Get your Nia on!

It's pretty common these days to see or hear some variation on the idea that 'life is about the journey and not the destination.'  And I agree.  I like to think that my feminine nature is totally on board with going with the flow, appreciating the present moment, stopping to smell the roses.  Yet this morning, as I sit and sip my Earl Grey and count off in my mind the number of threads that are ...Read more

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New Year’s Revelation

As 2010 comes to a close, it is natural and even encouraged to reflect upon the previous year in anticipation of what is to come in the New Year.  This is so engrained in our culture that we have developed a ritual, New Year’s Resolutions, that can be a very successful way of feeling things like “I’m never going to change!” or “Why is making change so hard?!?”  Statistics show that by June, only 46% of people who made resolutions are keeping them. Ultimately, by December 31st, 97% of the people who made resolutions are back to the same old.  And yet, as a culture, we are intrigued by and hungry for change.  Think of the current political climate.  Think of all the TV shows that have change as the central premise: The Biggest Loser, Extreme Makeover, and even food shows like Iron Chef feature the transformation of simple ingredients into decadent dishes.

“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.”

— Oscar Wilde

So where can you find support if you truly want to make change in yourself, in your life, and you want it to last?  I have had the great experience of personally working with two of the best change agents on the planet – Donny Epstein (creator of Network Care) and Tony Robbins (Personal Transformation Guru) – and here are some tips on what I’ve learned about change.

“The only thing constant in life is change”

— François de La Rochefoucauld

Before I dive into the tips, it is important to recognize the distinction between change and progress.  Change for no other reason than the change itself is not ultimately fulfilling.  Change will happen whether you approve of it, plan it, want it, ask for it, or avoid it like telemarketers.  We need look no further than a mirror and an old photo of ourselves to prove this point.  So many people want to hold on to what has been (i.e. younger appearance, relationships long since gone) while simultaneously wondering why ‘nothing changes?!’  Instead of trying to control change (that will happen no matter what) or, even more impossible, doing your best to resist change, I invite you to invest your energy in progress.  Progress means change with intention and directionality.

The next key point is knowing the difference between obtainable and sustainable change.  Sustainability is something we’ve all been hearing a lot about.  Rightfully so, as it is a movement in our culture toward positive long-term growth.  Simply put, sustainable means something that can be done over and over again without depleting ourselves or our resources in the process.  Obtainability is the standard in our culture. Is losing 50 lbs in 50 days obtainable?  Yes.  But is it sustainable?  Can you quit drinking alcohol cold turkey?  Yes.  Is it possible you may gain 50 lbs from using food to replace the booze?  Or take up another vice instead?  Hmmm.  Here are a few things to consider in making a move from obtainable to sustainable.

Let’s go back to New Year’s Resolutions and look at why they do not work for most people.  Resolutions often come from a place of moving away from something that is painful in some way.  For example, you look in the mirror and think “God, I HATE my belly…it’s so fat!”  As if your belly is an unwanted hitchhiker that mysteriously gained passage on the way to the store.  “How did IT get this way?” As if it is a separate entity from your body.  Then you remember the parties attended during the holidays.  The Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts and treats.  Perhaps you have been spending most of your time inside and not moving as much as during the summertime.  Do you see where this is headed?  You’ve got a New Year’s Resolution in the making.  The focus of attention for change is away from what you don’t want.  This is the key ingredient towards obtainable change.  Can you lose the weight?  Yes.  Will it stay off?  Probably not.

So how do you make the shift to sustainable change that equals progress?  Here are some specific tips that will nudge you towards consistent growth.  And the best part is that you can do this any time of the year.  No worries if you start the year off on the ‘wrong foot’ January 1st.  If you seem to find the ‘right foot’ come February 5th, fantastic!  Move forward.

10 Key Tips for Sustainable Growth:

1.   Accept where you are.  Don’t make it worse than it is or sugar coat the truth.  In order to truly make sustainable change, you must first be aware of where you are, acknowledge it (out loud to yourself or to someone you trust greatly helps), and accept yourself completely and paradoxically without any need to change.  This full acceptance is the true starting gate to real progress.

2.   You’re going to screw up.  Just admit it and move on.  Who cares if you fall off whatever wagon you were riding?  Get up, catch that wagon, and hop back on.  It will happen, and thank God it wasn’t a fast moving train.  The difference between people who consistently, successfully grow and your old friends from high school doing the same old sh*t is that people who grow know they will fall off and don’t make such a big deal of it.  They just hop back on. Period.

3.   Move towards something that excites you.  You will lose more weight when you focus your attention on how good it feels to have more energy, to feel strong and sexy in your body than cursing the folds around your tummy and that third chin.  What you focus your attention on grows, so choose wisely.   Do you want your tummy to grow or do you want your energy available for living to grow?

4.   Create a clear outcome of what it is that you really want.  Write what you want to change in specific detail.  Make it full of sensory details.  When the outcome is achieved, what will it look like, feel like, smell like, sound like.  Write it in such a way that it seems big, bright, close to you, clear, real, as if it is happening right now in some other reality and you just have to tune into it (maybe it is!?!).

5.   Once you are clear on your outcome, break it up into bite-sized pieces.  If your outcome looks like ‘this’ in its full blown glory, what would it look like at 10%, 20%, etc…  Again, the more detail, the better.  The more you can see the evolution of the progress in full Technicolor and hear it in Dolby Surround Sound…  Mmmm, can you feel it!!!  Taste the victory – oh, so sweet!

6.   Sustainable progress is made up of both the particle and the wave.  For you non-physics majors (like me), here is another way of saying it.  Progress is composed of both the BIG KABOOM!!! and the little ah-ha’s.  Some of us are great at the KABOOM’s and fall flat with the day-to-day process.  Others would love to sneak by in life with just little by little movement; however, every now and again, everyone needs some KABOOM.  Learn to master both rhythms.  If you need help with this, refer to key tip #10.

7.   Celebrate like f@#$ing crazy each little success on your path to progress.  Celebrate BIG for the BIG steps forward and celebrate little for the little steps forward.  Your physiology responds really well to CELEBRATION! and will start to crave it.  That craving will guide you to take action on the next step.

8.   There is a natural rhythm to progress.  You have your own rhythm to positive change.  Learn what your rhythm is.  Masters of change know their own rhythm and do not question the ups and downs, the ebbs and flows of change.  When the master hits a plateau or even a dip (i.e. falling off the wagon), she smiles.  She knows that this is a natural cycle – a necessary downward movement perfectly positioned on the path to propel her to the next level. This is where most people give up.  This is where the master excels.

9.   Teach what you learn as you grow.  Give your gifts to others as you become more of YOU.  If you really want to move fast, start giving sooner than you think you’re ready.  This is what I call front loading Karma.  The Universe abhors a vacuum.  So make it a little overstocked on the giving side of the scale and put a little wrinkle in the fabric of the Universe.  Sooner than later, it will have to iron out the wrinkle and balance your scale by flowing energy to your receiving side of the scale.

10.   Finally, get some help.  They don’t call them blind spots for nothing.  The areas we typically want to grow into are not meant to be traversed alone.  I have attracted and hired some of the best helpers for myself in the world.  As a result, I have been blessed to assist and witness change and progress in people that might seem impossible to others.  If you are interested in creating sustainable progress in your life and body, I would be honored to assist.  Call me today to find out how to get started. If you are not in the Asheville area, call me anyway, and I can direct you to a resource closest to where you live.

May 2011 be the year that brings your dreams into reality.  May your life be a blessing to others, and may you receive the lives of those around you as a personal blessing from the heavens.  I wish you great wellness and abundance in the coming year!!!