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.
Do you ever run across something that totally blows your mind? That two days later you can't stop thinking about it. And you keep reading as much as you can about it? Because it has given you so much clarity in life, about yourself - why you succeed in some places and get stuck in others?
Oh my gosh!!! I'm seriously about to burst out of my seams here... from excitement, not because my pants are too tight. HA HA! Ok here's the story. The other night I was not feeling well at all. The in bed by 6:50pm kind of not feeling well. But I couldn't sleep, so I decided to peruse my Nook for something very easy to read to distract myself from feeling like crap. I downloaded a couple cheap fiction samples and then ran across this book how to become a millionaire. Normally this would not my thing at all, but for whatever reason I clicked on the description and it talked about finding your "type" in order to be successful. Well, though I may not gravitate toward millionaire books, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE little surveys where I can learn more about myself. So I downloaded the free sample. About 10 pages in, I was totally hooked on his story. But it said before going further I had to use the access code in the front flap of the book to take the survey, then I could learn about my type - which helped me none, since I didn't have a hard cover book. So I went on to find a fiction book that kept me occupied and entertained. Clearly only the beginning of my story...
The next day, feeling better enough, I was still so intrigued by this book so I looked it up online to order a hard copy. And to my delight I found you can now take the test for free at his website. So long story short - I took the test for free, then spent the next couple of hours watching all six of his free videos - and have since been having insight after insight and idea after idea to the point of where I am about to burst with excitement!!! And I haven't even read the book yet! I did download on my Nook and plan to read it this weekend.
Here is the gist... this guy has come up with four types and descriptions of those types, how they work together, leadership attributes of each, strengths and limitations... yada, yada, yada. Which I realize sounds like a lot of other popular assessments I have taken before, but for whatever reason this is different. For starters it is specifically for entrepreneurs - which I am - but you wouldn't have to be. It helped me see in a couple of hours what I have missed for 20 years of my career. I could clearly see why certain jobs worked and others didn't. Some of these things I knew intuitively, but I didn't have the framework to put my finger on it. Others I am just seeing now. It also helped me see clearly where my husband is and how we could communicate better and solve a few things in our household regarding chores and finances in a different way, that neither of is good at. And it helped to see why - so we can stop being frustrated or blaming the other and just figure out a better solution. And I now see VERY clearly why certain things work in my business now - and why I keep banging my head against the wall in other areas. SERIOUSLY!!! What an empowering thing!!! His whole thing is that no one fails because they are a failure - you just need to understand yourself, and then get the right people or resources around you - and in the right order - and then know how to communicate, etc. More than anything else I have this feeling of not needing to beat myself up for not being good at certain things and what I need to put in place to be successful instead. Which is a very big deal.
Beyond myself though I see implications for weight loss. For how - based on your specific type - you could narrow in on what motivates you, what gets in your way and how to better solve - to achieve success. How to customize success. So... I need you to trust me on this one here and help me out. I want you to stop right now and take two minutes to take the quiz, find your "type" and send me the results.
Here is how you do it: First... go to www.mygeniustest.com, click "Log in," then scroll down and click on "No Account? Sign Up." Provide your info and the first question will appear. Second... once you have your type click here to send it to me.
Then, if you want of course you are welcome to continue on and watch all his videos and read all his descriptions and even order his book, but regardless - take the three minutes to find your type and send it to me. My plan then is to see if there are common trends regarding each type and weight loss motivation, challenges, etc. - and to figure out if there is a way to better, more specifically address each. Oh my gosh - this is SO exciting!!! Thank you in advance for helping out. And if you take the time, I think you will find it to be very eye opening as well.
It pains me this time of year - as I watch commercials for a well-known weight loss program, with a very popular spokesperson, that I joined 17 times. And was two days away from joining again, when I had a conversation with myself about the definitions of insanity and success. I decided two things that day: 1) I was DONE doing the same thing hoping for a different result - and 2) temporary weight loss was not actual success.
It also pains me this time of year to see all the gyms and their parking lots busting at the seams. I say this, not because exercise is not good, but because I know the client I have the hardest time helping is the one who over-exercises in an attempt to augment their results. I don't know all the science behind it, but I do know they need to add more food (the right food), which runs totally counter-intuitive to a "dieter" and they are usually the ones with the slowest results. Some exercise is great, but hour-long hard core classes or lots of running, is a challenge. Again I have my theories, but do not know for sure - I just know what I see.
The picture above is from 2011-12 of the chart I kept in my bathroom to track my weight loss. I started at 187 (I am 5'6"). In it I a chronical every five-pound increment. Because truth be told, you don't lose 47 pounds, you lose five pounds, nine times (plus two.) You can see how quick it went at first. You can see March was the month my daughter had her tonsils removed and I was dishing up ice cream for 10 days. You can see in April I started eating veggie burgers instead of hamburgers and forgot to account for the added carbs. You can see in May when I figured it out. And you can see how I wanted five last pounds and it took me the whole flipping summer. Only to gain two back again that next week. I now understand my body is in charge and my "goal weight" is not really for me to decide.
Last week I had a conversation with a client, who had struggled with some Christmas familiy dynamic stress eating - and was pretty frustrated with herself - about how it is a process. I still struggle with how to deal with stress at times in a healthy way. I may not gain weight over it, but that doesn't mean I'm cured from feeling frustration. Your diet isn't going to solve all of that, and certainly not overnight. My point being, I see this time of year as such a futile effort in perfection and it makes me feel a bit sad for everyone out there trying to make that annual renewal. My goal is not for someone to simply reach a healthy weight, but to truly make a mental shift away from dieting. To stop trying to "out run" your eating habits. To stop beating your head against the same wall. To seriously be free of it.
I re-did my website this past week, and am still working on some content for the tabs - but my direction has enlarged a bit. I want to talk about an Optimal Life, not just an optimal weight... because to achieve true freedom - the goal and solution both - lie in that bigger perspective. So check it out. I share what I have whittled down to the Six Keys To Success - and I have three Saturday mini-workshops planned for January 21, 28 and Feburary 4, in partnership with Sylvester Family Chiropractic, The Yoga Barre and Bee Well Massage, all of Shakopee. The workshops are free, though a donation to my Madagascar Fund to help a family in need, is requested. And space truly is limited.
So as you move forward, well into the first week of the new year, ask yourself if you are really serious about wanting something more for your life. I am reading a book right now by Gretchen Rubin called, "The Happiness Project," and she talks about not being unhappy, but knowing in five years she was going to look back and wonder where the time went and whether she was living it as she really wanted. My daughter just turned 11 on January 3rd and as I think back to when she was six, and ahead to when she is 16 - I know the next five will go just as fast as the last. And I for one want to be as present and intentional as possible because this is my life right now - not my next vacation or retirement dream - but all the days and moments in between. I would love for you to join me on that journey - or at least for the conversation.