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Get To A Healthier You!

Get To A Healthier You!

What does it take for us to get to the point where we finally say “I need to make a dramatic change to improve my health.”?

It’s not easy for us to admit that we’ve been winging it health-wise. We get busy, lazy, and easily distracted and ignore the fact that we need to make a desperate change for the better. We become submissive to our willpower, succumb to temptations, and end up eating what we shouldn’t, then we overindulge and delve into laziness! Simply because we have no plan of action to get us started or to keep us going.

Have you ever tried to start a self-care regime but then ended it quickly because you let daily stresses and bad habits take over? I know how it is to think “I will get started on taking care of myself tomorrow… or next week… because right now I am going to eat this donut!”

As a procrastinator myself, I know that what actually happens is that next week comes around and I’ve not even begun to get started, because getting fast food on the run and being a couch potato is much easier. And it’s all because we haven’t yet readied our mindset to begin a better way of existing.

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For many people, taking care of themselves is time consuming. It is way too easy to abuse eating the right way. Taking vitamins is just one more thing to do and exercising is hard to fit into our busy lives. Sound familiar?

Trust me, I’ve been there, I am there, and I get it!

So, If you are one of the many people stuck in a bad cycle of abusing your health, what do you do? How do you break the bad cycle and where do you begin to make it better? I want to help you to have a place to start, with a plan that you can stick with and to be able to fall back on if or when the bad habits set back in.

I’m not going to bore you with all of the technical and physical reasons of why you should eat better, exercise, and drink 8 glasses of water a day, so on and so forth, because you already know that! Right? You’ve already heard it and read about it over and over!

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I would, however, like to motivate you to start your new self-care habits by helping you to make a plan ahead of time. That way, you can be on your way to starting a life-long habit of extreme self care!

Examining The Who, What, When, Where, How, And Why To Getting To A Healthier You!

This is the beginnings of setting a goal for yourself. Genuinely answer the question “Why” you want this change to take place. Write down your answers and refer back to it when you need to. We all have different reasons to want better health.

Do you want to get better health because you are packing on a few extra pounds, or maybe you a have been getting out of breath when you walk a significant distance? Or perhaps you simply want to turn back a few years to feel younger and more vibrant? For me, my reason is for my first grandchild who is on his way. I want to embrace this well-awaited journey with health, balance, and a lot of energy — plus to not look and feel like a grandma.

We all have different reasons for wanting better health. You may have one particular reason or a whole list. Remember, it is not always about weight, though that is possibly a good part of it, along with exercising, stretching, and finding time to relax with some well-needed R&R!

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A healthier way of living is an ongoing need for every one of us. It is simply feeling better health-wise and being mindful of how you treat yourself! It is about having more energy, or possibly conquering depression or anxiety. It is about living a higher quality of life for yourself and for those who love you.

Get Started By Asking Yourself These Six Questions

Write your answers down (some examples are included). Personally, I like to make notes of things like this in my cell phone.

  1. WHO?: Who do I want to have support me during this transitional change? Or, would I rather keep this journey to myself and do it on my own? Another “Who” question could be “Who am I doing this for?” (i.e. my first grandchild on the way.)
  2. WHAT?: What do I need to have on hand to help me in this process?(i.e. fruit, blender, yoga mat and yoga DVD, etc.)
  3. WHEN?: When do I plan to start this? (i.e. I will start on my next day off as to get started without stress and distractions.)
  4. WHERE?: Where do I see my self a few months from now? (i.e. balanced, rested, thinner, and stronger.)
  5. HOW?: How will I go about this transition? (i.e. I will change my eating habits to the following… I will make my exercise habits as the following… I will balance my inner self by…)
  6. WHY?: Why am I doing this? (i.e. I want to feel fit like I was in my younger years, healthier, more energized, able to keep up with demands and stresses.)

Notes:

  • Your answers may not be as condensed as my general examples above.
  • We all have different answers to these questions.
  • We all have different reasons for wanting to become healthier.
  • Your answers and reasons may change in the future!

Also:

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If, or when you get off track health-wise, refer back to these six questions and answers to get yourself started once again.

Get started A.S.A.P. without procrastinating! Go to the grocery store to get what you need. If you have decided to, get support from your family and let them know you have a change in the process. Plus, tell them not to judge or criticize you! Make your plans and get excited about it!

Remember to consult with your physician if you deem it necessary. Most importantly, let your reason “why” drive you through!

Featured photo credit: pixabay via yourlifefully.com

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Lorrie Ober

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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