Last issue a new series was introduced on the power of intentional living. The premise was, in being true to ourselves
we need to contemplate and examine our wants and needs in life and learn to prioritize how we can be our best and
most authentic self. This often takes being honest within ourselves and making decisions that are best for our
emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. Following your path reduces stress and richens life and establishes a
foundation for being a better person, friend, family member and example to those around you.
The first stage of any change is awareness. We are unable to contemplate change if we are unaware that we want or
need a change. The importance of allowing yourself the time to explore what you want should not be underestimated.
Whether it is health, personal well-being, or simply a desire to explore things that interest you, a contemplation phase is
the key to action. This is the stage where visualizing what you want, educating yourself on the matter, and establishing a
game plan is essential to setting yourself up for success. This consideration also needs to include becoming aware,
through honest reflection, of the things that may be holding you back from achieving your goals and the detriment your
current behaviors may have to your overall well-being. Making a change starts with identifying what needs to change.
Often, we believe willpower is the way to get things done. However, without a strategy to make your goals come true,
willpower does not set you up to succeed: Concrete goals, strategies to overcome past behaviors, and knowledge of
how to alter your current habits is crucial for long-term success. Change starts with a proactive approach.
A habit, a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up, can be overcome with smart
and effective choices. Whether it is quitting something, losing weight, or taking on a new desire... it is important to be
honest about the challenges you may face and to have a strategy that consist of a comprehensive plan to change. This
includes support from key people around you and within your community, changes to your routines and physical
environment, and coping strategies within the cycle of change.
Productive contemplation and strategic action leads to learning effective skills with a new behavior and enables
success in the maintenance phase of any desired long-term change in life. So, whether it is healthier eating,
smoking cessation, incorporating a wellness routine, or incorporating a new hobby into your life...
take the time to set yourself up:
*Take the time to think. Use a pad of paper (or your computer) to help you visualize what it is you want or need.
Talking about it can help as well. A list of goals and the resources available is the foundation of success.
*Be honest about your current behaviors and what it is that is holding you back. If it is worthwhile to change...it is
worth taking the time to acknowledge what is holding you back. If you failed at this goal before...ask why?
*Look objectively at your physical life: your schedule, your surroundings, your current support, and the patterns
you have established in your daily life. Looking at these variables helps you to set a strategy for change.
*Find Champions. Modeling behaviors and strategies is key. Many people have succeeded in making major changes
or incorporating new behaviors into their lives. Books, the Internet, and talking to the people you want to
emulate is a good start.
*Make hard decisions: Throw out your favorite ash tray, change the schedules within your day, have honest
conversations with those that hold you back, and be open to trying NEW. Being uncomfortable is a sign of
change and should be embraced. Remember positive change is good for the mind, body, and soul.
*Finally, support yourself. Forgive yourself for past failures...and be prepared for future ones. Pat yourself on the
back for wanting to change. Reward yourself often with things that nurture your body, spirit, and emotional
well-being. Confidence comes from taking the right steps and learning to believe in yourself.
Remember two things: 1) Having a proven program and strategy gives you a process and if you work the process...the
program usually works. Remember, showing up with intention is 99% of the battle. Finally, your perception is your
reality. Taking the time to learn about yourself and the change you want to make...enables you more ammunition to
change and will alter your perceptions. Being your true self enables you to find the fulfillment, at any stage in life, you
Much Love, Pete