Planning for Change
If we know what needs to improve to make our 3 Homes nicer places to live, how can we plan to make changes?
So how do we begin to move beyond becoming more aware of problems to actually making the changes necessary to improve our Three Homes?
There are actually lots of things that can help, but I’d like to take a look at three in this post - loving the process and not just the outcomes, start small and build, and find ways to get help.
Loving the Process, Not Just the Outcomes
I, like many of you, dream about changes and goals being achieved. We look ahead to solutions and milestones and want to get there as quickly as possible. For some things, this is completely possible - sick of that stain on the carpet? Grab some spot remover the next time you’re out shopping, treat the stain and enjoy your refreshed flooring.
But for other things, it just takes time and often practice. Given that this is a reality for any solutions we want to create for ourselves, it can be challenging to get started and continue putting the work in. Exercise is a pretty common example that comes up for this, and for good reason. And I’d like to use it as an example too, but think about it in a way that maybe you haven’t before.
A lot of what the media portrays to us is an “ideal” body type - in the recent past this has involved looking very thin or having very exaggerated curves. This is also portrayed as how healthy bodies look, but that is hot nonsense. Exercise can be about building muscle and wanting to look a certain way - there’s nothing inherently wrong with this - and if these are your goals, this advice will still apply. But I’d like to challenge us to think about exercise as movement - not just running or lifting weights - but about using our bodies in a way that promotes our health and wellbeing.
Moving our bodies is important for both our physical and mental wellbeing - it promotes blood flow to the brain which allows us to think more clearly, it helps increase good hormones which can improve our mood and it can keep many health issues at bay. So if it’s so great for us, why don’t more people do it?
All of us want these outcomes - who wouldn't? But we hate the process...
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that enjoying exercise is often what holds people back from doing it - whether your aim is better health, more toned muscle groups or mental/emotional balance. All of us want these outcomes - who wouldn’t? But we hate the process.
For some, the outcome may be worthwhile enough that they can fight through and exercise by sheer force of will, but this isn’t the recommended approach…
Find movement that you enjoy! If you enjoy the process of moving and exercising, you will be much more likely to keep going with it. In fact, you may want to lose the word “exercise” altogether and just think of it as an activity that’s going to make you feel better in your brain and you body.
Sports can be a great way to bring some accountability into the process - because it's a competition, your competitor or your team will be counting on you to show up. Team sports can also be a great way to connect and feel social while moving. Or, maybe you don’t feel comfortable around others when you want to move and sweat - no problem! There are lots of solo activities - walking, gaming systems with exercise programs (RIP Wii - but I still use mine all the time for “tennis”), put on some music and jam out by yourself.
I have tried lots of different types of movement activities. For me, body combat as exercise is something I really enjoy. I don’t want to fight anyone, in fact, that would turn me off from this kind of movement. But throwing on a video to follow along in my living room and throwing punches and kicks into the air makes me feel empowered! I’ve also been looking to infuse some fun into my regular movement - a great source is dance parties by growwithjo (on Youtube - here - not affiliated). My go-to spot for great yoga online is Yoga with Adriene (she has a wonderful, calm energy and LOTS of videos for any level and any time commitment - find her here - not affiliated). And, when the weather is nice, taking a little walk instead of bingeing one more 20 minute episode gets me moving in a way that feels less intense, but is actually great and free cardio.
Though exercise/movement is a great example, this can be applied to many things - find a way to love the process of moving toward the outcome you want and it will be much easier to keep going.
Start Small and Build
A bit of a no-brainer idea here - but maybe it’s a bit of permission for some of you perfectionists out there - start small and build.
It can be really challenging when we live in a culture that is so pervasive with instant gratification to look at a goal or solution to one of our problems that’s going to take some dedicated time. Because we just want to get to the outcome, like we talked about in the previous section, loving the process is important, but so is starting from a reasonable beginning and then moving forward with reasonable steps.
It’s good to have your goal in mind, but you’re not there yet, and that’s ok. You’re here, right now, today. So it’s ok to start with where you are at here, right now, today.
The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.
If you’ve had some trouble getting starting on making your life better in ways you know it could be in the past, a little wisdom from Albert Einstein:
Try something different, try something small, try something in a new way - because little by little, a little becomes a lot!
Find People and Methods that Help
Some great news about making change is that you don’t have to do it alone! Just about any challenge you want to tackle has a community around it - in-person or online. Maybe finding some people to share your journey with you is one of the small steps you can take this time to help get you further than you’ve been able to before on your own.
Like I mentioned about sports - others can help with accountability - but they can also encourage and give different perspectives which can mean you’re not starting from scratch. You can start from a position of experience - maybe not yours - but the collective has a lot to offer!
You can start from a position of experience...
Try spending some time in a research stage before taking the plunge - the more informed you feel and the more you visualize yourself taking action, the more comfortable you may feel when it comes time to implement your new plan (just don’t stay in research forever - it’s a good starting place, but you’ll need to move beyond it to actually move toward your outcome). For example, you might look up four new kinds of movement you’d like to try out to see what feels good for you. Then take the four weeks of the next month to actually do them - each movement type, a few times, for one week (that way if you don’t really like it, you’re not overly committed, but it gives you enough time to sample it).
Some other general ideas that may help you in discovering methods that may work for you for your giving personal growth outcome. Having accountability and support from a community or group is a good one. Others might include finding a structured program - trying to create your own may be too hard at the beginning and you want to just follow the steps of someone else who has gone through the same process. Journaling or keeping records can be a wonderful way to keep personal accountability and keep track of your progress.
Trial and error is ok - you don't have to get it exactly right the first time. Give yourself some time to find the right way to move yourself forward toward your goals - and then go get them :)
With love, Jess
A Thought for Your Thoughts:
Take 2 Minutes - Reflect & Commit
I’ve used movement/exercise as an example but you know what your personal goals are for improving your 3 Homes. Choose a small step that you can take today to move it forward - maybe your commit to 20 minutes of research tonight, or you schedule time to speak with a friend about your goals, or you schedule an appointment with a specialist that you think could help, or you could order something online that will be a great tool for you to move forward. There are lots of ways to make forward motion - you choose one now that you’ll commit to doing at some point today.
Take 5 Minutes - Research
Take your five minutes to search for a group in your area or online that might be a good fit for you and your goals for change. You don’t have to sign up, you don’t have to get in contact with anyone - unless you want to. Just open your mind to the possibility that you are not the only person who wants to grow and that there are others who are also interested in connecting with you!
You might be surprised at how easy it is to find others on the same journey :)
Take Some Time - Book Recommendation
If you’d like some ideas about how other people have found successes in their personal growth, habits and routines, check out Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss (affiliate link). He’s collected stories and tips from “billionaires, icons and world-class performers” - and if it works for them, there’s some nuggets of gold for you and me too :)
General topics in the book cover health, wealth and wisdom - take from it what you can as not everything will apply or be accessible to you, and the rest is just an interesting read.
Note: “A thought for your thoughts” is going to be a section added to the end of each blog to give you some ideas on how to bring these words/thoughts to life for yourself. You know yourself better than anyone, so not every suggestion will be for you - that’s ok, it might give you some inspiration though, or help you to try something new.
And because we all have different time pressures, I’ll try to give you something that will take 2 minutes, 5 minutes or some more time. Everyone has two minutes to give a little action and intention to improving their Three Homes. You probably will have five minutes most days too. And, for a deeper dive, I’ll give some additional resources, like a book recommendation or activity that will allow you to dedicate yourself to moving forward, if you are so inspired.
(Also, the title of the section is fun nod to one of my favorite shows - Parks & Rec)