Do your decisions feel like a chore or a choice?

A blog popped into my inbox last month from my colleague Conni Medina titled Choose Your Words Wisely. I recently wrote about elevating the conversations we have with ourselves so I eagerly read her piece. Spot on.

Her focus was on a particular set of words, those that hint at obligation rather than choice, like “should” and “have to.”  These are words I hear in every coaching call. In every prospect call. In almost every conversation I have with myself and others. We say them without question.

Many years ago, I trained with a Registered Dietician to learn nutrition and intuitive eating concepts. She told a story of finishing with her last patient of the day and as they left together, she casually said “I have to go to the gym.” Her patient, wheelchair-bound, said “you don’t have to go to the gym; you get to go to the gym.”

Consider the times you say those words:

  • I have to cook dinner for my family
  • I shouldn’t eat any more
  • I should exercise

Can we say drudgery? Deprivation?

But what if we change those around:

  • I choose to cook dinner for my family
  • I’ve decided to stop eating when I’m satiated
  • I’ve committed to regular exercise

When we use the language of choice, we use the language of freedom. And our brains like that much better than feeling forced to do something. But as Conni wrote, sometimes feeling obligated may indicate that you’re over-committed or doing things you don’t enjoy. How do you know the difference?

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

Ask yourself and trust the answer. For example, would you commit to the project/position/task all over again? Would you bow out if given the opportunity? Would you make a difference choice today?

You don’t “have to” do anything. Sure, there are consequences to not doing the thing (like paying taxes), but be honest with yourself that it’s a choice.

Once you identify what you genuinely don’t want to do anymore, consider how you can remove yourself from those duties.

For the others, be purposeful with your words. Use the language of choice. You’ll notice an entirely different relationship to the tasks. Doing the things becomes easier. In some cases, effortless.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if losing weight and keeping it off, felt more effortless? It can be. Let’s talk!

Do you know what to expect?

Heather Moreno weight loss coach

For months we’ve anticipated re-entry. That is, getting back to normal life. We think we know what to expect.

Seeing family and friends. Parties. Kids back in school. Eating in a restaurant. Breathing in public without a mask. Maybe, even, shaking someone’s hand.

In the beginning we thought by summer. Then fall. Then we had hope for 2021.

And now we’ve got a vaccine.

AND reports of a new strain.

What we expect keeps changing. That’s because we don’t control the circumstances.

So, if we want our expectations met, we must base them on what we control.

When I ask high achieving women their biggest concern about re-entry, they tell me this: “I don’t want to get back on the wheel.” I resonate so deeply with that. Simultaneously I wonder if it’s possible.

Of course, it is. But what kind of person do I need to be to make that happen? Will I make the hard choices?

Is keeping my commitments to myself and my well-being worth the discomfort of disappointing other people?

Am I willing to make the tradeoffs necessary to make ME a priority? Are you?

Right now, our experience is tinged with what we’re missing out on (e.g., in person connection) and what we feel we have to do (e.g., keep kids engaged in online school while also working 40+ hours).

But the time will come when the familiar threatens to pull us back into over-doing. Over-committing. Over-booking. Which means WE have to be different to make meaningful change.

For months we’ve anticipated getting back to normal. First, we thought by summer. But, we really don't know what to expect. It keeps changing.
Photo by Aleks Marinkovic on Unsplash

Ask these three questions:

  1. What am I learning about myself during this time? “Good” or “bad,” isn’t relevant. Did you learn that you’re more of a homebody than you thought? That you love the gym way more than you realized? That you use food to procrastinate? Everything we’re willing to learn can move us in a positive direction.
  2. What will I incorporate into what’s next? There may be aspects of life during the pandemic that you’ve welcomed. For example, I think of all the people I know who have taken this time to de-clutter and minimize their possessions. It will take intentionality to keep these pieces integrated into your life as circumstances change.
  3. No matter what, am I willing to make myself a priority? This question is ALWAYS relevant. Some of you decided in 2020 that it was time to invest in your health and well-being. Others of you were challenged with exercise and found yourselves in the pantry a little too often, and you want to change that. It takes re-committing to yourself regularly when life is coming at you fast.

We don’t know what to expect of the world, the virus, or the realities dictated to us by others, near and far. Plus, when we have expectations, we’re usually disappointed.

What do we control? We control our thoughts about all the things. We control our response to all the things. That’s it.

And that’s A LOT.

Do want your pants to fit on January 1?

Then you’ve got to start now.

Planning, that is.

Ugh! I know. I said the “P” word. Fun just left the house.

But we plan so we can have fun and still feel amazing.

Women tell me that in November, it all starts to go to hell. So, with my clients we develop strategies so they don’t deprive themselves but also don’t demolish their progress.

Because they want to enjoy the holidays. And they want to eat cookies.

I bet you do, too.

Do want your pants to fit on January 1? Then you’ve got to start now. What would make you smile through the next two months and on January 1?
Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels

Start with a look back at recent holidays. Where did it go off the rails? What are your triggers? Why did you over-eat? Or have a few too many adult beverages? Approach it like a researcher, not a judge and jury. Promise?

By knowing the kinds of situations and scenarios that present challenges to you, decide how to prepare for them. Also consider how you want your holiday season to look and feel. What would make you smile through the next two months and on January 1?

We also need to keep in mind that the holidays will likely look different this year. We’ll be considering things we haven’t needed to before. Some temptations might be greater. Others less. Stress may come from unexpected places.

But whether you’re stressed about spending time with your mother-in-law or stressed about staying at home, the tools to deal with both are the same.

You may also be surprised by unexpected blessings from our current situation. As you encounter them, think about how to savor them. Is there a lesson you want to take into future holidays? Or simply into daily life?

So, think about having your pants fit in January. Think about starting the year already on your game. Feeling healthy. Strong. Amazing.

Sound fanciful? Not at all.

Join me for a No Regrets January during my FREE 3-day challenge. You can enroll for free here:

Here’s to pants that fit on January 1!

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