I am a considerably happier person these days compared to who I was this time last year and two years ago. What happened? I made one change which created a ripple effect into the rest of my life I want to share some of the aha moments that I discovered along the way.
Listen to your inner voice
The truth is for some time; I had been unhappy. Outwardly I was happy – inwardly, and on a soul level, I was miserable. I could tell you a long-winded story about why I was unhappy; however, that’s why I wrote my book Changes Afoot. Writing that book was a healing experience for me.
You know when something needs to change – you feel it. For me, I felt the changes physically; my body felt heavy and cumbersome. Some simple everyday tasks felt difficult. I also felt it emotionally, as my moods were up and down. On a soul level, I was being sent messages through my body that things needed to change. While I put my unhappiness down to grief – which in part they were. A big part of my problem was that I was carrying too much weight. I knew I had to start moving since I wasn’t interested in changing what I ate.
Where do you begin when you need to make changes and it feels overwhelming. Instead of trying to make radical changes in a few areas of my life, I focussed on one area – health and wellbeing! Now that might not sound like a big deal to you – however, it was to me. You see I had a crappy relationship with exercise – you can read more about that here. I knew I had to start exercising.
If you know you need to make some changes, why not do a life audit. If you have identified that several areas of your life are out of synch, focus on one aspect. Come back and work on the other areas later. Small steps applied consistently creates change!
Make a plan
I sound like a broken record when people ask me where do they begin – my answer is always the same. “Start where you are”! Don’t wait for things to be perfect; they will never be. I learnt that the hard way when I hit rock bottom at various times of my life.
Create a plan of what you need to do – It could be a simple list, or it could be an elaborate mind map or a specific goal and activities. Make this plan work for you. I had one big goal, and that was to move again consistently, and one of those steps was to work with a personal trainer who would see me at home. I didn’t want to go to the gym. During a conversation with a friend, I mentioned that I wanted to find a personal trainer who would work with me at home. This friend said how her trainer had helped her. She passed on his details, and that was back in June 2018. I had my first session with him on 2 July 2018, and we are still working together. What I could do then compared to now has improved, slowly and gradually over time. I won’t lie – it was challenging due to my mindset. This one action created extensive and positive changes in my life.
I still have a way to go in terms of my physical abilities – however, I now know movement is for life. No matter what age, we need to keep moving. Whatever your goal, break it down into small goals and actions. More importantly, celebrate your progress and milestones.
A considerable part of my success has been surrounding myself with excellent professionals and cheerleaders, aka loved ones and friends. I knew that going to classes hadn’t worked for me in the past. I would drop out or find reasons why I couldn’t exercise. Working one to one with professionals in yoga, pilates and water-based exercise meant, I couldn’t hide. Knowing I was paying for one to one sessions helped me be consistent and show up each week.
My end goal when I began working with them was to move from one to one to sessions to classes. In February 2020, I started water exercises class and in March Pilates classes. In term 2, I can’t wait to begin yoga classes. I love that exercise has become a part of my life – something I try to do every day in some way – shape or form. These professionals were my accountability buddies.
Ask for help from friends and loved ones. I know that this is may be difficult for some of you. However, we all know someone who we can count on to be an accountability buddy or cheerleader. Mike was my biggest cheerleader along with a few close friends, who would check in on my progress.
Expect the unexpected
Along the way, expect a few detours. The journey is never as straight forward as we would like. I re-injured myself a few times, and each time I felt like it was the end of the world. I have learned to accept that there will always be moments in our journey where we need to rest – the mind, body and soul. Pushing yourself physically to the limits can lead to further injuries or problems. At the same time, it’s finding that balance of not using excuses not to show up and do the work. Trust me; I was good at that too. Sometimes we focus too much on the destination we forget to stop and enjoy what is around us.
While the latter part of 2018 was about movement. 2019 was about nourishing my body with food and sleep. These are a work in progress, and I am continuing to work on these. My focus for 2020 is around work! I want to focus on my writing and speaking to groups of women. With a bigger goal of helping other women who may feel stuck to create a life they love and whereby they genuinely love who they are with one to one coaching.