Taking Control: Advice from Eat Pray Love

I’m the type of person who loves to romanticize my life. After having a rough past couple of days, I’m currently on the train out of Chicago and am fully pretending that my life is a movie. 

“City girl escapes to her quaint country hometown to reconnect with her values and spend some time to self-reflect”  

I’m pretty sure there’s a Hallmark movie about that. 

While being this type of person can sometimes make mundane tasks interesting and more glamorous, I have to admit that sometimes I romanticize life to a point of fault. I’ve spent so much time inside my head, consumed by my problems, that I have forgotten to live my actual life. I’ve thought about reaching out to people without actually doing so, merely considered signing up for kickboxing classes, and planned to write this post for, well, quite some time. 

Simply speaking, I haven’t been an active participant in the creation of my life. And yes, I fully stole that from Eat Pray Love.

I’ve been thinking about how this really translates to the fact that so many of us struggle to take control of our health. Whether that’s finally working up the courage to go to the gym, making your first appointment with a therapist, or learning to cook instead of always ordering takeout, taking the first step to actively improve your well-being can be daunting. That’s why I want to share some techniques to get over the fear, the lack of motivation, or whatever it is that’s stopping you from taking control of your well-being. 

Write goals down

Research has shown that writing goals down makes you more likely to achieve them. I should know, that’s what I had to do to get myself to start this blog! Breaking the process up into manageable steps and giving yourself a time frame to do each makes it way more achievable. If you’re looking to start living a healthier lifestyle, your goal-writing process could look something like this:

– By February 15th, I will decide on a gym I want to join

– By February 20th, I will actually go to said gym three times a week for 45 minutes

– By February 28th, I will start incorporating one more serving of vegetables a day into my diet

Does it take a little patience to reach goals? Yes. Are you way more likely to stick with your plan now that you have written it down? Definitely yes. 

Happy Birthday Greeting Card on White Table

Identify obstacles 

It’s easy to make excuses for why you can’t do something when an obstacle comes up. However, there are ways to combat that. By identifying possible obstacles and making a plan to overcome them, you are way more likely to achieve your goals.

– For example, if you’re worried someone you know will see you outside the therapist’s office, plan to park around the block. Or, just wear your mask and sunglasses with a hat so no one will recognize you walking in. 

– Or maybe you know your afternoons are always stressful and you usually end up eating whatever is in sight for a snack. Make a batch of hardboiled eggs on Sunday and have carrot sticks with hummus ready in the fridge. 

The examples can go on and on, but thinking ahead of what could stop you from reaching your goals and finding a means to overcome them will make you way more likely to take control of your health.

Okay but actually: boil eggs uncovered for 5 minutes and remove from heat for 10 minutes

Figure out your “why”

This one really is so important. Being able to identify your real reason for wanting to be healthier will keep your mind right on days when motivation is low. Your “why” could be:

– I want to start taking self-defense classes so I feel safer walking at night  

– I want to manage my weight so I can live longer and see my grandchildren grow up 

– I want to reconnect with my faith so I can live with more peace

Your “why” is what drives you, no matter how hard it becomes to take the next step. 

If you’re looking for a sign to take the first step to take control of your well-being, no matter what that is, consider this post to be it. Think of me as your Fairy Godmother, except I’m going to be taking my own advice as well. 

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