For When You Feel Stuck

When was the last time you felt stuck?  When was the last time you wanted to accomplish a goal or make a change in your life and just couldn't get there?  You're not alone! 

Personally, my new eating habits are messing with me.  After months of wrestling with the grief of letting go of gluten and dairy (should be read cheese), I've managed to adopt healing choices in my eating.  

While I've adopted a newish lifestyle in eating healthier foods, late night snacking (of said healthy foods) continues to beckon me from the kitchen.  Eat me!  Eat me!  Eat me!

It's doing me no favors.  The good I want to do (closing the kitchen) is not what I do.  Just saying.  The apostle Paul understands all too well!  

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do.
— Romans 7:15

There it is.  And no matter what you are trying to accomplish or the change you are trying to make, we are waging war against ourselves, our desires, and we might as well come out with it, our sin nature.  (Read the rest of Romans 7 to get the full gist here)

SO what's a girl to do?  Personally, I confessed to my health coach.  I'm snacking healthy but to be honest, I just can't seem to stop.  Her advice was to fast from my usual routine.  Instead of watching re-runs of FRIENDS that I've seen 3,000 times, I could do some self-care.  Take a bath.  Give myself a pedicure.  Read a great book.  Stop mindlessly snacking.  Start caring for yourself, one step at a time. 

I'm not gonna lie.  I didn't like it.  I'm comfortable with my routine.  I like winding down the way I do.  But if I'm going to change my late night snacking, I need to change my habits and my routine. 

Habits are the invisible architecture of daily life. We repeat about 40 percent of our behavior almost daily, so our habits shape our existence and our future. If we change our habits, we change our lives.
— Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before

For you, it may not be the late night snacking.  It may be the trajectory of your career path.  It may be the repeated arguments you have with your spouse or your children.  It may be about fitness or it may be about a ministry God is calling you to.  

Change is not easy. Change is scary.  Change is risky.  You know what's not scary?  Reward.  The other side of risk and scary is reward.  Reward because God has walked with you and deepened your faith.  Reward because you can see changes not just in what you do, but in who you are.  Reward because you've trusted God even when change was hard and uncomfortable and different. 

Change starts in a partnership with God.  Change starts with changing our habits - the things we do without even thinking - so we can become unstuck and move forward.  

So , how do we get started with this changing our habits thing? 

Examine Your Thoughts

I was reading an article about Dolvett Quince, one of the trainers on the Biggest Loser.  He was asked where someone should start in their weight loss journey.  His answer was not in the gym.  It was in the mind.  

The biggest thing that holds us back is what we think.  In coaching, we call this our limiting beliefs.  It's thinking we can't do something, or it's too big to tackle, or just insert what you say to yourself here.  What we think can hold us back from changing our lives.  

Reset your thinking.  Or in the words of Romans 12, be transformed by the renewing of your mind. 

Make your change a priority.  When it's your priority, it's not the fourth or eighth thing you think about in your day.  It's your first or maybe your second.  How can you make your change a priority? 

Start with the Next Smallest Step

I can't claim this one.  My friend, Sue, and I were talking about this very topic and she gave me this illustration.  When starting a new habit, you don't start with the end in mind.  You start with the little doable things.  She explained it like a circle.  If the habit you want to incorporate is in the center, and the little things are concentric around it, then you start with the outside ring.

For instance, if you want to become a marathon runner, you don't start by running a marathon.  You could start by putting your running shoes by the front door so you trip over then every time you leave.  Before long, you are putting your shoes on instead of tripping over them. And before you know it you are outside running.  Sounds simple, doesn't it?   

One of my fave coaching tools is the perspective wheel.  I love that clients get to brainstorm possible next steps toward their goal or new habit.  But the best part is assessing their willingness to do those steps.  

Sometimes, the best next step is not the one that will get you the furthest but the one you will actually do.  No matter how small, do the step your are willing to do and can do.  Like leaving your running shoes by the front door. 

God Cares About Your Habits

I don't know about you, but in my quest for saying good-bye to cheese I've struggled on my own a bit.  I've wanted to resist in my own strength.  And quite honestly, I wasn't sure God really cared about my cheese grief. 

Turns out I was wrong.  It seems God cares and wants to give me strength and power for new habits.  Who knew? 

As I explained all this to my health coach, she asked me to consider two questions before eating: 

  1. If God were setting your table, what kind of food would He prepare for you?
  2. Instead of food (pertaining to late night snacking), what else do you need from God? 

While these were hard questions to hear and process, God is using them to help me make better choices, and walk with Him by faith in this area of my life.  

We are down with eating for comfort and up with inviting God along in the process.  No matter what your goal, you can invite God along to your own unique situation.  While your thing may not be food, I mean cheese, you can ask God to speak into your thing.  

I've learned a thing or two from my own journey.  I need to be willing to exchange the comfortable so I can experience freedom.  It means fasting from TV and snacking to take care of myself.  It means trusting God to extend comfort when I'm missing my comfort habits.  It means being committed enough to exchange  the habits that aren't working for ones that do.  It means taking one foot and placing it on the firm foundation that only God can provide.  

I'd love to hear about your habits.  What works for you?  Or the one's you know you need to adopt!  

Interested in more on habits.  Our next group coaching event is all about habits this Saturday at the One Foot Offices.  Check the details out by clicking the link below!