3 Things You Must Have to Create Successful Health Changes

by Kim Acedo
Fun Feisty Fabulous! podcast guest
Last week, I shared some questions to work on to help you get back on track after Labor Day if you’ve let yourself go a little (or a lot) over the summer.Today, I want to continue the discussion by giving you another piece – actually three very important pieces that MUST be in place when you’re making a change – whether that’s building a new good habit or letting go of an old poor habit.None of these three can stand alone. You must have all three if you want to make a successful change:
  1. A deep DESIRE to make the change
    We are more likely to be successful when making a healthy change when the change we are seeking to make is in alignment with WHO we want to be and HOW we want to live.If you believe this healthy change is connected to something meaningful to you – you want to be healthy because keeping up with your grandchildren brings you joy – you’re much more likely to stick to your healthy habit.When you think about the change you want to make, is it connected to something meaningful to you and in alignment with WHO you want to be and HOW you want to live?If not, there’s some work to be done here – you’ll want to either choose a different change to make – one that IS all of the above, or find a meaningful connection with the change you want to make and the person you want to become.

Most importantly, the question you must know the answer to is: “WHY do I want to make this change?”Spend time on your answer to this question. Don’t rush it. The answer must hit you strongly at the emotional level.If the change you want to make IS in alignment with everything above, then it’s time to move on to the next step.

  1. Belief you CAN make this change
    Our mindset is a very powerful player when it comes to creating a healthy change.If you believe you can, you will, and if you believe you can’t, you won’t – you won’t even begin to take steps, because deep down you don’t believe you really can.Because I know how important “belief” is in the change process, in my ReINVENT Your Health course, I ask my clients to take a quiz to see if they have a growth or fixed mindset when it comes to the change they seek to make.If you have a growth mindset, you are willing to try even if you don’t know all the steps or exactly HOW you’re going to get there.You are willing to take on a challenge and if you fail, it’s not a failure; it’s a learning and growth opportunity, which you will use to adjust course and keep going.On the other hand, a fixed mindset is one in which you don’t believe you can improve. When you fail, you’re a failure. You’re incapable of change and give up easily.Now, it’s important to understand that you can have a growth or fixed mindset for different things.For example, in college, I had a fixed mindset when it came to learning Chemistry.I was able to skate by with C’s, but when I look back, I realize that I would frequently say to myself, “This is too hard. I can’t learn this. I don’t think this way.” – AKA – a fixed mindset about Chemistry.Conversely, in college, when it came to learning a new physical skill in basketball, I had a growth mindset.I would be eager to practice the new skill because I really wanted to get better – I would try it over and over again until I got it right.So again, you can have a fixed mindset about one thing and a growth mindset about something else.

Consider the change you want to make: Do you think you have a growth or fixed mindset about it?If fixed, realize that mindsets are malleable. They are learned and therefore can be changed, which goes back to the first step above – if you have the deep desire to make this change, consider how you can try to build a growth mindset about it.I assure you that if I understood mindsets back in college and tried to build a growth mindset when it came to learning Chemistry, I would have done a lot better and it would have been a much more enjoyable process.If you believe you have a growth mindset when it comes to the change you want to make, great!Now it’s time to move on to the final step.

  1. Support, Accountability, and Guidance
    When a new client already comes with the desire to make a change and the belief that they can, then as a coach I provide the support, guidance, and accountability that allow these changes to STICK.In my 3-part mini coaching series “Look, Feel, and Perform at Your Best in Midlife”, I share what I call the “glue” that holds everything together.While it’s not impossible, it’s really hard to make changes on your own. Maybe you’ve tried and you know.You might start off strong, but without support, the journey can get lonely and feel like you’re the only one traversing this path. Many quit without a support system.If you don’t have accountability, it’s easy to not follow through on commitments to yourself because no one is holding you to it.

Especially for us women, we do much better keeping commitments to others than to ourselves.I’m not saying this is a great thing; it’s just how most of us have been conditioned since we were little girls – take care of everyone else first and then you can take care of yourself.That’s why I like to emphasize the importance of having outside accountability, and I’ve built that into my coaching practice.My clients and I meet over the phone either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly to ensure they’re following through on their commitments.Finally, there’s guidance.One of my favorite quotes about change is:“Change is hard at first,messy in the middle,and beautiful in the end.”–Robin SharmaThis is one of my favorite quotes because it is about my life’s work – my mission to help my clients successfully make healthy changes in their lives.

Guidance is required in the beginning when it’s hard and in the middle when it’s messy.It’s easy to veer off track if you don’t have guidance – someone who can walk beside you on your journey and when the going gets tough, remind you of why you’re doing this so that you can keep moving in the right direction.There you have it!Are you READY to make your change based on the three steps I shared above?If you need some help or would like to put a plan together that will work for you, simply book a time to talk with me during my Office Hours.

It’s Your Turn to Take Care of You.

 

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