Let's think about this in a different context. What if you were in debt - and continuing to go in debt, spending money more each month than you made. What would it take to right that ship? Would it require some changes? Would it happen overnight?
In the millionaire book I talked about last week - there is also a wealth test in addition to the personality profile. The level which I just described above, where you spend more than you make, is the first level. What it takes to move from the first level to the second level, breaking even - no longer going in debt, but just making ends meet with nothing left over in savings - is to first, know how much you are overspending each month,. Second, make a plan for what you can cut back to close that gap. Third, have a way to track your spending so you know you are staying within those parameters. And fourth, put your support system in place. Who can help you with this who is farther along than yourself? For instance, you don't want to team up with your friend who is also in debt, to help you out of debt - but with someone who is closer to where you want to end up.
Not rocket science. Yet so many people are stuck in that spot - for various reasons - would would prefer not to be. (Similar to the majority of the country being medically overweight or obese, who would rather be at a healthy weight.) What I thought was really interesting was how to take that first step. The thing a person has to be willing to do, to move from level one to level two - to go from going in debt, to breaking even - is to be willing to give up their "freedom." The freedom to have or do what you want, without financial parameters. You may want to be free of debt, but if you are still spending more each month than you make, that likely means your desire to have freedom to spend is greater then your desire to be out of debt. (Hmmm... kind of like how we want to be healthy, but still want to be able to eat X, Y and Z. )
If you are at this lowest level, where you are working each month in order to go backward, it takes an honest look in the mirror about that reality. Then it becomes time to take some drastic action. This is not time to just "try" harder - or choose the plan that tells you what you want to hear... get out of debt without cutting back! (Lose weight and still eat everything you want.) And that the motivation to do so is not in the "why" but the "who." Finding your "WHY" right now is kind of the new big thing - but really is it about they why, or is it about the who? The why is still focused on you, where the WHO is about service to others. Who do your choices affect? If you stay on this path, how will your financial health play out for you and for those you love. How will continuing to go backward affect your children's ability to afford college? Or their ability to have experiences such as summer camp, or family vacations. Or how will your financial health affect your spouse and his/her ability to retire and for you both to travel. WHO do your current habits and choices affect? And in the WHO is where you find motivation. Kind of like how much healthier a woman is sometimes willing to be when pregnant, when she is doing it for someone else other than herself.
So - in terms of physical/nutritional health - WHO does your health affect? If you look at the two paths you can take - to stay on the current path, or make changes to get healthier - how does each play out? How does your health affect your ability to have fun and be active with family and friends.... be a role model to your children.... be around long-term for your spouse... And this only touches on the physical part - what about the confidence you will gain, as you lose weight and create better health?
Then, what "freedoms" will I need to give up short-term, to gain much greater freedom long term. What is my starting point... how much greater is my intake than what my body needs? What is my plan? How will I track it? And finally, who will be there to offer support and hold me accountable who is already where I want to be? It isn't always easy to be this honest - to take this hard look in the mirror - but the rewards of feeling better about yourself, being more active with your kids, getting up the stairs easier, feeling more in control at social events or in private, knowing you are going to do it this time.... it is all so worth it. So, be DONE playing small. Take the first step. Decide you want more, because you want to show up better, healthier for the people in your life WHO matter most.
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