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The lazy girl’s guide to changing your life

If you knew you could do something and not fail - and you knew this with absolute certainty - would you do it? How would you change your life? Who would you become? What would you do differently?

Unfortunately, most of us aren’t very comfortable with drastic life-changes, even if they’re for our benefit. We get so comfortable with where we’re at because it’s safe and low-risk. The only reason I decided to change my diet, my lifestyle, and mentality towards health and wellness was because I wasn’t getting pregnant. Maybe your reason is similar, or maybe you just have a deep dissatisfaction in life and you know it has to change. Either way… Let’s get started!

I know this post is written for the lazy girl. So, I’ve compartmentalized the extra-nerdy, science-y stuff in drop downs for you to either read or avoid. ✨Enjoy✨

Here’s the quick and easy list for you to follow to start becoming your healthiest You:

  1. Decide that you want it.

  2. Know that there will be times when it isn’t easy (and times that it will be!).

  3. Decide what your goals are.

  4. Define your reason Why.

  5. Start with small, easily achievable goals.

The Psychology Behind Comfort vs Risk

When we're little, our brains are incredibly fluid and flexible. It's why children/teens are so capable of handling new information and drastic changes. As we get older, our brains - specifically, our neurons, the information pathways in our brains - harden. The fluidity of receiving and accepting new info, the capability of spontaneity, our willingness to try new, risky things... we find all those things more difficult to do.

Take music, for example. As we're growing, we develop an idea of what music is "supposed" to sound like, based on what we're raised with and around. Eventually, we reach a point where we feel like "they're not making music like they used to," at which point you will either get angry at the "kids these days" or shocked that you sound exactly like your parents. That's neuron hardening.

Our neurons were built for speed and to be risk-averse. They are our safety mechanisms. They are responsible for the doubtful thoughts that we have and the overwhelming feeling of "I want to stop this. I want to go back to normal." Keep this in mind: You are not your thoughts. Your thoughts want to keep you safe and comfortable. They can be beneficial, but they can also be limiting.

The "person" that sends us those thoughts, according to psychology, is called the Ego. Each of us have an Ego, and its job is to make sure that we are pleased, safe, and comfortable. It does that by making us stay in our comfort zones, and flagging us whenever we try to venture out.

Now, the Ego generally works great when we're dealing with risk-assessment - like the kinds our ancestors dealt with, when day-to-day life was much more dangerous than it is today. The Ego is responsible for our apprehensions, our fears, our desires, and the emotional weightiness we assign to our choices ("I know I need to do my homework, but I want to watch TV.")

When confronted with something uncomfortable or novel, the Ego wants to get it as far away as possible, so it sends out signals like fear, disgust, anger, or even hatred. Your Ego wants to have someone else to blame for those icky feelings - and it can't be you! You have probably felt your Ego flare up in offense at some point over the past few years in regard to politics. Likewise, when a part of your life that you are comfortable in is challenged, you will feel some form of emotion - most likely negative.

I thought that I was in pretty good shape my whole life. I thought I ate balanced meals, had a regular period, and could struggle through a mile run (but I could still do it!). But my meals weren't nutritionally dense; some of the foods were even toxic. I didn't drink nearly enough water, and I struggled with anxiety and depression. I glossed over every one of my symptoms with a, "Well, everyone feels like this." I didn't even consider that there was an alternative, and that it was very easily achievable. It took a huge triggering moment and about two years of "undoing" of my own Ego and my beliefs about myself to be able to reach a point where I could accept that I needed to change my life.

1. Decide that you want it.

If you’re reading this, it probably means that you’re at least a little bit interested in this “change your life” idea. Or maybe you’re, like, REALLY into it, and you’re looking for whatever help you can find. In either case, take a deep breath right now. The first step is the decision. In order to change your life, you have to change your life.

That’s going to mean letting go of food, bad habits, and even unhealthy relationships. It will mean putting your money where your mouth is (quite literally sometimes, especially if you’re changing your diet). You need to decide that your health, your body, your mind, and your happiness are all worth it. The decision to change your life usually comes after something big: you decide to stop drinking because you overdid it, or you decided to change your diet because you felt really, really crappy on one particular day. Or maybe it’s just midnight and you’re feeling inspired. On the heels of making the decision, just know…

2. Know that there will be times when it isn’t easy (and times that it will be!).

Strangely, life gets harder when you try to make it easy. Exercising might be hard, but never moving makes life harder. Uncomfortable conversations are hard, but avoiding every conflict is harder. Mastering your craft is hard, but having no skills is harder. Easy has a cost. - James Clear

My decision to change the way I approached health and wellness cost me money, I’m not going to lie. Instead of seeing a regular doctor covered by insurance (but who wasn’t giving me any answers), I see an integrative doctor who isn’t covered by insurance (oof). Instead of eating cheap food, my husband and I prioritize organic meats and produce. Instead of resigning myself to the extra weight gained after my miscarriages, I forced myself to workout. With all of these decisions, my personal comfort, finances, and time were used in ways I, emotionally, didn’t want to use them. But every sacrifice has been for a greater goal, and they are more than worth it.

On some days, you will have zero motivation. Know that. Remember, discipline > motivation.

