When I am able to shake loose of something that has been limiting and holding me down it feels incredible. When I’m not letting standard measurements of success an failure be my markers I feel liberated. I mean seriously when you’re able to shrug off a large debt with that very last payment, close an age old problem for an irritated client or simply walk away from something doesn’t feel good there is genuine relief. A release from a bond that was straining your focus and making you conform. It’s like someone just took the weights off from your shoulders and you can stand a little taller and maybe even skip! You are no longer dragging this huge boulder of a problem that was slowing you down. You are free!
As I focus on my health and wellness this year in the 2020 Wellness Challenge I realize I am freeing myself in this process. I am slowing letting myself emerge and be free. I am loosening the grip of weight and fat on my body and it’s limitations in my mindset on what I cannot do, how I am seen and what size label is sewn in my clothes. Each time there is progress I see in how my clothes fit and how I feel even more energy than yesterday I envision a chain link dropping loudly to the floor and the rest of the links are loosening one by one until all of the chain is gone. It time to just be free of this weight and things that are making me not feel my best. When I keep this visualization of chain links and freedom it is highly motivating to me.
The hard part is of course staying the course and overcoming slower than expected progress. It happens even when we are doing everything right. There are just times it can seem no matter what we do nothing happens. The other scenario is time isn’t passing fast enough and we feel we will never make it to that goal. In both situations we are not really being honest with ourselves. Sure there are weeks the scale is not moving but is that the only measure of progress we can take? Does our effort and consistency not count for progress too? Is our health just a set of numbers to be charted and monitored?
When you think of health overall in your body, mind and spirit there is always progress to be found. If the scale didn’t move but you were strong and stayed the course without cheating on your meal plan you my friend were super successful! If you saw no movement in weight but you realized you didn’t skip any workouts well done! If your sleep improved, your energy increased, your mood was great all week and so much more could have shifted while that scale stayed the same. Give yourself the grace and reward of progress through non number based progress marks. Let us just be free from the burden of thinking there’s only one way to be right, successful, good or making progress!
Think of how many areas of your life could look different all by applying that logic of measuring progress differently. Think of how much happier and lighter we would feel in the process of growth and change. That space where we are not beating ourselves up for failing when in truth we really did not. We progressed in our own beautiful way. We changed in the way that is right for us. We transformed on a different path. It doesn’t mean we won’t see progress on the scale but that’s now how we will get all or even the most important reports of our progress.
When we stop measuring in terms of numbers and time we find many opportunities in which we can creatively and authentically define what success looks like. In my own weight loss journey this year I would love to lose a certain amount of weight but my complete success isn’t based just on that achievement. I’m also honed on feeling better overall including emotionally and spiritually as a result of living more healthy. Why do I just want to limit that to just what my body shape and weight is? Let’s just be free of societal terms for successful health goals shall we? Or any goal at all where it only focuses on the data, numbers, time spent, a date in the future even! Liberate and rebel against this conformity!
It takes courage to redefine your success beyond data and time. We often set a goal of losing a certain amount of weight in a specific amount of time. We are taught goals have to be specific and measurable. This is true but that is only part of the answer. When you also include information about your consistency, effort, persistence, and non-measurable results you see the full picture. You see your own growth pattern and can leverage that to make the changes necessary to realize the numbers goal too! You release yourself from guilt and shame for missing a measurement and instead look at what you learned, what you gained in positive energy and where you’re going next. You build momentum to keep pushing and strength to carry you through the times when physical measurements fall short of defining who we are and how we are progressing.
As we continue on the journey of wellness this year, how do you define your progress and success?
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