Updated: Mar 20, 2019
I was listening to a podcast the other day walking home from somewhere, half-listening really, when suddenly the story being told caught my attention. Elizabeth Gilbert was relaying a woman’s experience of saving her whole life to take a trip around the world. She had no money, she had 5 kids and a husband that just walked out the door. But she had a vision and a burning purpose to save one dollar every day because she wanted to see the world. In a big old coffee tin tucked up on the shelf, the dollars piled higher and higher until she was ready to embark on her big adventure.
As I walked, slowly now so that I could hear the full story before getting to my destination, I thought about how much determination this woman had. To have the patience and perseverance to save up every single day like that must have been challenging, but she did it anyways. She was driven by her vision.
It got me thinking about what it takes for us to dedicate ourselves to any kind of habits - be it saving money, eating more carrots, getting to that yoga class. We need purpose.
We need a vision, and one that excites us enough to drive our daily choices in the direction of that vision.
I love asking patients to set goals when working with me, and for the longest time I focused on their health-related goals - lose weight, have more energy, sleep better, etc, etc, etc. But over time it became apparent that these goals didn’t have the excitement factor needed to keep clients focused and dedicated. They weren’t totally jazzed about their health related goals enough to keep them from making unhealthy choices eventually.
That’s when I began to ask some different questions.
When these health issues are resolved, what will you be able to achieve in your life? How do you want to serve in this world as a result of being healthy, vibrant and feeling fully alive?
This is when my clients would really come alive, with a spark in the eyes and passion in their voice. They’d tell me about all the ways they’ve wanted to contribute to their families, communities and the world. The art they want to create, the places they want to explore. This is the key, my friends.
Healthy choices become no-brainers when we know that they are stepping stones on our way to a bigger life. They become easy, less complicated and, dare I say, enjoyable. Alarm clocks in the morning getting us up to move our bodies are reminders of the mountains we will climb, the experiences we will have in our limber bodies. Choosing vibrant foods every day is a way of saving those health dollars, day-by-day, until we have worked ourselves into a really vibrant state of being. A vibrant being that has energy to volunteer, write a book or help out an elderly neighbour.
If you feel stuck and like you keep ‘trying’ to be healthy and make healthy choices maybe you have been asking yourself the wrong questions. In the words of Mary Oliver, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Let that answer be your compass, as you navigate all of those small, daily choices that will lead you to your best self.
If you are looking for a health expert to guide you as you navigate your why, and inspire you towards your best life, consider signing up for my upcoming online program. It's a group program connecting mindset, vision and lifestyle in a approach that is do-able and will get you started on the right trajectory for your life goals. It's my passion to see people living the life they are proud of and excited about. Email me to learn more!