How ‘Commit 100% or You’re Not Serious!’ can cause you to fail

Hey
 
I’m lazy. I like things to be easy. If you tell me that in order to get healthy I need to go on an anti-inflammatory diet where I have to give up, well, let’s just say, food, I won’t do it. It’s too hard to stop tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, flour, dairy, sugar, pasta, bread, and everything else that makes life worth living all at once.
 
I will not do it. Not one bit of it—much less the whole shebang.
 
I balk like a stubborn mule. Do you have a mule?
 
Mules don’t like overwhelm.
 
How my Physical Therapist unwittingly used a Japanese strategy to deal with my mule
 
I recently engaged a Physical Therapist for a repetitive strain injury. Typically I left it until I couldn’t move my thumb at all and was in agony. He helped a lot with the recalcitrant thumb, but it was something else he showed me that you may find interesting.
 
We discussed a health problem I had had for several years that caused breathlessness and left me exhausted after even the smallest amount of exercise. I was terribly unfit as a result. And mule-like I didn’t like going 3 times a week to the exercise classes my doctor insisted on.
 
My PT taught me just one thing—how to breathe. I mean really breathe. Big gulping deep breaths for minutes at a time. All day. Whenever I thought about it. He persuaded me to buy a fitness watch that would beep to remind me to breathe.
 
Breathe. I can do that. It’s pretty cheap and very easy. The Mule in me didn’t notice.
 
Well, gentle reader; I’m here to tell you it got me off the couch. After a few weeks I had more energy and was using the treadmill for more than 2 minutes before collapsing. I even got in a swimming pool for the first time in 5 years.
 
All because of breathing? Yes.
 
One thoughtful change had worked better than all the expert advice from umpteen doctor/chiropractor/acupuncture/massage therapist appointments pooled together. Oh, and kick in a portable oxygen tank that I never used.
 
What my PT had done for me, albeit unconsciously, was mimic a Japanese system called Kaizen.
 
A little background here is interesting
 
Hang in there with me.
 
In the years following WW2 the Japanese were exhausted and defeated—their economy destroyed by the devastating effects of war. Japan was in dire straits, yet within 30 years bounced back with one of the strongest economies in the world.
 
American businessmen traveled to Japan to learn their secret and discovered that the Japanese employed a method called Kaizen to get back on their feet. It involved making itty-bitty changes—not big ones. They tackled their huge problems one tiny step at a time, one week at a time. It worked. Spectacularly well.
 
Kaizen literally means ‘incremental change, continuous improvement’.  
 
Start with the smallest and practice the easiest.
 
How does this apply to me, I hear you cry?
 
Simply this. If you make small, seemingly insignificant, but thoughtful adjustments in your life, slowly but surely everything will start to improve.
 
What about, if instead of those huge monstrous dietary deprivations, you gave up just one thing for that flipping anti-inflammatory diet?  Let’s say sugar. Or pop drinks. Or cereal. Just one thing. Won’t kill you.
 
You can do that. Even I could.
 
Overly ambitious goals will trigger overwhelm and defeat. They don’t motivate.
 
Tiny changes will slip under the radar of the mule-mind.
 
So, let’s look at your goal or challenge
 
What is the smallest step you can take this week in relation to it? Can you do it for a week? 

  • Treadmill for just 5 minutes a day?
  • Learn one Spanish verb this week and use it?
  • Give up sugar in your tea? See if you can stand stevia. Just for a week.
  • Don’t watch YouTube while you eat breakfast. (Not sure I can do that one. May be too challenging.)


Think tiny. Don’t go big. Think easy. Think small.
 
Ignore advice to ‘Go big or go home!’ ‘Go all in’, or ‘Make a 100% commitment if you’re serious! 98% is not good enough’. Bad advice.

Instead, go for 50% max. More or less willing to give it a go. What have I got to lose. Why not. 
 
Next time you feel overwhelmed with an issue and all your myriad options, try Kaizen. You’ll be amazed. It’s unimpressive, dull, unspectacular, not at all sexy, but will get you results.
 
Let me know how you get on. I’m genuinely interested.

My approach to coaching is based on this philosophy. So if you want help getting that mule moving, or more info about Kaizen, contact me here.

Easy and effortless beats difficult and challenging every time.
 
Fool that mule.
 
Cheers!
Margaret Nash
Kaizen Coach and Mule Kicker Extraordinaire 
margaretnashcoach.com

New book on finding life purpose

Hey, my new book Follow the Trail of Your Spirit is available for another week at the low, low, price of 99c before price goes up.

You can get it here: http:// https://www.amazon.com/Follow-Trail-Your-Spirit-Self-Help-ebook/dp/B07T8CCRV7

Hope you like it, and if so I’d love and appreciate a nice review. Heck, I’ll bribe you for it—tacos on me if you’re here in San Miguel!

“…a fast-paced, easy-to-read, down-to-earth life-coaching guide to finding purpose, meaningful activity, and your perfect career.Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find productive, satisfying, and fulfilling things to do, whether at work or simply hanging out at home, by just answering 10 questions?”

Take care and happy trails!

