When we begin any journey in our lives, most of us use a map or a set of directions to tell us how to get to our destination. To be able to choose where we are going we need to look at where we are now and for those of you beginning a journey like myself for either improved health or weight loss, I cannot emphasis how important it is to take the time to do just this. If you have had enough with your current situation and you are looking for permanent change in your life, you must look at what is happening in your current life, what you would like to see in your future and identify where the changes need to be made to achieve these goals. To do this we must sit down and critically look at ourselves and our habits. If your health is the area you would like to change, then you need to review the current health issues you have and take into account all the factors that affect your health in the big picture.
To do this you need to start to ask yourself some important questions. To help me to ask the right questions, one of the first things I did to do this was to get a hold of a range of self-help books. The one that I found to resinate the most with me, that I still read through when I need inspiration and to get back on track is Awake the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins.
If I could buy everyone who reads this blog a copy of this book I would. It’s one of the few self-help books that I have read over the years that really struck a chord with me. By working through the book, it allowed me to see how my choices on a daily basis were ultimately allowing me to be the best or worst version of myself. I could see how up until the point of reading this book, the majority of my choices I was making were resulting in me being the worst possible version of myself. By taking responsibility and accountability for all the bad choices I had made up to that point, I could then make an instant life changing decision to be the best version of me, and by making that defining choice, I chose to instantly change my old habits and behaviours to new ones. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to support to make permanent change in their lives, health or otherwise.
In our busy lives we don’t often take the time to critically look at ourselves and ask ourselves how we got to where we are. We often just go through the steps each day and only when something goes wrong, when we finally have enough do we lift up our heads and look around. Every January I like to sit down somewhere quiet with my journal and re-set my goals for the year. Below are some of the questions that I ask myself before every New Year so I can prepare for the year ahead. Take some time out and really allow yourself to think about the answers to these questions and write them down in your journal. I found it really useful to come back to them again every year, I repeat all the questions again, and compared the answers to the years before so I can see where I have come from, what I had achieved in the past year and to set a plan for the year ahead. Grab a coffee, find a comfy quiet spot and spend some time focusing on yourself.
Some of the questions I find useful to ask include –
- What are the top 10 most fantastic things in your life right now.
- What are your top 10 most important concerns in your life right now??
- What are the top 10 things in your current life you would like to change?
- What would be the result if you don’t change these things in 12 months and 5 years from now?
- What are the top 5 health issues you wish to change?
- What are your goals in regards to these issues and how would you like to change for example, weight loss – what do you think is your ideal weight? Blood pressure – what is your healthy blood pressure?? Be really specific with as much detail as possible.
- What are your goals for the next 2 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months, 2 and 5 years? Write down a list of goals for yourself and one for your family. You can include personal, travel, health, creative, financial goals or even bucket list goals if you like. By putting your goals against a time frame, you are more likely to work towards these to achieve them.
Some other interesting questions to ask yourself around your eating habits and health include –
- How often do you eat out?
- What is your current food spend per week? Break this into spend at the supermarket, how much you spend on Coffee and takeaway food?
- Have a look at your current weekly routine. How much sleep are you getting per night? Are you getting 8 hours? Do you have an opportunity to exercise? Think about how you would like to change your routine to get more sleep and exercise on a regular basis.
- If you are choosing to lose weight how much weight would you like to lose? Break this amount into smaller achievable goals. Look at a timeline for this weight lose that is realistic.
After thinking about these questions and identifying what changes you would like to see in your life, you can begin to draw up a plan for your success. To work out how you can manage your time more effectively to achieve these changes you can draw up a weekly plan. Draw on a piece of paper a table with 8 columns noting the hours of the day on the left and the days across the top similar to the one below. Fill out your current week and change the schedule around as you need to allow you the time to achieve your goals. this can be used for activities like sleep, exercise, mediation, time out, whatever you feel you need.
I’m sure you will find a lot more questions to ask yourself along the way and the answers to those questions will give you a solid plan as to where you are heading and what is in your control to change. Choose to start your journey now!!!