Thursday, January 31, 2008

31 Days

That's how long it's been since I made my significant lifestyle choices and changes, (aka...New Year's Resolutions). I heard statistics on The Today Show that well over 50% of people who made these resolutions have already given up on them and gone back to their old ways. Admittedly, I was feeling rather accomplished as I heard this report while huffing and puffing along on the the treadmill in the middle of mile 3 this morning. But not to get too smug, for this is the first time that I have kept my stamina and commitment to a life change process for this length of time. I believe the statistics are true. Making lasting changes is no easy thing.

Think about it....what is more seductive than a fresh start? A clean slate, a brand spanking new calendar, or even a newly budding leaf in spring? Stoked and hopeful, one becomes enthralled in the beginnings of potential weight loss, a new and inspiring exercise routine, and the glorious prospects of a new and improved healthier diet. When we feel this way, we ALWAYS think, this is the start of something really big. And it's all going to be fabulous! When we are in this euphoric state, nothing can or will stop us from reaching our goals, right? Ever been there? Are you there now?

I think most of us can relate to a time when we had a passionate start. Whether it was the rush of a new romance, an exciting new career move or a fantastic personal health/fitness program....those early days can feel vibrant and it seems like the adrenaline supply is endless! Alas, most of us can also recall a time when once well plugged into into our "new life," something happens and the flame dies. This something either happens to us or inside of us, but whatever it is we lose our enthusiasm and this is the point where things get derailed. Sometimes it's slow and gradual and other times it seems like everything gets blown entirely. Believe me, I speak from personal experience and regardless how it happens, one's whole life can suddenly seem like a disappointment. These situations have a way of wrecking havoc on our self-esteem and they blow the confidence in our ability to ever really make a difference in our own reality.

So, here we are at 31 days into 2008 and somehow I'm still going strong. I am just as happy as a newly wed with my lifestyle and all of the changes that go along with it. You may be laughing at me and thinking, "For God's sake, woman, it's ONLY been 4 weeks!" Well, I don't mean to be cocky, but this is the longest I've been able to stay with a change like this with no real screw ups. So, it's a pretty big deal to me and I'm proud that I've been focused and now I'm really starting to see the results I have been hoping for. This morning, as I was listening to the report on TV, I asked myself, "What has been different about this time? How have I kept my vision, my enthusiasm and my commitment level consistent for 31 days?" I think there are a couple of things that have made the difference and they are important. I feel that they are significant enough to share and maybe they can help you too.

First.....actually writing down my personal plan in its entirety. Not just what I wanted to happen and how I plan to get there, but I wrote down what I DON'T want as well. That may seem negative, but knowing what I don't want anymore has helped me to do things differently. People who don't want to be an alcoholic don't hang out in bars, do they? People who want to be thin and fit don't lay around on the couch eating greasy potato chips, do they? You following me?

Second.....I started getting the right resources to help me meet my goals. Resources like a folder with a collection of easy to make, delicious raw recipes that I can fall back on when my days get busy. Resources like arranging my schedule for success. I actually write in my workouts and trips to the grocery store on my daily planner, just like I would if I were seeing a client or going to a business meeting. This way I don't make other plans. I also keep a daily journal of what I eat, what exercise I am getting, how my emotions are and any other information I feel might be of interest to me later. Keeping a documentation of progress is turning out to be so helpful as I weekly record my weight and twice a month, my measurements. One week I lost nothing on the scale, but saw three inches somehow melt away.

And lastly.....having a list of websites or blogs that you can go to when you need inspiration or a fresh shot of enthusiasm when yours feels like it's all dried up. You already know that we aren't just what we eat, but also what we feed our eyes, ears and spirits. Making the choice to fill our mind with positive sources of information that work with us to help reach our goals is key. If what you are surrounding yourself with is in conflict with what you want to become, the journey will not flow easily and you most likely won't reach your goal. Also, along this same vein, build a network of support with others who have already been successful at what you are wanting to achieve or those who are walking a similar path with kindred goals. That's what as been so fantastic about, Twitter and a number of blog sites that I frequent. I have my very own support group without ever leaving my own home. These sites can be valuable tools that can work for you in a tremendous way if you'll access and let them. I get a heaping dose of daily motivation when I see what others are whipping up in their raw kitchens or when I view a YouTube by someone motivational like Philip at or Neens from Inspiration and fresh enthusiasm is just a click away everyday.

In closing, I think it is deeply important to listen to your own intuition and trust your gut instincts. I believe success happens when you consider more than yourself, your dreams and your own ego in the equation. If you can genuinely find a way to include other people in your journey, it can make it all the more meaningful and long lasting. Within all of us, there is an agent for change. Are you allowing yours to come forth? If not, now is a perfect time to
get back in touch with your own personal desires for your life. It is never too late to become the person you were created to be.


Lovingraw said...

Congrats on your success Penni! We are all rooting for you! Philip xx

Rediscover Raw Food said...

What an inspirational post! You're absolutely right about building an environment that supports your goals. I'm glad you're doing well!

Linda Salas said...

I´m happy that you are feeling that driven.
I relate to everything you say, my motivation still runs high because of all I see my life has improved since becoming raw.
And I relate to the power of this virtual community, it has been a big part in feeling happy along the way. Thanks for your words and keep walking forward, I notice this tends to only get better and better.

Raw Bliss said...

Yay! Your blog is so incredibly inspirational. Thank you for sharing.

Love and light,

Allison said...

Congratulations!! One thing I noticed about eating raw was that when I "fell off the wagon" I knew that at some point I'd be back to all raw. I could never say that about the SAD-based weight-loss regimes I went on because I never believed in them- they were torturous. But raw I believe in, because raw does so much more than help me lose weight. It's really a holistic approach to life!

Vegannosaurus Rex said...

Psychologically it takes 12 weeks to turn a behavior into a habit, hence '12 step' programs. Keep it up, you're more than 1/3 of the way there.

Penni in Tulsa said...

And "they" told me one formulates a new habit at 3 weeks. Dog gone it. I should have known it was too good to be true! LOL!

shannonmarie said...

Another inspiring post, "Lovie." I'd add you to our island.

Anonymous said...

Great blog Penni! You are doing such a beautiful job at sharing your journey. Your peacefulness and openess is a blessing to all you meet.