Today, I’m sharing with you 11 perspective changes (ranging from weight to exercise to motivation to success to relationships) that have made a huge difference in my life as well as clients’ lives.
They can make a huge difference in your life too!
1. Focus on food as nourishment, enjoyment & fuel, not as numbers, calories, and stress
Forget about the calories, serving size, and stress of whether you can eat that for just a second.
Instead, ask yourself if that food is truly going to nourish you and keep you fueled.
Swapping your perspective for what’s best for your body instead of what’s best for the scale, can have you lowering your stress hormone cortisol, feeling way less deprived, and leave you making healthier decisions without doing too much else.
Asking, “Will this truly nourish me?” instead of “Does this fit in my diet?” can have hugely transformative effects. And in my opinion, if you really wanted something, but it wasn’t exactly nourishing, go ahead and let yourself have a little–because sometimes that’s nourishing for the soul.
2. Believe that people intrinsically mean good, not bad
Miscommunication is a huge cause of disgruntled relationships. Instead of assuming that your friend, colleague, spouse, or significant other meant something hurtful, talk about it. Come from a kind and curious perspective and frame it as to how their comment made you feel.
One time, I felt a girlfriend was very disapproving of my business decisions. She never said it, but I felt it. I finally mustered the courage to bring it up and said something like, “I know this may sound a little zanny, but when we talk about business, at times, I don’t know why, but I feel like you don’t approve of what direction I’ve decided to go.”
Saying the words was like removing a brick from my chest. We openly talked about it and my negative energy around the issue was gone.
Honest open communication is a very powerful thing.
3. Exercise to feel strong, confident, and motivated, not to burn calories, get skinny, and punish yourself
Living in that space where you exercise to get thin, make up for what you ate, and to burn calories is a sure-fire way to put your body on overdrive. It prevents you from creating a lasting thriving relationship with exercise. Eventually, your circuit will break.
Here, you’re coming from a place of hate, instead of love. Be kind to your body. Listen to your body.
To be better at this, every day note 3 things you love about your body (perhaps in your gratitude journal, see #4).
I see a lot self-punishment with overexercising. If you feel this is you, and you’re working out an hour plus each day, cut back, do more things for you, and eat mindfully and clean. You may be surprised to see that the number on the scale goes down, instead of up. More and more exercise doesn’t equate to more and more weight loss.
4. Think about what you do have, instead of what you don’t have
It’s so easy for us to think about where we’re not. Instead, think about where you are. How far you’ve come.
The only person to compete against is yourself.
Along these lines, practicing gratitude is a sure-fire way to focus on positives in our life. Research shows that those who practice gratitude have increased feelings of life satisfaction, happiness, optimism, and enthusiasm. Gratitude has also been shown to help strengthen our immune systems, sleep better, have closer and more committed relationships, and reduce anxiety and depression.
Um, yes … I’ll take a side of gratitude-;)
Start practicing gratitude by writing 3-5 things down every day that you’re grateful for. Or, get a white board, hang it visibly in your office or home, and write down 3 things you’re grateful for each day.
5. Be present in mind and body, not only in body
How many times have you been on the phone while on the computer and can’t fully recall what the person on the line said?
Or, you ate dinner in front of the TV and didn’t even take the time to really taste your food?
Or, you grabbed a box of crackers out of the fridge while cooking dinner because you were so starving and mindlessly ate half the box?
We’ve all been there in some form or another.
Take a moment to check-in with yourself to recenter.
What am I doing?
Where am I?
And make the time to ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” when the mindless munchies set in.
If not, ask yourself, “What am I really hungry for?”
You may find you’re hungry for sleep, friend time, reading time, exercise, and a whole host of other things.
You see, it’s not about the food. It’s about the void that’s being filled with food. Sometimes we need to fill “the life void” to take better care of us and our relationship with food.
6. Realize that friends are vital for happiness, even if in a romantic relationship
No matter how amazing your romantic relationship is, make time for friend time. Friends rekindle a different part of our spirit, make us feel more whole, and fill our life with more purpose.
Plus, there are just some things, the opposite sex, ain’t ever gonna get-;)
Make a friend date right after you read this!
7. Understand that failure is a part of success
Personally, this one is hard for me, as it is for many of my clients.
Two sayings that I keep in the back of my mind are:
1.) Progress not perfection
2.) The struggle is part of the story
Just like we wouldn’t know sadness without happiness; we wouldn’t know success without failure.
Stop beating yourself up. We’re all a work in progress, and we get there a little at a time.
8. Realize that there’s no right way to the end goal
Everyone’s journey to a happy, healthy, more fulfilling life is different. We all have different strengths, weaknesses, obstacles, and resources. Not to mention, everyone’s version of success isn’t the same.
The only right way is the way that feels good to you and that follows your inner voice. Don’t doubt yourself, don’t be afraid, remember your inner motivation, envision your end goal, and start chipping away at it one baby step at a time.
9. Focus on progress not perfection
You may notice that this is a reoccurring theme here. If you do, you’re right.
Who cares if you slipped up? If you weren’t exactly perfect? If you’re not at your goal yet?
It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being perfectly in progress.
While it’s about progress, it’s also about being happy with where you are–regardless, if you’re not where you want.
Helen Keller says it best: “Be happy with what you have while working for what you want.”
10. Realize that people aren’t as judgmental as you think
I’ve told this to many a client before and I’m going to share it with you, we are our own worst critics.
No one notices what you wear when you go to the gym or what you look like in it. Everyone is too concerned with what they’re doing.
No one is going to think you’re weird, if you order dressing on the side, extra veggies instead of rice, or an appetizer and a salad when you’re out. In fact, you may influence them to do the same.
Coworkers aren’t going to dislike you because you’re now bringing lunch to work instead of dining out daily with them.
Nine out of ten times, when you’re confident in why you’re doing what you’re doing and you’re proud of your work, people will follow you–not leave you.
11. Focus on how you feel, not the scale
Instead of having a weight goal, think about having an I want to feel like “X” goal.
Because when you feel good (in mind and body) that generally means you’re making the right choices. And when you’re making the right choices, your weight will be what it’s meant to be. And even if it’s not what you hoped for, who cares because eating right, exercising daily, making me time, destressing on the regular, and spending time with loved ones feels so darn good. There’s more to life than your weight-;)
I’d love to hear from you! Do any of these perspectives resonate with you? Or, what would you add to the list??