Today is day number 11 of the Whole30 diet for me, one of the toughest days of the 30 according to the handy little day-by-day Whole30 guide I picked up, and also the day I had set aside this week for working on my next post. The diet has been going really well, up until yesterday when I started feeling sort of blah about it all. I’m approaching these 30 days as a welcomed challenge because I just had a birthday and with birthdays come reality checks, deep thoughts and redirection if your name is Amy. In true form, come August, I was chomping at the bit for something new. What better way to shake up my life than to take out all dairy, grains, sugar, legumes and soy from my diet? Go big or go home right? (insert maniacal laugh here)
With all the changes I have voluntarily thrust upon myself in the past 11 days, it got me thinking about the power of creating positive change in one’s life. You, me, we are the “one’s” I speak of in this scenario. How often do we go about life according to the normal routine simply because somewhere along the way it became the normal routine? It is so easy to look at the life of someone we know, or maybe don’t know (hello social media!), with a languishing eye roll and say, “I wish my life could look like that.”
So here’s the real question, why can’t your life “look like that”? Or better yet, take a moment to really meditate on what you would like to accomplish in your life that looks different than what you are currently working towards, and begin to make changes. Not all challenges have a 30-day pre-set on them, but there truly is nothing like the moment you begin to chase after something new in life. A goal, a whim, a habit, a dream, all of these have to begin somewhere! Here are a few quick steps to encourage you to get started:
1. Sit down and write out your goal - What does success look like for you at this moment of beginning? There is no substitute for this step. Goals must be defined before they can ever be truly accomplished, otherwise you may switch it up half way through to make success easier to achieve, or you might label success much more elusive if you swing more towards a self-defeatist personality type.
* side note - be realistic, aka kind to yourself when it comes to setting goals. If the only goals you set for your life are the size of earth shattering giants, you’ll spend your days being overwhelmed with the distance of the journey ahead. So, if your goal is to be the President of the United States, maybe break that down into smaller, more achievable steps first… and who would want that job anyway :P
2. Pick a start date and STICK TO IT - you have to start at some point, and some goals require a little bit of pre-planning beforehand so you can really set yourself up for success. Allow yourself to be serious about what you want to achieve in a way that says when I achieve this goal, instead of if. For example, if your goal is to take one international trip before the end of next year, you may have to switch up some things budget wise to be able to save the money necessary to go. Create a timeline for important trip milestone like purchasing your plane tickets and booking hotels. Part of the fun is researching the dream before you make it a reality, that way actually clicking the mouse over the work “purchase” will be even more exciting once you get to that step.
* side note - If you find yourself throwing out the “one day” preface to your goals in life you might as well sarcastically tack on a “yeah, right” at the end. Please don’t “one day” your life away. Make today THE DAY!
3. When start date arrives, START - I would challenge you not to associate day one of a new challenge with a watered down version of doomsday. When you think of the start of something new, the next word in your brain should be opportunity. With change always comes opportunity, to test your limits, to challenge old habits, to make new habits, to get to know yourself a little bit better.
* side note - challenge usually brings struggle at some point, and while struggle can seem scary, there are many beautiful benefits hidden in the word. Struggle can not only cause inconvenience or pain, it can also produce growth. For some people, struggle will always be just that, and it is my belief that we remain much longer in a place of pain when we refuse to see trying situations for the refinement they can produce. You might say it has more to do with your perspective than your reality, and you would be right. Choose to see the possibility when it comes to things like breaking bad habits, redefining negative thoughts, pursuing self-control, and even denying yourself what you may want in the moment for what you can get in the future.
4. Be excited about change! - The reality is this - you can change who you are, where you are going, how you experience life and how you affect others. WOW! That is an amazing power that many of us never really tap into in our lives. You must be intentional about achieving your goals, but once you begin the process of pursuing, it becomes easier and easier to walk that designed path in the future.
* side note - We’d LOVE to hear about some things you’re pursuing in the area of goals, dreams, challenges, anything really! If you have time to share, hit up that comments section, or shoot us an email at email@example.com.
Today I had my first cup of black coffee with no sugar or cream (even compliant nut milk), that I have actually enjoyed! Day 11 of this Whole30 challenge has been just that, a challenge, but I’m choosing to look at that small success and say, “I see you tiny step in the right direction, and I want more.” For me it’s a sign of sugar leaving my body and the cravings for sugar walking right out the door behind! Wahoo! I want to be able to say that I can accomplish anything I set goals to achieve in my life and every time I follow through in little ways, I AM saying that. I can’t wait to dig into this topic even further in future posts, but I sure hope this is an encouraging first-step-nudge to get you going!