• Erica

Making Changes? My Advice, Don't Overcomplicate the Task

You did it! You made a choice to do something different. You've decided to make a positive change. Your adrenaline is pumping with enthusiasm as your imagination runs wild with all the possibilities. Life is going to be different but great at the same time because you're making a choice that will have a positive impact on your life. You're excited but terrified at the same time, but you're not backing down. You're pumped. You've climbed the ladder to the top of the diving board, and you're standing at the edge. You're breathing so hard you can hear your breaths. Your heart is pumping so vigorously, you can feel it in your chest. Sweaty palms as you clasp them together in anticipation of your next move. What will it be? You've decided to do it. You're in position to do it. At this point, all you have to do is jump. Waiting for you below is a life unknown but full of exciting possibilities. You question how you're going to get there and what you'll do when you get there. Anxiety and uncertainty start to take over. Your feet begin to back away from the edge of the board. I'm taking on too much. I don't even know what I'm doing. I can't do this. Tell that voice in your head, excuse my rudeness, to SHUT UP! You can do it. A critical piece of the puzzle to getting it done is to keep the picture simple. Keep it simple.

Our youngest son was quite colicky the first six weeks or so of life. There were nights that he would wake up every hour crying. During the day, if he was awake, I had to be holding him. He felt impossible to soothe. Now this kid is our fourth child. I don't think he received the memo which reads: You are the fourth child. Please be calm and sit pretty. Perhaps, it was lost during delivery. Not sure. I was sure, however, at my wits end. I was exhausted. I tried everything I could think to try at the time. Holding, swaddling, rocking, nursing. I even bought an expensive gadget to hold and rock him smoothly in every direction imaginable. Still, the same result, a crying unhappy little family member. Then, one day, I noticed something. He was soothed by having a blanket that my mother made him to his face. It is a cobalt blue with white accents crocheted blanket with chunky yarn. As a matter of fact, it's the blanket my mom crocheted at the hospital while I labored as she waited nervously for the little guy to arrive. This blanket soothed this colicky baby boy. I could lay him in the bassinet and put this blanket on him up to his face, obviously keeping eyes on him, and he would be calm and actually take a nap during the day. Turns out he had a milk intolerance and after I changed my diet, he did so much better. Nevertheless, to this day, that blanket is his favorite blanket and is a must at nap and bed times.

I tried all these tricks and a blanket was the answer. Really? A blanket. A simple blanket. Too bad I couldn't return the rocking gadget! In looking for solutions, I went fancy, but simple was the answer. When we first started learning to eat healthy, I was trying to cook all these fancy meals. Meals with way too much prep for a weeknight meal at our house. Nonetheless, there I was in the kitchen for an hour and a half to two hours right after work trying to whip these fancy concoctions. Fancy concoctions I say that often fell flat as my family still thought I was on the crazy train for trying to change our diets anyway. All the trying to figure out what to eat and scouring the Internet for recipes started to wear on me. What are we going to eat tonight? Ugh! I don't know. All knew to do at the time was type "healthy vegan_____" in the search bar. Then I realized I was trying to reinvent the wheel. I took a step back and realized what I was doing. I decided to simplify my life and started focusing on making healthier versions of meals that we already eat. Ah, so much easier and simpler.

When making changes, just keep it simple. Change comes along with enough stress at times. Keep the journey as simple as you can. Do not overcomplicate tasks. If you find yourself spinning your wheels in place, take a step back. Evaluate where you are and how you've reached that point. Often times, when we go to make big changes about which we're excited, we try to do too much at once and over do what we're doing. It's like trying to throw a big party for 200 guests who you want to impress, and you only have the night before for which to prepare. Stressful right. You would be trying to do way too much in a short amount of time. Making big positive life changes are supposed to be exciting. Try not to overwhelm yourself with doing too much too fast. Enjoy the journey.

Here are some tips to simplify your journey through change:

1. Try changing in phases. Simplify a big change by making small relevant changes along the way. By doing so, you are working towards your goal but in a more manageable fashion.

2. Try first making changes to what you're already doing instead of starting with completely new tasks. It can be a daunting task trying to figure out what new tasks you should even be doing. By focusing on what you're already doing, you have a starting point and reference.

3. Try only making changes that you are ready to make. Don't make changes because so and so is doing or because it feels like what you're supposed to doing. Change what you're ready to change but when YOU are ready to change it. No one else and for no other reason. YOU have to be ready.

4. Try allowing yourself to be imperfect. We are not perfect. Accept it. When making changes, there will be times you revert back to old habits. You may feel like a failure. You're not. By no means are you a failure. You're human. Just keep going, and do NOT give up on yourself.

5. Try re-evaluating the path you're on regularly. The right path for someone else may be the completely wrong path for you. If you find yourself, frustrated and overwhelmed, step back. Ask yourself are you going about making this change or these changes in a way that is true to you. There is no one path or single map to the destination. You have to find the best way for you.

You can get to where you're headed. Take your time and make sure you're not overcomplicating and therefore adding undo stress to your journey. Stay in-tuned. Listen to yourself and if nothing else just keep going. Keep heading in the direction of your goal. Even when you get tired and all you can take are baby steps. Keep stepping. With each step, you're getting closer. You've got this! You can and will get there.

Always striving to help,


If looking to make healthy lifestyle changes and need support check out www.getfitward.com

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