Reason #1: You Don’t Have a Clear Goal
If your goal lacks clarity, you won’t be able to achieve it. One woman came to me for health coaching after her doctor gave her 4 months to get her blood sugar under control with diet and exercise. Otherwise the doctor was going to prescribe a couple of diabetes medications with nasty side effects.
This woman wanted to adopt a healthy lifestyle to reverse her type 2 diabetes without drugs. Most of all, she wanted to spend more time enjoying her family instead of being sick. She was tired of feeling unwell and fatigued. She was trying to finish writing a book, but her low energy made it seem impossible.
She envisioned herself at the doctor’s office with normal lab tests, proving her body could heal itself. As we expected, she succeeded because she was clear on her goal and ready to do the work.
When you get crystal clear about your goal, you can change the trajectory of your life.
Reason #2: Your Goal Doesn’t Have a Deadline
Sometimes your doctor establishes deadlines to motivate you to change your lifestyle habits, but that’s actually not very common. Most of the time their guidance is for you to just fill a new prescription. The problem is you look up and another year has passed without any meaningful results.
For most diabetics, 3 months is a reasonable timeframe to learn a basic set of healthy lifestyle changes and start seeing tangible results.
Reason #3: You Don’t Have a Compelling Reason
Unless you’re truly motivated, you’re not going to take action. You need to have a compelling reason to change what you’re doing.
Suppose your goal is to lose weight. You’ve been dreading the thought of doing what it takes to get back in shape. The more you think about changing your diet, the more resistant you become. On the other hand, when you think about the cost of not fixing the problem you’re much more motivated to take action.
For example, I know a woman who lived on the West coast and was obese for her entire life. She felt self-conscious about her weight and avoided flying because of her size. However, one day her son was accepted to a college in Boston. Immediately she realized she had to do something to lose the weight in order to get on an airplane. Otherwise she would never be able to visit the campus and would most likely miss her son’s graduation. She was now motivated and within a year she lost nearly 100 pounds!
People are inspired when they reach the point where the consequences of staying the same are more painful than whatever they have to go through to change.
Reason #4: You’re Trying to Make Too Many Changes at Once
Always break down the big goal into small easy steps.
You’re undermining your progress whenever you impatiently try to change everything. Imagine trying to radically change your diet, and control your blood sugar, and lose 20 pounds, and train for a marathon, and learn mindfulness all at once.
That’s so overwhelming you’re naturally going to quit. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself on the couch watching Netflix, devouring a large sausage pizza.
To reach your goal, it’s critical to break it down into easy bite-sized steps. If you want to get fit, maybe your first commitment needs to be walking for 5 minutes every day. Nearly everyone can do 5 minutes of exercise. Gradually add more time and make other bite-sized changes.
Reason #5: You’re Trying to Fix the Problem on your Own
If you are experiencing diabetes (or any other chronic condition), you must take control of your eating and lifestyle habits to significantly improve your health. In my experience, learning these new habits and skill sets on your own is the hardest and slowest way possible. It’s important to get evidence-based information and the support you need to succeed. You need someone to hold you accountable so that you won’t relapse or procrastinate. This is why health coaching is so successful.
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