“So, how do I change my life now?”…That is the question I’m most often asked by clients, especially by those clients seeking to make lasting lifestyle changes. For ANY situation, whether it is your career, home, family, finances, relationships, or body, anything at all, you have to first ask yourself these three seemingly simple yet vital questions.
As with a GPS system, where you want to go is important but where you are right now at the moment is key; leave out that critical piece of information and you will definitely remain lost and/or stuck. Now, that’s not to say that you will never get to where you want to go but I can almost guarantee you’re going to end up nowhere near where long to be or just maybe be like the Israelites and turn an 11 day journey into a 40 year one.
It’s imperative that you become fully aware of your current circumstances because until you can face it, and own it you’ll continue to wonder aimlessly wishing, wanting and waiting for things in your life to turn around. Now don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with staying where you are if you are happy there but if you’re not life is too short to continue wasting it…So don’t! I believe most people innately know that ‘something’ is wrong and that their life is off course otherwise they wouldn’t be asking the ‘how can I change?’ questions in the first place.
Now, the next question you have to ask is: What Do I Want to Be, Do and/or Have?
Before you can change anything in your life you have to first know what you want to be, do or have…Notice that the key word here is what NOT how.
In life it’s easy to become boggled down by all the day to day responsibilities, obligations and just ‘stuff’ (yours as well as others) so much so that you lose sight of what youwant for yourself. As far back as I can remember I’ve been a big picture thinker but in order to grow and go forward I had to learn how to break my big-picture visions into smaller frames (yep, from 16×20 ALL the way down to wallet size).
Yet, as daunting as this process sounds it’s this process that calls forth the actionable, (often baby) steps essential to figuring out and getting exactly what you want. Just knowing what you want is not enough. Action IS the key; so instead of just sitting back wishing and waiting for everything to line up perfectly and come to you…Step out on actionable faith and go toward it!
The last life changing question to ask yourself is: Why, Do I Want To…? (You fill in the blank).
While this may appear to be an overly simple question (especially considering kids ask ‘why’ 599 times a day) but actually it’s a very tough question to answer on a deeper level. However, this process can be simplified for you through using a process I like to call “Yea, but why?” to get to the core of your desires.
And it goes like this: When a client tells me she wants to lose weight, I would ask her ‘why’? She may respond “so I can have more energy”. Then I’d ask ‘yea, but why?’ she may then go on to say “so, I can feel better about myself.” I’d ask: ‘Yea, but why?’ “She’s answer “so I can feel motivated to do more stuff.” ‘Yea but why?’ “So I can like how I look in my clothes.” ‘Yea, but why?’ “So I’d actually like going out more.” ‘Yea, but why?’ “So I can have more fun.” ‘Yea, but why?’ “So I can have more friends and feel more connected to people.” ‘Yea, but why? (and usually by this point I can feel her irritation quickly rising) but still we continue and she blurts out “Because right now I don’t like how I look and feel and it has caused me to become so withdrawn and lonely!”…BINGO!!!
See, not only does knowing your ‘why’ serve as a motivator it also serves as your personal insight and change agent. Once she recognizes her desire to lose weight is (on a deeper level) more about feeling connected, she can actually start right then working to create more of what she really craves: intimacy not food. And as a result she will lose weight. Experience has taught me that weight or anything else that you consider a problem is always the bi-product of something else (deeper) going on inside.
You have the power to change anything you want in your life (especially if you can answer these 3 questions). However, in moments of self-doubt or weakness remember the wise words of Martin Luther King Jr. “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase”…Enough said.