I have heard continuously from people, including many professionals in the health industry, that overcoming lifelong unhealthy behaviors is “merely a choice.” But if it were merely that, then why aren’t we all successful at overcoming addictions, depression, anxieties, overeating, impulsive anger, and other areas of choice? I watched my father almost die trying to quit drinking. I have watched so many others struggle with other areas of life and wonder why they could not overcome the issues that prevented them from being their best self. All are good people with good hearts. Most are successful financially and with other areas of life but struggle with making the best health choice. I struggled for years with making healthy choices. I weighed over 300 pounds, had multiple addictions, depression, anxieties, and other areas that I could not seem to change. That is because it is more than a choice. There are so many things involved in ‘the choice” that many have to learn how to make it including myself. Here is what we have learned.
- They learn how to make the change they are seeking an absolute priority. People that are successful at learning how to make a choice see an area of life that they desire a change in. They make this area an absolute priority. They will begin the day mapping out strategies to be successful in the area of change and eliminate barriers that he or she may have used in the past to slow the progress of change. They are responsible for their life and very prepared.
- They know and are willing to go through the discomfort of change. Change is never easy. People who learn how to make a choice know that they may have an automatic pilot response when stress occurs in life. It is the comfortable response to stress. It is the way we are conditioned, learned how to cope, and even have a genetic predisposition to be. Learning how to work your way through the autopilot response is possible if you have a solid plan each day to be successful. As each event occurs in life where you need to work through periods of discomfort to make a healthier choice, you will become better and better at it.
- Persevere! One of the biggest lessons we can learn is how to keep fighting after a day of choices that were not for our best health. What you give thought and energy to on a daily basis truly matters. If you have a day where you have “made the choice” to eat poorly, focus on negative events in your past, did not feel like exercising or other areas you are trying to improve, getting back on track quickly is vital. The sooner you change the thought, focus, and energy to being successful the better for you. DO NOT DWELL ON FAILURES! DWELL ON SUCCESSES!
BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!