decision making

Walking Creates Health: Part I

Health is defined as, “The state of being free from illness or injury.” Free from illness or injury sounds pretty good. Sounds like how most of us would prefer to be--every day. But health is not a static, fixed point we arrive at--health is a series of thoughts, choices, and actions throughout each day across all the days of our life. So health is a living, breathing state of being, fluctuating depending on all the variables we throw at it--some of which are doozies.

I don’t know a single person who is rigorous enough in their thoughts, choices, and actions to be “free from illness or injury” one hundred percent of the time. But I know some people who are right up there in the eighty to ninety percent zone, which is a great place to live. Most of those individuals practice health daily by eating whole, live foods, drinking plenty of water, getting outside, exercising, and getting the sleep they need. These health choices aren’t some enforced protocol to make them “free from illness or injury”; these health choices are the habits of their lives so there’s no stress, no forcing, no shaming/blaming/ugly self talk around any of it. They just live a healthy life and are, therefore, healthy.

That being said, for many people those health practices would feel forced, would feel like a tortuous way to live, would feel like punishment. Would be hard practices to adapt and turn into habits.

That’s why I’m a fan of starting with a really basic, yet profoundly effective activity that’s pretty easy to incorporate into just about everyone’s daily life: walking. Why? Because walking creates health.

Walking literally saved my life during the darkest years I’ve ever experienced and it became the foundation for my health practice. I’m a devoted daily walker.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring how and why walking creates health. We’ll do a deep dive into the benefits we realize for our whole Self (body/mind/spirit) when we choose two simple actions:

  • Taking mini-walks throughout the day.

  • Going for a brisk 25-minute daily walk.

These two simple actions have such profound results its like magic! I look forward to sharing the magic with you here.

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Making a Decision That Really Changes Your Life

You’re at your favorite coffee shop deciding whether you’re going to order a cappuccino or an espresso. You like them both and you know either one will be made and delivered right away. Ahhh--immediate gratification. So the decision here really boils down to which one you're in the mood for.

Other decisions, like deciding to lose weight, get in shape, and build your self- confidence, can’t be dependent on whether you’re in the mood or not. They are going to take time. And dedication. And commitment. Alas, your coffee will be long gone.

Here’s the difference between a coffee decision and a life-changer--with a life- changer aka a change in habits--you need to return to the core of the decision over and over again as you feel yourself wavering/faltering. You need to decide to really change your life and stick with that decision over time. Deciding something, truly deciding is a profound act--it’s your promise to yourself. It sets your intent for what’s to come and holds you in that intent.

Wanting to change something about your life means you are yearning for the life transformation it will bring you. What’s required is that you give yourself the opportunity for that transformation to take place. If you can’t do this as the first key step, you will sabotage yourself.

There are four steps you'll need to take to avoid the trap of self-sabotage. They are:

  • Be willing to take action.
  • Be willing to suspend judgement of yourself and whatever process you're using to make the change.
  • Be willing to give the process the time required for change to take place.
  • Be willing to ask for and receive help when you need it.
     

I won’t insult you by telling you change is easy if you're "really committed". Commitment is a big component of making a lasting change but it's certainly not the whole picture. To succeed you need to open your life to the entire opportunity for true change. Go into the experience open-hearted and open-minded and willing to practice the four steps I just mentioned. By doing so, you give yourself the gifts of time, energy, and curiosity that will create the changes you yearn for and so richly deserve. Most of us self-sabotage because we simply don't give change all of the resources it needs: time, energy, curiosity, and our willingness. And please, please ask for help! Going it alone is a sure way to fail!

Think seriously about the following questions when you are considering making a change in your life. These questions are a great way of testing your readiness and commitment to the change you want. Ask yourself:

  • Am I truly ready to take action?
  • Am I truly ready to suspend judgment of myself and this process?
  • Am I truly ready to give this change the time it requires?
  • Am I truly ready to ask for and receive help when I need it?

If you can answer yes to these questions then you're ready to change and ready for your change to succeed. True change requires a decision that you make over and over again during the change process. Back your decision up with appropriate action and thinking during the time required and make sure you get the help you need when you need it. Then and only then will you realize the change you want. 

Let's get changing!