Flash forward thirty-some years, and guess what: I’m making a list about eating, sleeping, and pooping. When I hit my breaking point recently, I knew I needed to make some big changes, but I also knew that I couldn’t totally ignore who I am. I had to make a “to do” list to get healthy and achieve balance in life. I needed some guidance, even if it was self-created.
So, I started making mental guidelines. They’re called guidelines because they’re flexible and because, frankly, I didn’t need any more “rules” to stress me out. I’m sharing them with you as I go along and as I develop them. Perhaps you’ll find my guidelines helpful, or maybe you’ll suggest a few I should add.
So, guideline #1: Want to change. No, I mean really want to change. Real change isn’t going to happen on a whim. Thinking “gee, it’d be nice to lose a few pounds” isn’t going to turn into a lifestyle change. That kind of wishy-washy thinking will result in you sweating and depriving yourself for a few weeks until you get fed up and go back to the Hershey bars.
Trust me, I’ve been there. Over the years, I’ve sporadically made half-hearted efforts to change, to de-stress, and to get healthy. I told myself I had a bunch of reasons why I should do it. “I should lose weight so I’m less likely to develop the cancers that run in my family.” “I should learn to meditate so I don’t feel depressed every day.” “I should put down the egg and pick up the apple because I have really high cholesterol.” All true and all valid reasons, but (there’s always a but) not enough to get me to commit to true, lasting change.
What did it take? Well, my mind and body hit skid row at the same time, and I really started to feel like there was no hope in life. Everybody has their own breaking point when they’re ready to make a change–mine happened when living no longer seemed as appealing as the alternative. And that’s no way to live.
Your desire to change has to come from deep inside you. Don’t listen to the media, your friends, your boss, whoever tell you what you should want. Only you can know when you’re ready to change and work towards balance. What was your breaking point?