Living well starts on the inside, inside your mind and your soul. I promise, it does! But how can I convince you of it?
Perhaps you’ve tried plenty of programs, approaches, quick-fixes, diets or fads and you keep on failing. Maybe you are hard pressed to find purpose in your chosen plan and so, after a few weeks, what you’re doing doesn’t stick. Or, I suppose you might KNOW it but you don’t let the ‘inside-out’ truth saturate your mindset enough to act on it long term.
The fact remains: Unless you change what’s on the inside, the outside will never reap the long term rewards. It reminds me of a sermon I recently heard about ‘taming the tongue’. It relates, so stick with me here! The point was that what you say and how you act all starts in your heart. What’s in your heart eventually reveals itself on the words of your tongue and actions of your hands. In other words, your truest inner intentions show up outwardly. You can only hide your heart for so long before it breaks you.
So, if I want to speak sweetly and bless others with my words and ways, I must examine the intentions of my heart first. Sure, I can keep placing a Band-Aid over bad intent but eventually, perhaps under stress or fatigue, my tongue will show my true colors.
It’s the same way with wellness. Your behaviors will only change for good when what’s in your heart is healed, ready and in a place of pure intent. You can keep Band-Aiding poor habits by mindlessly following fads or grasping for the latest gimmick. But, eventually, any honeymoon comes to an end and your behaviors will betray you….unless you’ve set your heart and soul straight.
That’s why this first ‘session’ is all about getting to the heart of matters. Let’s begin by exploring what your truest intentions and deepest inspirations are for making a change in your personal wellness. Get in touch with what makes you tick and document it. Immerse yourself in the WHY instead of simply the HOW. It’s only when you’ve developed this kind of foundation that you’ll be ready to set steps of long term success into motion.
Start by thinking hard about this: What will make this time different? Why will living really ‘well’ become your new normal after all those times of trying again?
The only way to prepare your mind for real change is to dig into it deeper than you have before. Give yourself permission to think more deeply about what wellness means to you. Perhaps you’ll reconsider your goals, identify with inner strengths or recognize your demons. But, as you prepare to do the ‘action step’ corresponding with this first session, know that you’ll need to open your heart and tear down some walls of denial, loneliness, pride or perhaps perfectionism.
My personal downfall was attempting to fill a need with the wrong solution. Sometimes it was filling emotional turmoil with over-exercising and other times treating exhaustion with eating. Once I identified the problem and accepted my issues, I dug deeper. I started seeking what God wants for me.
I knew I needed to view wellness as soul-care instead of self-care.
Yes, ma’am. When I’m empty, He always has the ability to fill me up. If I am focused on food more than my faith, I fail by the end of the day…every time. God gave us tools and wonderful ways to nourish ourselves, but He never meant for any of those things to take the place of faith. And I’m going to be honest—it wasn’t until I accepted that truth into my wellness routine, that I finally felt comfortable in the body He gave me. Funny how things work out when we prioritize well!
Faith just makes things fall into place. So, yeah, think about that: what's at the root of your wellness desires?
So, there’s that. My own spin on what inspires me to always live well. It starts in my soul and bleeds out into my words, actions and daily habits. And I believe it's a perfect place for you to start!
Every two weeks when I send you a session in this ‘Wellness Coaching’ series, I will include an activity for you to complete. These activities, or action steps, will build on each other. I highly recommend you do them diligently! They will always include a journaling activity and many times I will offer a fitness and nutrition action step. However, if your wellness goals do not involve nutrition or fitness, you can disregard those and focus on the more spiritual side of things.
If you do the work, you will make a difference in your wellness. Guaranteed.
~Journaling activity: Every session will include a journaling activity. Why? Because there is nothing more important than building mindfulness into your new wellness routine. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it requires introspection that perhaps you’re not accustomed to. And, yes, it’s essential to your success. You will want a record of what works and what does not. You will want to make choices based on your own historical truths. And the funny thing about our minds is that they tend to conveniently ‘forget’ what we want to protect ourselves from. But, not this time, fickle little mind! We are on to you! This time, we are solving past problems and sticking with this. So, get yourself a journal and start by answering the questions in this Wellness Coaching Questionnaire:
~Awareness in your Daily Activities: I like to call your actual eating and exercise behaviors ‘the tangibles’. Those are the things we can track tangibly and know unequivocally if we’ve accomplished. So, while I am not focusing on changing any ‘tangibles’ this session, I AM suggesting that you journal 3 to 5 days of your eating and exercise activities to build awareness. This is not something you’ll continue long term, however, you may return to it if you start to slip. We are not playing the numbers game here. So, no calorie counts necessary and no tallying up carbs or grams of anything. Simply create a list of what you eat at what time of day and whether or not your body felt hungry at the time. Then, for each day, write down if you participated in ANY kind of physical activity (this counts cleaning, walking, playing energetically with your kids or a formal exercise routine).
*For those of you looking for more guidance and an official review of your journaling, I am available to do an assessment for you. Normally I charge $90 for a full assessment. But, for my Happily Whole Members, I am charging only $60 to help you get started. This might be a good option for any of you whose wellness goals revolve around health, weight loss or cleaning up your eating and creating more of a ‘real foods’ eating habit.