When I started Whole30, I never expected to learn so many lessons that would help me in my life and business.
One of the things I focus on when training clients is recognizing old, inhibiting habits and incorporating new practices that help them meet their goals and enhance their quality of life.
Correcting habits is something everyone needs help with— and I’m no exception. I always feel great when I eat healthy food, but it’s easy for my diet and nutrition to get off-balance [because— pizza]. As the saying goes, old habits die hard. That’s why I decided to do Whole30. And not only did it get me on track, I felt so great I did the program for an extra two weeks.Here are some of the biggest lessons Whole30 taught me about changing my habits:
- Focus on what you want. When I change a habit, I have to do it because I want to. I’m the only person who could decide it was best for me to do Whole30. No one told me to do it, I decided to do it because I knew it was something I needed to do for myself. I might do what others tell me—even if I don’t want to–but my motivation and fulfillment plummet. I have to connect a course of action to my values to stay motivated, and get it to stick.
- Plan with mindfulness. Whole30 wasn’t just about making a healthy grocery list, it was about thoughtful planning. I had to be very mindful about packing healthy snacks for travel, check menus before eating out, and make sure I have plenty of healthy options in the fridge when it was time to cook at home. It’s easy to jot down a list of things to do, but I have to plan with mindfulness—considering possible pitfalls and changes—-if the odds are going to be in my favor.
- Push through. When I was doing Whole30, there were many times I wanted something other than fruit, vegetables, or a lean meat. But then I remembered why I was doing this—and how great I felt—and I decided to continue the process. I zeroed in on the value and the benefits, and decided to push through. Even if you know a new habit is a great idea, it will sometimes seem too difficult to change. When that happens, just think about how much more fulfilled you’ll be when your goal is accomplished. Practicing this kind of visualization will keeps you going when the going gets tough.
- Remember your Why? If I’m trying to change a deep-rooted bad habit in my life, and willing to push through to do it, I must have a powerful motivator behind the change. That reason why–that driving force–has to stay in the forefront if you’re going to make a true transformation. Whether it’s keeping it on a card in your wallet, or taping it to my bathroom mirror, you have to keep an eye on your Why.
- It’s OK to adapt. Not every recipe I tried in Whole30 worked for me. There are times when I’m pursuing a goal that I have to adjust my strategies— and that’s OK. The key is to keep moving forward. I just went back to what I did like–and what did work–to help me reach my goal, and kept doing that. Same goes for any strategies you try that help you stick to your good habits. You don’t have to try 1000 new things, or reinvent the wheel every day. Do what works, every day. And don’t worry about the rest.
- Your best is excellent. There were a couple of days that I did have a honey and snacked on my favorite vegetable chips. My Whole30 wasn’t flawless—but I put forth a solid, mindful effort, and it turned out great. So don’t give up—or beat yourself up–if you struggle when trying to meet your goals. Recognize how awesome your best is— and let those victories keep you motivated to move forward.
- Share your journey with people who matter. I didn’t shout from the rooftops that I was doing Whole30, but the people closest to me knew. Telling your tribe about the changes you’re trying to make not only means someone can hold you accountable— it means they can celebrate your daily wins with you, too. And when you feel stuck, they can get you moving again.
- You can do this! I had tried intense diet changes— and I never expected to do it again. But when I committed to Whole30, I believed I could do it and would do it— and I did. Whatever you’re wanting to change in your life, you CAN make it happen. If you have the desire, and the dedication, you will find a way.
Are you trying to make a change right now? What keeps you going?