Find Your Exit Buddy

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The journey to wellness can be a wild ride, filled with twists, turns, diversions, and bumps, which impact your ability to maintain focus and to keep making those day to day choices that support your goal. This is the truth for any type of goal; personal, health, or business.

However, it’s the choices you make throughout the day that you need to keep consistent in order to make progress. You may get so lost in your sight of the prize, that you don’t develop the daily habits you must do to get there. That is what happened with me time and time again when I attempted to begin a healthier routine, be it with nutrition or exercise.

I knew it was going to be different when I figured out that I needed an “exit buddy.” I attached a short video clip from the movie “Finding Nemo.” It is the part where Dorry and Marlin have to go through the “swirling vortex of doom” to reach their goal of making it to Sydney in order to search for Nemo. They were both terrified, but they had each other for that crazy ride, and they ended up getting through it side by side.

Finding your exit buddy is an important key to success. You need to have someone supporting you, who is working on a similar goal, that you report to on a regular basis for that crucial day to day accountability. They are there to give advice, provide motivation, give support on those difficult days, and keep you moving forward on your journey.

Is is possible to reach your goal without an exit buddy? Sure, but it is going to be a much, much more difficult process. If you don’t remain true and consistent with the process, then the chances of getting where you want to be go way down! You need to fall in love with the process, not the end result!

This is where people fall down in achieving their goals. They are so focused on the end result, that the little steps you need to follow to get there (like I mentioned last week) get brushed aside. You become frustrated because you have a couple of good days, followed by a bad day, then a good day, and then two more bad days. Pretty soon, fed up with the lack of progress, you regress back to the old patterns that don’t support you, and the goal is abandoned. Your exit buddy is going to keep you on the path, so that you make those daily needed choices and do the behaviors and habits you know have to happen to make progress!

I have two exit buddies who have been supporting me on my wellness journey. The first one is my husband, Mike. I will be forever grateful for his presence and willingness to fully embrace a lifestyle of greater wellness, and follow this journey right by my side. As he saw the changes I was making in my nutrition and fitness habits, he also accepted them and joined me in this process. He has lost 55 pounds in the last year, and I am so proud of him! He is there to support our new lifestyle every single day!

He will cut up the lemons to put in our water, be excited about grilling more vegetables, and happily try my new healthier recipes. He takes care of getting the kids out of bed and ready so I can exercise in the morning. He does this willingly, happily, and without complaint. I have supported him the same way. It works. We work together, so we can keep moving forward on our health journey.

My second exit buddy is a driven, kind and amazing individual who introduced me to following the lifestyle I am now so passionate about. She became not only my fitness and nutrition coach, but my wellness cheerleader who showed up for me every day to keep me focused and on track. All this support was given freely and willingly. Cherise Goodrich inspired me to become that exit buddy for others looking to improve their wellness by taking control of their fitness and health. I will be forever grateful to you as well, Cherise! I love showing up and providing that kind, motivating support and accountability that is going to help others stay true to the process of achieving wellness.

So, my advice this week is to find that person or group who will be your exit buddy. No matter what your goal is, that person or group will get you through the daily grind (face it, some days are a complete grind!), making those needed little choices and doing those daily behaviors and habits that will keep you moving forward! You can do it! Just find your exit buddy!

One Small Change at a Time

One Small Change

A big mistake people make when wanting to be healthier is to try to do a complete life overhaul virtually overnight. Come on, we’ve ALL done this…Starting tomorrow (why not now? What’s the magic about tomorrow, anyway?), I will drink 2 liters of water, work out for an hour, eat no sugar, meditate for 20 minutes, write in my journal, cut out bread, pop, chips, etc., and the impossibility of this list continues! We set ourselves up for a complete and epic failure. We manage to complete two out of 10 of the laundry list of resolutions we set. We beat ourselves up, think “Why bother?!” then regress back into the bag of M&Ms because what’s the point, anyway? I can’t do all these things! Sound familiar?

I got turned on to the concept of making small changes by following the 100 Days of Real Food 14 Weeks of Mini Pledges. I am attaching a link so you can see what I did.

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/100-days-of-mini-pledges/

Each week, I made the commitment to follow the mini pledge, building on the previous week’s pledges. Most were pretty easy to follow, such as eat two fruits or vegetables per meal, drink REAL beverages, no deep fried foods, etc. As one of these mini pledges became a habit, I added another. Sometimes, it took more than a week for the pledge to become a habit. After awhile, I really cleaned up my nutrition! These habits became a routine, a way of living.

You know you’ve developed a habit when the decision making process is removed from the equation. There is no second guessing, no deliberation, no “should I or shouldn’t I?” You just do it, because it’s part of your life now. This is true for both good habits, as well as those habits which are not so healthy.

As you build your arsenal of wellness habits up, you will find that a day or two of indiscretions or poor choices won’t break the bank. You get right back up and resume those healthy habits, and you’re back on track. All those seemingly little decisions you make each day that are benefitting your wellness add up! You start to feel better. You have more energy, you lose the brain fog, and you find yourself craving for more…more habits to help you become the best possible version of yourself! You become a seeker of wellness!

The process is simple, but it’s not easy. The magic bullet for me was finding others going through the same process who were willing to support me. I needed accountability and a plan to make it happen. I had to find my “exit buddy.”  More on that topic next week.