adults as well.  And the title of this book sums it up brilliantly for us bigger kids – ‘then, just stay fat‘.  A client recently told me about this book and we shared a ‘knowing laughter’ moment because we’ve all given those excuses as to why we shouldn’t work out and eat healthier.  I’m too tired, it’s too far, I’m bloated, I’m cranky, it’s too early on a Saturday, I didn’t shave my legs, Mercury is retrograde, blah, blah, blah.  So, we’ve made a choice.  Inaction is a decision too.  We know all the excuses, we know all the steps we should take, but for whatever multitude of truly creative reasons we just.don’t.get.it.done.

Try this – make one healthier decision starting right now.  Do you really need that extra cookie, coffee, bag of chips or could you go for a 10-min walk instead while the weather is still fantastic?


2 – Speaking of choices, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.  I could do a whole blog post, and likely a whole course on these two words.  We humans are fabulously skilled at blaming others – kids, parents, teachers, neighbours, etc.  Or the car, the traffic, the pollution, the noise, the schedule, the alluring cupcake, and so on.  STOP IT!   Blaming others gives away your power.  It puts the fault on someone (or something) else and guess what, they don’t want to deal with it either so nothing changes.  But if you own it, you can fix it.  So don’t blame it on your boss, your co-worker, your friend, your dog, the Universe, God, or that bean burrito you had at lunch.  YOU had a role in whatever happened because YOU were there and YOU made a choice.  If it wasn’t a smart choice.  Fix it.  Period.

Try this – for the next 30 days, notice when you’re playing the ‘blame game’.  Look for key phrases like “well, he said this, or she did that’ and instead, take ownership of it.  Understand your role in that situation and how you could better the outcome by taking responsibility.  Notice how it frees your mind and your spirit so that you’re able to make healthier choices in the future.

3 – Half of life is showing up.  It’s easy to stay home on your couch, flip through mindless reality shows and numb yourself out for 3 hours.  Easy.  Comfortable.  And sometimes, completely necessary.  BUT when you’re on the fence and trying to decide whether you should take your friend up on that invite, go to that art opening, that job interview, that yoga class, that bike ride, that whatever – DO IT.  Here’s the thing, if it sucks, you can leave!  But 9 times out of 10 I never regret going and I end up feeling great afterwards.  Inspired.  Energized.  And grateful that I went.

Try this – whip out your schedule for September and slot in at least one more healthy activity.  Maybe you’ve been wanting to try salsa dancing and there’s free lessons on Friday’s at your local community center.  Schedule it in and GO!

The trick here is to make these healthier choices sustainable.  When we get off track the knee-jerk reaction (fueled by high-octane guilt) is to make up for that lost time and commit to 5 exercise classes/week and eating salads for everyday for a month.  It just doesn’t work.  You burnout, you feel horrible for failing, and then the vicious cycle repeats.

Instead, make small, bite-sized goals that are within your reach so that they slowly become a healthy habit.  Only when it’s become a part of your routine can you move on to another goal.

One thing, one day, at a time.  You soooo got this.  Keep me posted on your progress on my Facebook page.  Make a choice, own it, then do it!  🙂

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