We recently started a new series titled, “Building the best life ever.” In it we outlined a formula, or road map, for change. This included three steps:
1) Deep and meaningful understanding of where we are at…
2) Deep and meaningful understanding of where we are going…
3) Plan or map to get from 1 to 2
In our experience, many people jump straight to #2 and paint a picture of where they want to be. This picture becomes the foundation for the plan of action they decide to undertake. Many times this end in one of two ways: 1. The goal is the prize and some people will do whatever it takes to get to that prize. They hit their goal…and then what? And at what expense? 2. The goal may not be realistic in comparison to where they are in life, so they get overwhelmed, tired, frustrated, and actually end up abandoning their endeavor.
What is missing is a real understanding of where they actually are. Considering physical health is a simpler matter, as most people understand they may need to shift their nutritional and exercise goals and habits. What most people don’t account for is the beast that meets them in the mirror, in their head as they sheepishly cross the threshold of a gym or struggle with eating “off plan”, or, worse, the loop that runs when their head hits the pillow. This holds true in the mental health and spiritual realms, as well.
In shame, people revert back to their “old” selves and behaviors, not recognizing that contending with that person or behavior is the very thing necessary to help them overcome it. Acceptance and change are not found in the realm of belief constructs and rigid rules, but in the process of wrestling with the very things that set us up to remain the same. With a commitment to transparency and accountability, people can work to develop a deep and meaningful understanding of where they are, so that they can then work on a realistic and sustainable plan for where they want to be.
In the coming weeks we will explore this concept, and outline some strategies we have found helpful in helping us implement this in our own lives.