Do you ever feel stuck inside your head? I mean, you know you want to make a change, accomplish a goal, or finally schedule that thing, but it never seems to happen... It’s like your thoughts are stuck on a hamster wheel and you can’t seem to pull them out to take action!
The struggle is real, my friend! We often ruminate on things for what feels like an eternity and where does it really get us? Usually overwhelmed, full of guilt, and mentally toast, which then puts us behind and ultimately delays the thing we wanted to do in the first place!
So how can you get out of your head, find mental clarity, and ultimately propel yourself off the hamster wheel and back into your life? PERSPECTIVE & ACTION
Perspective is Everything!
First things first, let’s get real about what’s filling up your brain space now...
If I asked you to make a pie chart of the top 5 things you think about on repeat every single day, what would they be and how much weight do you give them?
Really sit down and do this one. There's power in putting that pen to paper and getting a visual representation of what's going on in your brain is invaluable!
So what do you think about what you wrote? Do you feel great about your list and proud of how you’re spending your energy each day? Or do you feel a little freaked out, embarrassed, or even surprised by your words? I’d say we all could use a tune-up in this department and the best way to instigate change is through asking the tough questions.
Why do I feel stuck here?
When did I become preoccupied with this?
How did it all start?
Who influences me in this thinking?
Where am I when I feel these thoughts most?
What do I think I could potentially do to change it?
Understanding the meaning behind your thoughts is a powerful way to re-connect with yourself and build your self-awareness. If you really think about it, a lot of times our thoughts aren’t even our own! Did you adopt a certain way of thinking from your family, friends, partner, society, or specific influencers you follow? We’re hit with messages all day long, so taking an inventory of our common thought patterns is super helpful, especially if they’re not our favorites to begin with!
Now that we know what we’re working with, it’s time to take some ACTION!
Choose Your Thoughts Wisely
If you’ve been around the Hee Ha Hoi water cooler for a while, you know I’m big on the whole “Choose Your Thoughts” thing. It’s ok to be skeptical at first because I was too, but I’m telling you this is a REAL THING! I’m living proof of its power because my brain used to be a tornado alley of destructive thought patterns and shame, a constant obsession with food, and some of the most horrible self-criticism I’ve heard to this day…
So when I discovered this concept, I was intrigued, but also completely clueless of how to actually make this work for my life and super busy brain.
But now that you’ve taken the time to understand the “Who, What, When, Where, Why & How” of the thoughts you already have, you now get to make some decisions on what you want to keep and what you want to toss!
First up, are the thoughts you’re currently spending time on serving you well? Do they lift you up and help you feel better or push you down and make you feel like garbage? If garbage is the answer, then it’s time to clean house! Now of course this is going to take time. It took me YEARS to work on this practice, but there’s no reason not to start today!
Any thought that’s bringing you down needs a little reframing. It's not practical to go from 0-100, so if you’re currently at “I hate my body,” don't go straight into “My body is perfection!” Instead, when you have a negative thought, reframe it with something like “I want to like my body and appreciate it for helping me go through life.” Some other options are “I like my arms because they’re strong enough to pick up my nephew, I like my freckles because they remind me of our beach trips, and I like my legs because they help me take hikes and walk my dog.”
Whatever you choose needs to feel somewhat authentic to you though. I say this because sometimes you have to fake it ‘til you make it a little bit, especially when you first start. However you don’t want to go overboard because you'll be less likely to stick with it. Instead, focus on things that are practical and also articulate your desire to feel differently!
Just know, this is a PRACTICE, which means it doesn’t have to be perfect or look pretty! No one else even knows it’s happening and the way to get there is through action. The more you practice stopping in the moment when you have a negative thought, taking a second to actively reframe it, and then turning around and saying the new version to yourself, the more you are signalling to your brain that you are ready for change. Because the thing is, when we really want change, we’re willing to do almost anything for it, so what do you have to lose?
Jumping Off The Hamster Wheel
Up to this point, we’ve been all up in our brains and now we need to dive into the rest of our bodies too. We’ve been actively harnessing our negative thoughts, choosing ones that are more positive and helpful, and now we can finally start taking action on our dusty To-Do list!
Step 1: Let’s revisit your list now that you have a new perspective.
Is there anything you want to cross off immediately because it’s not what you really want? Or something that just needs some tweaking in order to make it right? Maybe even add some new things, now that you’re being nicer to yourself!
Step 2: Break those Big Goals down into tiny little actions.
Have you ever written down “Write a Book, Create a Business Plan, Get in Shape, Self-Care, Meal Prep ALL the Things” or something else equally giant and non-quantifiable on your list?? You’re looking at the Queen of vague and uber intimidating To-Do lists over here! But when I finally learned that each goal must be broken down into small and attainable steps, it was a game changer! Not only did I feel better about myself as I tackled one small step at a time, it also made the whole goal thing way less overwhelming! Do this by taking a notebook and writing your goal at the top. Then start at the beginning with the smallest steps possible and work your way up. The more specific you are the better, especially in the beginning as you build your momentum.
Step 3: Cut the “All or Nothing Thinking.”
Now this one is rough for most people and is likely the #1 thing that will keep you from taking action in your own life. We all know what this looks like… But the thing is, the whole “Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life,” “I only have 30 minutes so I don’t have time to go to exercise,” and “I’m just super busy and have too many obligations right now” are all EXCUSES that are keeping you stuck exactly where you are! It’s ok to eat a cookie for breakfast and a salad for lunch! It’s ok to go the gym and just foam roll and stretch! It’s ok to go to Happy Hour and Yoga class in the same day!
There’s always a next meal, workout, and choice you can make at any time. There's always going to be endless responsibilities, tasks, and people pulling you in multiple directions. But instead of throwing it all down the drain when things don’t go as planned, choose differently that second rather than next week, next month, or next year!
Step 4: Just do the damned thing!
One of the most effective ways through uncertainty, overwhelm, anxiety, and feeling utterly paralyzed is to JUST DO SOMETHING. It’s so hard to do in the moment, I know because I still struggle with this one from time to time. But the thing is, every second you wait makes it that much harder to get going again. Even if your steps are small, they’re still something and that’s why we made the Baby Steps list in Step 2 anyway!
Yes, doing all the things will still be scary, but as you build your momentum, you’re also building your belief in yourself and your capabilities. Then the more you know you CAN DO something, the more likely you are to do it! You just need to prove it to yourself through small, realistic, and attainable action steps.
It’s seems so easy when you get down to it, so why does it feel so hard?! Well sometimes you just need the tools and other times you may need some additional accountability and support. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, because the hardest part is often just getting started. Having someone to talk to when you hit a speed bump is incredibly valuable!
I mean, I won’t pretend like I lost 130 lbs all on my own... I hired a Personal Trainer with a Degree in Nutrition and she taught me how to work out, plan my meals, and even grocery shopped and cooked for me! She was incredible and like a Health Coach before her time. Going through that process with Sporty is what ultimately inspired me to do what I do today, because I know it would have been 1,000% harder to go it alone and having someone to lean on made all the difference in the world!
I've also seen Counselors, listened to countless podcasts by Life and Business Coaches, attended conferences, and have read so many books by incredible and inspiring women! I knew I needed to surround myself with positive and inspiring messages to keep me moving forward, which was another action step I took to take care of myself and stay in the game. And it's something I still do to this day!
So don’t hesitate to speak up when you want or need a little help too. Even Coaches have Coaches, because we’re all human and everyone can benefit from a little extra support and accountability in our lives.
Of course if this resonates with you and you want a little help from me, reach out below and say hi! I’d love to help you learn how to launch out of your hamster wheel too! 😉