Are you worried that if you are kind and forgiving of your body you will not be motivated to make lifestyle changes to benefit your health? I have never known this to be true. Hating any aspect of yourself is a surefire way to get stuck in a wrestling match with yourself. I truly believe if you want to make healthful changes in your life, the only way to create lasting change is to love yourself into it.
But how? This is a very tall order, and if it is a necessary ingredient for success, that might feel a little daunting. Don’t lose hope! You can do whatever you set your mind to. If you haven’t tried focusing on love and kindness, give it a try. See how much easier it will be to reach your goals.
Gentle, Kind, Loving Change
Do you feel clear that there are changes you want to make in your life to improve your health? If so, I invite you to carefully consider these questions.
–Do you feel angry with yourself when you don’t achieve a goal? If this describes you, please consider carefully how you might change this pattern. Making lifestyle changes is challenging. Despite what marketing campaigns might tell you, change is not linear and setbacks are inevitable. When you begin to make changes, your self-criticism will have many opportunities to take over. If you let it, it will undermine your motivation to try new things.
–Are you a good starter? There is a lot of attention on sticking with lifestyle changes, and I can agree that endurance helps. However, I have noticed that life is full of very real setbacks like getting the flu, injuring a knee, a trip out of town, a stressful week, sheer exhaustion, etc. Flexing when life throws you a curve is a GOOD thing, not a lack of willpower. This is why starting again is at least as important as sticking with it. When you hit a roadblock, instead of telling yourself “I’m bad at sticking with things” (or worse), try telling yourself, instead, “I’m good at this. I’m restarting now.”
–Are you a kind coach? If you can be encouraging to friends who are taking risks or braving new challenges, you have the skills you will need to lovingly coach yourself. But there is a catch: can you turn your own approval onto yourself? You will need to love yourself if you want change to happen. Please be a loving coach and cheerleader for yourself. You deserve it!