Stop the Overwhelm and Start Forging Your Path to Wellness: 4 Steps to Get Laser Focused
Sometimes, nutrition can seem so complicating. We’re bombarded with (often conflicting) information on nutrition, food and eating every. single. day. And just when we finally decide to take the leap and try something new, we often hear “Sorry! It’s actually bad for you.”
So if you’re ready to go, and not sure where to start, or feeling overwhelmed by the “shotgun” approach, try these 4 steps to help you get laser-focused.
4 Steps to Get Laser Focused
1. Declutter Your Brain
Grab a blank sheet of paper and a pen, or download my Get Laser Focused workbook and follow along! On the top of the page, write down your ultimate desire. This is the end point that you want to get to by making all these changes – maybe your ultimate desire is to lose weight, build muscle, or just be healthier. It’s totally OK to be vague and loosey-goosey here.
Set the timer for 10 minutes and write down all the things that you need to do (whether you’re already doing it or not) in order to achieve your ultimate desire.
If you get stuck, try asking yourself,
- What are things that I’ve done before that have worked?
- What are things that I’ve done before that didn’t work? What can I do instead?
- How can I break down some of the things I’ve already written into smaller steps?
Think outside the box! Force yourself to keep writing through the 10 minutes. Once the timer goes off – sorry, you’re not done yet! Set it for another 5 minutes. Keep going until your brain feels completely empty.
2. Get In the Zone(s)
Turn the page over (or get a new sheet of paper) and write the categories “Comfort Zone”, “Change Zone” and “Hold Zone” across the top of the page – like this:
Let’s start with the Comfort Zone – go through your list and write in all the healthy habits you’re already doing, or changes that you’ve already started to make. When you’re done, celebrate the progress you’ve already made. AWESOME!
Now let’s move to the Hold Zone – look at your list and write in all the things that make you go, “Nuh-uh.” If there’s no way you could ever want to eat tofu, or you really don’t have time to get to the gym right now, that’s OK! You put that thought out there, but it’s just not something that works for you at the moment. Good for you for recognizing that!
Hopefully your list has gotten short enough that you can start choosing what’s going to go into your Change Zone. Limit the items here to THREE (3) CHANGES MAXIMUM. Start with the “low hanging fruit”, or the changes that you feel are easiest to get started with right away! Don’t worry about “setting the bar too low” – obviously there’s something keeping it from being in your Comfort Zone, so it’s probably a change worth focusing on. Also, don’t worry about making the “right” choice – You’ll have plenty of opportunity to revisit your goals and the changes that you are making.
Once you’ve chosen your changes, put the remaining items into your Hold Zone. Don’t feel bad about putting things in there that you think “should” be in the Change Zone. That’s why it’s called the Hold Zone. You recognize that it’s a habit that needs changing, but you just want to put it on hold while you work on other changes first.
3. Set Goals
Go through each item in your Change Zone and ask yourself, “What small, specific change can I make based on what I wrote?”
For example, if you wrote “eat more vegetables”, maybe you’ll decide to fill half your plate with vegetables or fruit at every meal. If you wrote “eat less sugar”, maybe you’ll decide to swap out a sweet treat for a lower sugar alternative, like plain yogurt instead of flavoured yogurt.
Make sure your goals are SMART:
- Specific: What are you trying to do?
- Measurable: How do you know when you have achieved your goal? (How much? How many? How often?)
- Actionable: Is your goal an action or behaviour that you can do? (“Lose” as in “lose weight” is a verb, but unfortunately we can’t physically will ourselves to lose weight – we have to do certain behaviours, like eat smaller portions, in order to lose weight)
- Realistic: On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you that you can achieve your goal? (If you score yourself less than 7, then you probably need to adjust your goal in some way.)
- Time-Bound: When do you want to achieve your goal? (Sometimes adjusting this, or adjusting the how much/how many/how often, can make your goal more realistic.)
BONUS STEP: Check Your Work
Sometimes when we’re really gung-ho about making change, that adrenaline rush makes us feel like anything is possible, and it’s only when we start taking action that reality sets in. If you’d like, share your zones and goals with a supportive person that you trust to make sure you’re on the right track. If you’re looking for a non-judgmental third party, you know where to find me. 😉
4. Keep the Change!
As you work through the changes in your Change Zone, you’ll eventually feel ready to move them into your Comfort Zone. This opens up space for you to move something in from your Hold Zone!
Keep in mind that even though in some perfect, magical fairy world everything “should” move into your Comfort Zone, in reality, no one is perfect and you should expect there to always be items in all of your zones.Want to eat better but not sure where to start? Try these 4 Steps to Get Laser Focused Click To Tweet
I’d love to hear from you. Did this activity help you to gain more clarity and help you move forward on your nutrition, health and/or wellness? Please share your insights in the comments below!
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