On other days, though, you’ll come to a realization that… it’s all pretty easy. You’ve formed new habits, and you’re growing more in tune with your body. You’ll crave vegetables. You’ll feel the antsy need to work out. You’ll feel your body tell you, “I’m full now,” and you’ll be able to stop eating. Your body is so much smarter than you give it credit for, IF you give it the right tools and learn how to listen to it.

3. Decide what your goals are.

In order to find out what your goals are, you need to dream. Envision your dream life in five years. Now, write down your answers to these prompts:

  • What do you do each morning, afternoon, evening?

  • What are you eating?

  • How do you look?

  • How do you behave?

  • Where do you live?

  • What do you do to make money?

  • What brings you joy? What are you doing that brings that joy? Who are you with?*

*I want to add a little note here about who you’re with in your dream life. I believe in the sanctity of marriage - that is, that you have a covenant (stronger than a commitment/agreement/contract) with this person you’ve chosen to marry. Your dream life needs to include them - barring, of course, unfaithfulness or abuse, in which case you need to make a decision now for your safety. Otherwise… our culture puts a lot of emphasis on leaving behind your spouse if they make you feel bored or unhappy, but love goes beyond feeling. A goal of yours might be to fix your marriage. Similar to the above quote, working on your marriage may be hard, but leaving your problems without fixing them is harder. This does not apply to dating relationships - but now would also be a good time to determine if they figure into your future!

Now that you’ve got your dream life written out, pick out the general goals. Your goals should be SMART:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Achievable

  • Relevant/Rewarding

  • Time-Bound

For example, “I want to be rich” isn’t a good goal. However, “I want to have $10,000 in savings (specific, measurable, relevant) within three years (achievable, time-bound)” is.

Write down your goals, neatly. If you need to rewrite them (or even print them out in a legible, fun font!), do it! The whole point is to make your goals feel inspiring, motivational, and achievable.

4. Define your reason Why.

Ask anyone who's ever followed through with a drastic change to diet, exercise, lifestyle, etc., and they'll agree that you need to have a Why. Your "Why" is your reason for change. It's the fire under you, your motivation, your muse. Because, trust me, there will be moments when you don't want to continue with the process of changing your life for the better.

For me, my Why is easy: I want to do everything I could for my future child, now. I didn't want to wait to eat healthy or change my habits when I was pregnant - trust me, after going through the first trimester twice and not even getting a baby after either, I know how hard it is to function those first few months. Survival is your only priority. The last thing you're thinking is, "Hmm, I should probably start eating liver and begin exercising daily."

Your Why, then, should fit the following criteria:

  • It should matter more to you than whatever it is you're giving up.

  • It should be something incredibly motivating and inspiring to you.

  • You should be able to summarize it into one or two sentences.

You don't need to publicize your Why. For many of us who are dealing with infertility or weight loss, it can be hard to tell just anyone our Why, if they ask. It is intensely personal, because it says out loud, "I'm not happy with where I'm at, and this is where I want to be."

Perhaps for you, part of your Why is the sharing of your experiences. That's a big part of mine, hence my blog. We need more voices sending compassion and evidence-backed advice into the world. What I say to you, and what you can say to others, is that no one is truly alone.

5. Start with small, easily achievable goals.

The big thing nowadays is "becoming That Girl”. She’s smart, funny, aesthetic, and voguish. She’s casual, approachable, enigmatic, and magical - all at the same time. I see posts about it all the time on Pinterest, and I’m pretty sure it’s a whole category unto itself on TikTok. It’s basically creating and romanticizing your life like you’re the main character of a teen movie - which I’ve been doing, like, forever.

There’s a lot of tutorials out there on how to change your life to become That Girl, and they all coincide with what I’ve been getting at in this post. If you want to begin changing your life, you’ve got to begin somewhere. So, start small!

Narrow down pieces of your big goals into smaller steps. Focus on the step in front of you, ignore the whole staircase, and soon you’ll be where you want at the top. Another metaphor: don’t aim for the moon right now, focus on building your rocket.

If you want that financial goal of saving $10,000 within three years, look at different ways to do it. How much can you sock away incrementally? Set up your bank account to automatically move $10/day into your savings account. What can you give up? Limit dining out to once a week, or stop buying coffee everyday and make it at home. All these things take daily sacrifice, but keep that dream life in your head. Having $10,000 in savings will feel pretty great, and will totally be worth what you’re giving up. You can become That Girl.

Finally, here are some easy, free ways to change your life, right now:

  • Make your bed everyday.

  • Drink water first thing in the morning.

  • Move your body positively (don’t focus on “working out”, but focus instead on moving in ways that feel really great!).

  • Read ingredient labels (on the back!!!) and avoid anything with additives or words you don’t know/can’t pronounce.

  • Romanticize your life.

  • Put in the effort to repair and maintain your relationships.

  • Be kind and respectful to everyone.

  • Smile whenever you see your reflection.

  • Reevaluate what you believe. Does it bring you joy? Does it answer questions about the world? Does it provide a framework for a good life?

  • Remember that a happy life now comes from balance and moderation.

So, are you ready to change your life? Let me know below what some of your goals are, and what small steps you’re ready to start with today!


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