Meet Marsha Hudnall with Green Mountain at Fox Run, a program that helps women achieve a healthy weight while creating lasting change and a deep sense of well-being! More so, Green Mountain offers balanced chef-prepared meals, fitness and recreational interests for every body type, workshops and educational groups, and a variety of beneficial courses. President and co-owner of Green Mountain, Marsha is also a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who encourages women to feel good and enjoy their lives—free of any weight struggles. And being a respected leader since 1986, we couldn’t be more excited, and even honored, to share one of her blog posts on getting unstuck and building healthy habits. Keep reading to see what she has to say!
Let’s face it, the process of change can feel like an uphill battle, especially with behaviors that feel deeply ingrained. Moving outside the comfort of what is known into the discomfort of the unknown takes patience and time. It also takes self-compassion for the ‘slip-ups’ that will inevitably occur.
You see, change is not linear – it’s an ebb and flow process that involves a pace that feels right for YOU. It’s important to understand and work with the often conflicting forces within us, not ignore them.
So, if you find yourself stuck between insight and action: thinking more than acting on the change you want to create in your life – here are 5 key tips that will help propel you out of idle and into action.
1. Start Small and Build Up
Start with the molehills, not the mountains.
Creating realistic and doable goals is key for success, but often we want change to happen yesterday. As a result, we create unrealistic action plans from a place of desperation and urgency, which only sets us up for failure.
Creating attainable, realistic goals are important when striving to change behaviors because slow and steady wins the race. Extreme measures, on the other hand, are typically a detour, not the shortcut we hoped they would be.
How can you tell if an action plan is too much? If you feel overwhelmed with the thought of implementing it, that’s your sign it’s time to simplify your plan of action.
2. Be Mindful
Engrained behaviors are typically on autopilot, and when we’re on autopilot, we aren’t truly present in the moment. The practice of mindfulness, or of being present to our immediate experience, allows for understanding the ‘who, what, where, when, why’ of our behaviors.
We can’t shift, change, or honor what we aren’t aware of in the moment. The practice of being mindful can interrupt autopilot and allow us to figure out how to respond differently if that will help.
One way to practice mindfulness is to regularly tune into your breathing. It’s an easy way to tune back into the here and now.
3. Stop Your Negative Self-Talk
Often negative self-talk is used to motivate change, or to keep ourselves in touch with behaviors we’re trying to change. In reality, this strategy tends to keep us stuck.
Why? Because desperate thoughts often lead to desperate feelings, which then can lead to desperate measures. If your self-talk defaults to bashing yourself, know this: Research shows that we are what we think.
Moving from negative to positive in how you talk to yourself offers a powerful channel for change. Because every thought can alter our biochemistry and our hormones – every single thought – by creating new neural pathways in the brain. This fact is either freeing or daunting, depending on our current default thinking. But the good news is that we can change our minds – literally.
When a negative thought pops up, simply replace with something more compassionate, such as ‘may I be gentle with myself in this moment,’ or another affirmation that feels comforting and authentic to you.
This simple (yet not so simple) strategy can begin to shift the lens with which we see ourselves, which is key for getting unstuck.
4. Don’t Resist Change
Often when the desire for change beckons, we focus on what we don’t want to let go of, instead of on all the good that will be gained by practicing the new behavior.
It’s helpful to list the pros and cons of changing and not changing a behavior. Hopefully, the pros outweigh the cons, but even if they don’t, becoming clear on the positives of change will help inspire motivation around being different.
5. Don’t Isolate
When we’re in a rut, often we find ourselves isolated and suffering alone. The reason for this isolation may be shame, or not wanting to be a burden to others, or simply not having the energy to reach out.
It’s important to get the support you need for making that first (or second or tenth) step out of idle. Think about who you can reach out to – whether it’s a friend, family member, or professional.
There’s no need to go at it alone, and feeling like you have an ally along the way can encourage you to keep going.
Have you ever felt stuck—and what did you do to feel better or get out of it? Maybe it had to do with your job, health, or a factor in your personal life. Whatever the case, we’d appreciate you telling us in the comment section below! As always, HealingRadiusPro is here for you.
Allison Barfield is a content writer for Span Enterprises and has been writing since she first learned to hold a pencil, shortly after birth. After graduating from the University of South Carolina in 2013 with a B.A. in media arts she fell in love with marketing. She's been copy writing and managing multiple blogs ever since.