How many times have you already dreamed about big time change?
For example, have you ever wanted to eat better? Be more positive ? Increase your energy levels? Decrease your stress levels? Live more healthily overall?
I bet you have.
And how did that go – honestly?
Yes. That’s what I thought.
But you know what? You are not alone. Every year hundreds of thousands of people all have the same dream. They want to change their life BIG time and they have incredible ideas and goals.
Unfortunately, many of them fail.
Damn it! Aren’t we meant to succeed?
Of course we are. And we will!
We just have to keep on keeping on avoid the most common pitfalls:
Pitfall # 1: Ignorance
It doesn’t matter how big or small our goals are. If we don’t know how to get from A to B, we don’t stand a chance. Whatever it is we want to achieve, we need to educate ourselves first.
Do some Internet research or talk to people who already have what we want. First, we need to listen. Learn. And only then we should get going.
Pitfall #2: Information Overload
We have already taken the first barrier and have done our homework. We know just about anything there is to know and are finally ready to get started. The problem is: we have no idea where!
Because, somehow, the information we have is contradictory. Or there is simply way too much input to process. How on earth are we meant to muddle our way through?!
Chances are you we won’t. Because information overload is one of the safest ways to SPD (Sudden Project Death).
But this does not need to happen.
When we want to find out how to make our dreams come true, it is wise to create a step-by-step guide while collecting information. Just like project managers we can proceed in phases.
This way we won’t bite off more than we can chew and can change one step at a time.
And if this doesn’t seem fast enough, let’s not forget: Rome also wasn’t built in a day!
Pitfall #3: The “Quick Fix” Trap
The thing about Rome is exactly what we have to keep in mind when all of a sudden quick fix traps aka Boot Camps or the like are lurking around every corner.
I really don’t want to be gloomy. And some of us might indeed get where they want through joining a quick fix program. But let’s talk about weight loss, for example.
How many people do you know who have successfully dropped a few sizes through a diet program and not gained every bit of weight plus some bonus pounds back once they were done?
I know a lot. Way too many, actually. And that’s why I’m saying: Let’s not be fooled by quick solutions. They might bring fast results but if we want our change to be sustainable, they are just not the way to go.
Instead, let’s opt for slow and subtle guidelines and go on only after really having internalized a step. This will tremendously increase our chances of success.
Pitfall #4: The One Fits All Approach
I’m an orthomolecular nutritionist and mindfulness coach and I help people turn back their biological clock and significantly improve their health, mood, and looks.
People often ask me: “How should I eat?” Or: “What supplements should I take?” The answer is simple. You need to do and take what is good for you!
I would love to tell you to become a vegetarian or vegan. But if you really feel you need a steak every now and then, this won’t make you happy and could do more harm than good.
If you cannot live without warm meals, you shouldn’t consider a raw lifestyle and I myself, for example, would never thrive on a paleo diet because I just don’t like meat.
The same is true for supplements. We all have different needs. There are a couple of things which actually might be good for almost everyone, but for the vast majority, the “one fits all approach” just does not work.
So, whatever we would like to achieve in our life, we need to make sure we follow a way which is in line with us rather than the latest or biggest trend.
Each and everyone of us is unique. We should treat ourselves accordingly.
Pitfall #5: Focusing On Problems And Don’ts Rather Than Solutions And Do’s
Last week I spoke to a guy who told me he was only able to give up smoking after having had a serious stomach bleeding. The weeks before he was hospitalized he even had to take meds to be able to keep on enjoying his cigarettes.
I have my own history of unpleasant addictions, so I surely do not judge anyone because they haven’t been able to kick an unhealthy habit yet.
But I do think that doing so gets a lot easier once we start focusing on solutions and “do’s” rather than problems and “don’ts”.
This cigarette guy, for example, said he could never give up on coffee and sugar because these were the only pleasures left for him, even though they meant an additional strain to his already harmed stomach.
If he was my client, I’d invite him to try something new: a special kind of tea, a great almond chocolate milk, “fake” coffee or something else which is warm and goes perfect with simple & unprocessed snacks which do not contain tons of white sugar.
I’m not talking about poor replacements, I’m talking about terrific things he probably has never even tried.
I know that old habits die hard, I really do.
But the good thing is that, unless they are life-threatening, there is no need to give them up right away, if this stresses us out so much that we’d rather give up before we’ve even tried.
However, if we are open to other things we can do instead of obsessing with what we should not do, our perspective starts to change.
The “do’s” might turn out to not be a bad idea after all and our desire for the “don’ts” might decrease naturally.
So, next time you have a dream, go after it. Because we all can change if we take it one step at a time – and avoid the common pitfalls!
Nathalie Chantal de Ahna is an orthomolecular nutritionist & mindfulness coach passionate about showing people how to create a life they’ll love. She is a strong believer in inner balance as the key to health, happiness and great looks and, as a former diet junkie with an eating disorder, knows that weight loss programs and boot camps will first make you lose your unwanted pounds and after that your mind.
Nathalie is the creator of 50 Weeks – The Program, a unique approach to instigating sustainable change through taking small and subtle steps. It is based on the six pillars she used herself to successfully overcome bulimia and binge eating, depression, co-dependency, and bacteriophobia.