This year, you’ve decided it’s time for a change. One that would require patience, perseverance, and a dose of positivity. Because you know one thing for sure, it will be a challenge. For some time now, you’ve heard repeatedly from your doctor and from your loved ones that if you don’t take care of yourself today, who knows what tomorrow will bring. A bit of an ultimatum and harsh words to take in, yet you know in your heart that it’s the truth. You’d like to thrive in your mid-life and golden years, so you’ve set yourself up on a path to pursue a healthier lifestyle.
Resourcefulness is one of your strengths, therefore having the knowledge of the foundations of healthy living: mainly eating unprocessed, wholesome foods, moving your body often throughout the day, sleeping well, and managing your stress. You also know about the importance of connections and support to your wellbeing. Yet even with all of this helpful information in your head, you’re at a dead stop. Something is getting in the way – what could it be?
Your Mindset may be the Obstacle
Mindset is your thoughts and beliefs about a specific experience. I like the way Jim Kwik, a brain coach and the author of Limitless, defined it: “Mindset is deeply held beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions we create about who we are, how the world works, what we are capable of and deserve, and what is possible.”
While physical and social environment poses obstacles to meeting your wellness aspirations, your thoughts may very well be getting in your way to improved health. Let’s imagine this scenario for a moment: You’ve been making a conscious effort to eat less sugary processed foods to lose weight. Yet after a few weeks, you haven’t seen significant changes after you stepped on a scale. Here’s what you might think, “Despite all of my hard effort to eat better, my weight is still the same! I will never lose weight.” You can probably sense a defeated attitude. A type of thought pattern that can lead to throwing in the towel. What might be helpful instead?
Try these 3-Cs to Take Charge of Your Thoughts
When unproductive thoughts get in the way of your path to a healthier lifestyle, keep these 3-Cs in mind to help you move forward.
CATCH your thoughts – when something happens – an experience such as in the scenario of stepping on a scale, tune in. Identify your thoughts as well as your emotions.
CHECK AND CHALLENGE your thoughts – ask yourself if these thoughts are realistic. Are they true? You want to challenge these thoughts and see if you can view them from a different perspective.
CHANGE your thoughts – replace the unproductive thoughts with something more helpful. For instance, instead of thinking I’ll never lose weight, think of other areas in your life that have been positively impacted by eating less sugar. Perhaps you have more energy during the day or are not always hungry like you used to.
Taking charge of your thoughts leads to positive behaviors that nourish your health and wellbeing. If you ever feel stuck in your wellness journey, take several mindful breaths and tune in to your thoughts. See what they reveal to you.
If you’re interested in a past webinar about ‘Mindset Shifts to Reach a Healthy Weight’ – you can get free access here.