It’s hard to pick ourselves up when the chips are down. It can feel incredibly overwhelming. We may lack the energy to do anything about our troubles. This feeling can intensify when our mind gets cluttered, thinking we must fix things now. We can find ourselves expecting that our health and wellness problems should be fixed overnight by a simple strategy. I’ve tried so hard. There is plenty of advertising suggesting a health product could turn your life around. It didn’t work. You might even see an old friend or relative who seems to have transformed and looks million dollars. Groan. It might even seem that you see a few people who smile all the time and seem incredibly happy. What’s their secret?
Women often ask me how I “do it”. Honestly, I don’t have everything in life worked out but I haven’t got the physical and emotional clutter I used to live with. When that no longer clouds your mind, it’s easier to tackle things that come up along your path. When my mind is clear yet I’m faced with challenging times I ask for help, keep an open mind and try new ideas as part of my long-term happiness strategy. Asking for help was something I had to train myself to do, to find my way through some painful life lessons. Now it all feels as natural giving hugs and having D&Ms with my besties!
Underpinning the strategy is the belief that you don’t need to have it all figured out but it can be fun trying to. You don’t have to accomplish all your health and wellness goals in one hit. That high pressure way of working is a recipe for more overwhelm and will leave you feeling like you failed. I view ‘failure’ as an opportunity to learn that a particular action didn’t work for me and I celebrate that I figured that out. Bring some curiosity into why it didn’t work. No time? You felt tired? Your partner or kids interrupted? Reflect and adjust. Write down your experience, so you remember what you’ve learnt about yourself and your life at this time. Get interested in what makes you YOU. With some patience and room for reflection, your insights will reveal much about yourself and what’s best for you.
Start with something that feels so easy to manage that you don’t know why you didn’t start already. For example, I will drink 2 litres of water a day. You do well the first day, then the next day you realise you hardly drank a thing. What was a barrier for you? Maybe you kept leaving your bottle in different places, so it was not easy to reach with a baby in tow. The next day you could try put bottles around the house and in the car. Remember, reflect and adjust. I have found that the compilation of small gains over the long term has been a sustainable and deeply satisfying experience, more so than any overnight success.
To recap, choose one action that seems simple to you. Keep an open mind. Let yourself fall. Ask for help if you’re stuck. Refine your actions to create a habit and lifestyle that is sustainable long term. Once you follow these steps several times, you will start to get good at identifying what you need to do next, predicting barriers and you won’t be so hard on yourself. By staying curious, you will see that each new venture teaches you something and a little more of your soul reveals itself.
If you would like some help getting started on your long-term happiness strategy, try something new and take up my Let Yourself Glow offer.