Two weeks ago I was jabbering about the waiting game, and figuring out what keeps you from pursuing that “thing” that lights you up.
I feel now is a good time to remind you of that post, and then place a little asterisk on it because when I talk about doing that “thing”, as in changing your life in a way that makes you feel more alive, healthier, happier, it doesn’t have to be some massive attempt to 180 your life.
That would be downright f*cking scary. Having to decide between doing something THAT BIG or go home — you’d dash away faster than a frightened cat running from a plastic bag. (For catless peeps — i.e. cat haters (it’s all good) — that’s sonic boom speed.)
Going “all in” can be great but it may feel totally over the top, when all you really need to do is dip a pinky toe in. Small changes can still have a massive impact on helping you level up.
The goal here is to not stop, drop, and roll yourself into a completely new life — it’s to encourage you to begin strengthening your decision-making muscle where you, your health, and your habits are concerned. It’s about making a firm decision that tells the Universe “I’m done bro!” Done with “regret hangovers” and deflating conversations that play out in the noggin on the reg.
(And since we’re ditching useless convos, let’s add in the “but it’s going to be so hard” one too because THAT convo has had enough air time.)
Case in point, I went into March telling myself that it was going to be easy foregoing the foods that have kept me warm and cozy and comforted for far too long (pasta, bread, pizza, eggs — weird but true) and honestly, reinforcing that conversation has been one — of two — things that have helped keep me from grabbing handfuls of girl scout cookies and washing them down with Cabernet all month long. (And have you seen the grand array of options these girl scouts have these days — good god they’re really amping up their cookie appeal!)
As for the second thing that helped me tremendously was that I learned the power of asking questions.
And it turns out… asking questions is our underused superpower! 💥
For example, when I’m walking into the kitchen, my legs walk me right to the fridge, but since I’m not snacking, I have to consciously override the legs, and the only way I’ve figured out how to do that is to begin questioning what the hell I’m doing.
And YES! it’s SUPER annoying because you want what you want (arms crossed, tongue out) and you hate that you have to stop yourself, ask questions, and get all “feelsy” about it! But it turns out it’s the only way through and that’s jim-dandy news because it means this: there’s a way through it all! And the more you do it… you know, it gets easier. Scout’s Honor!
Taking questions is how we begin turning off the auto-pilot living and wake up which is the only was to make change happen.
Below is a snippet from a book shared in my writing community — hey look ma, I’m part of a writing community which is one small change I made happen this month too — and I thought it was the perfect way to sum up what I’m trying to convey:
Zanshin is a word used commonly throughout Japanese martial arts to refer to a state of relaxed alertness… Zanshin is choosing to live your life intentionally and acting with purpose rather than mindlessly falling victim to whatever comes your way. (Read that line again, it’s soooo good!)
We live in a world obsessed with results… we have a tendency to put so much emphasis on whether or not the arrow hits the target. If, however, we put that intensity and focus and sincerity into the process — where we place our feet, how we hold the bow, how we breathe during the release of the arrow — then hitting the bullseye is simply a side effect.
The point is not to worry about hitting the target. The point is to fall in love with the boredom of doing the work and embrace each piece of the process… It is not the target that matters. It is not the finish line that matters. It is the way we approach the goal that matters. Everything is aiming. Zanshin.”
James Clear (THE habit guru!)
How good is that?! That’s it right there — that’s the secret to to intentionally creating change. I hope it resontated with you — you’ll feel it deep down if it did.
Till next week my Zanshin friend!
P.S. What’s one thing (small or massive) you’re looking to make happen this month?