Margaret

How to Avoid Meltdowns and Hissy fits

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

I had a mini meltdown yesterday and I’m not especially proud of it. I like to think I’m in control most of the time, and the mantra I use to keep a check on my natural warrior-like tendencies is ‘I am calm, confident, and in control’. This works pretty well most of the time.

If I feel the need to shout at other drivers it’s always with the window closed, and I keep an eye on my moods to make sure they’re not going to impact others in a negative way.

Aren’t I good? Well, not so much. Yesterday the stars conspired against me; I lost my cool and exploded over a small but ill-advised remark made by my hapless husband.

Yikes. He retreated with the dogs to another part of the house and left me to stew. Which I did…. for about 5 steaming minutes…and then remorse set in.

I spent the rest of the day feeling guilty and that I had let myself down. What had happened?

First World Problems

Get the hankies out.

OK so my car started breaking down on the way to a doctor’s appointment for which I was already late, I was in a hurry and forgot to eat, I couldn’t find a parking place and had to run, was late, and then the doctor wanted me to come back later, and despite rapidly lowering blood sugar I didn’t stop to pick up lunch on the way home because, you know, car trouble, and someone else was waiting for me there, and once home I tried to order food from my favorite delivery service, and the line wasn’t working, and then I tried ordering from a not so favorite pizza delivery and they weren’t answering, and I couldn’t prepare anything because my kitchen is currently being torn apart for remodeling.

Enter husband who makes unhelpful suggestion when I’m in a state of enhanced agitation and low blood sugar. Bless his heart.

Not one of these #firstworldproblems on its own would normally even make me blink, but when they all came at once I found I couldn’t cope.

Rescue Remedy in a book

This morning, still smarting from my failure to behave as an enlightened human being, I read something in a book by Michael Neill, super coach extraordinaire, which totally explained my lapse of civility. He helpfully suggested what I can do in the future to avoid it happening again. I want to share.

Neill says that in recovery there is an acronym called H.A.L.T., which stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. When you notice yourself experiencing any one of these feelings, then HALT what you’re doing and take care of yourself.

I was feeling ALL of them yesterday when I lashed out. Hungry—yep, angry—yep.   lonely—yep, in that I didn’t feel supported, and tired—tick, tick, tick, tick. Now I’m not one to scrimp on self-care, but this just all got out of hand before I knew I was in dangerous territory.

Eat Something!

Neill says that when you notice any of these symptoms of stress to simply stop and take stock. Whatever you’re doing isn’t going to go well when you’re in any of these states.

I could have stopped and eaten, rested, taken a deep breath, and canceled some of those appointments. Reminded myself to relax. Get a taxi.  But mainly, eat something before blood sugar drops.

So the simple advice is to be aware of what is going on in your body before it’s too late. What do you need? How can you take care of yourself? Do it now.

This is going to be a new mantra for me. H.A.L.T. Lesson learned. Stop that hissy-fit in its tracks. The remorse and guilt are not worth it.

Have you had a meltdown due to hunger, anger, loneliness, or fatigue?

Try H.A.L.T. next time and let me know how it works.

margaretnashcoach.com

Why Is It So Hard to Change Habits and Make Healthy Choices?

Have you ever resolved to start eating more veggies, or quit eating so much sugar? Or to start going to that exercise class, get up earlier, or simply to choose more healthy options in your life? And then…either it never happens, or after a few days you slowly slide back to your old wicked ways?

This pattern of behavior is all too common—but, before you start beating yourself up about your so-called failure, you need to understand a few things. There are good reasons, based on brain science, that we stay with behaviors that are familiar—even when we don’t like the results.

Our brains were designed to be as efficient as possible, and even though we now know that new neural pathways can be created at any age, it requires a lot of energy on your brain’s part to create a new neural pathway and then to actually use it.

Your brain would much prefer to travel down the same old pathways, which means repeating the same habits and behaviors day after day, and year after year.

This can be a real obstacle when attempting to release some extra weight, or just to get healthier. Luckily there is a solution that is easy and accessible!

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is an easy-to-learn energy psychology modality that will help to rewire your brain, and it’s proven to reduce food cravings – for good!

This simple technique involves finger tapping on specific meridian points while talking aloud. A few rounds of tapping will reduce your stress hormones, allowing you to think more clearly and make wiser choices around food and anything else in your life.

A regular tapping practice can improve your self-confidence and body image, as well as release old emotional issues that cause you to hold onto extra weight and unhelpful habits.

Even if you don’t need or want to lose any weight, the tapping will help you to feel good about yourself and to WANT to make choices that support your health and well-being.

You can learn a lot more about how and why this works at my upcoming class on Tuesday, March 19th, 4-5:30 PM at Lifepath.

If you’ve never done EFT before, you’ll learn how to tap, more about how it helps with making healthy choices, and we’ll all tap together. You’ll leave knowing how to use this amazing tool in your daily life.

Can’t come to the class? Personalized EFT Tapping sessions will bring you even swifter results. Enjoy significantly reduced rates here in San Miguel.

Contact me, sarah@sarahgracecoach.com, to book your Ageless Health and Vitality Package – three personalized EFT coaching sessions for just 2500 pesos (normally $295 USD). You’ll gain new motivation and clarity for making choices to support your own radiant health and vitality. Or, book a single laser session for 1000 pesos.