Put One Foot in Front of the Other
Yes, you guessed it right….Santa Clause is Coming to Town! I know, cheesy, but as I have said previously, I am all about the cheese:). I seriously adore watching the old Christmas specials religiously every year.
This may sound crazy but during the holidays, nothing taps into pure joy and silliness for me like watching these shows. This song has always stuck in my head because it’s ultimately teaching us all an important life lesson.
Changing patterns or ways of being always seems so overwhelming, right? In moments when I am getting overwhelmed with change I realize that I am forgetting one thing; change is actually quite simple….if you do as Kringle tells you. As the ole saying goes “Change doesn’t happen over night. Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
Prochaska and DeClemente are two guys whose claim to fame in the psychotherapy world is researching change. They came up with the theory of Stages of Change . This theory states that there are many stages to change and the process of change is not linear. We move through the stages but then can move backwards just to then eventually move forwards again. The stages are pre-contemplative, contemplative, preparation, action and maintenance.
Makes sense right?
You were in a fog before you were aware of the problem and all that happened before you prepared to take a step and put the plan in action.
The instant gratification of the internet makes it difficult for us to get a handle on the fact that REAL change, the kind that lasts, DOES NOT come over night! It comes, much like Kris Kringle explains, step by step; inch by inch.
I remember when I first started making changes with my health in 2010 I was so overly attached to how I had been eating my whole life. It was almost like my diet had been intertwined with my identity. First off I was mostly raised around the Italian American side of my family so the concept that I had a gluten allergy felt horrific. Also the fact that I have a talent for baking and come from a long line of bakers sent me into a serious tailspin. You mean I need to look at my addiction to sugar AND wheat?! (Also eventually dairy too?)
It was a full on Italian grand opera of drama over here!
As I began to see how good I could feel, I was able to commit more fully to the changes. The process was quite jagged and not easy but the path was finally laid out with the help of many practioners who pointed to doors and windows for me to step through.
Moving from a state of denial and defensiveness into comtemplating the steps that need to be prepared for and the actions that need to be taken is not easy.
Here are some steps that could help along the way…
1. Get real with yourself – Lately I have taken to telling some clients that they need to call BULLSHIT on themselves! That happened right after I did the same for myself with my commitment to meditation. Like the old Thompson Twins song
We tend to tell ourselves lies in order to reinforce why we should stay the same. But if we keep doing what we’ve done we get what we’ve gotten. It’s that simple. If nothing changes, then nothing changes
2. Assess your values – When I got real with myself, I realized that I truly valued feeling better more than staying the same. In our society we tend to value the tangible far more the intangible. This is what makes investing in self care so hard; it’s “money” placed in a wellness bank where it feels challenging to assess what the assets are. Look at what it is you would like to change and make a clear assessment….be real with yourself…how important is this change to you? Is it something you REALLY want or just kinda want? It’s the old adage that which is worth having is worth working towards
3. Get out of your head – Yes, what often keeps us stuck in a rut is the fact that we are thinking WAY too much and making mountains out of molehills. Remember what Kris Kringle said “changing from bad to good is as easy as taking your first step.” I am constantly hearing “change is hard” yet it really is only as hard as you want to make it. We all need to let go and get out of our heads. Finding stillness through meditation will help you calm your nervous system enough to believe in your capacity for change. Meditating for 20-30 minutes a day is ideal but even if you have to start with 10 minutes…gosh start with 5 minutes. We all have 5 minutes to spare. Finding stillness will help you get out of those trashy thoughts of “I can’t” and get you more focused on “Of course I can!”
4. Get support – There has been much research on the effectiveness of having a change buddy especially with exercise. But if you don’t know anyone who wants to make the same change as you, then maybe you need to enlist someone like myself to help guide you in the right direction. Sometimes it’s helpful to have a cheerleader until the point comes when we can learn to be our own cheerleader. It’s also helpful to realize that we don’t know what we don’t know. We have to first create the space within to be open and then we need to fill that with people, books, meditations, affirmations, etc that give us the skills, knowledge and awareness that we didn’t previously possess.
5. Make it a lifestyle change – When we use words like “New Years Resolution” or “diet” we are basically telling the Universe that this is something that we want but we are not willing to put forth the effort to continue to gain. Everyone knows that diets do not work and the same goes for the New Year’s resolutions that fall by the wayside. Look back at The Stages of Change, after action comes maintenance. Relapse can occur but it doesn’t have to. When it does, we generally do not take long to get back on the bandwagon because we have realized just how good life can be. Remember nothing changes if nothing changes!
So there you have it, your own personal plan on how to attack those feelings of being stuck in a rut to bring you from feeling blue to feeling brand new! (Cheesy, I know but I had to do it!)
Be well. Be the you underneath all the things that are weighing you down and above all smile and know you are always doing your best!
Cheers to putting one front in front of the other!!
Want a little support and guidance along the way? Contact Me and we will get you on your road to health and happiness!
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