Mindset Matters when trying to Achieve Optimal Health
As health coaches at Copare, we strive to find strategies that will help motivate and inspire our clients to achieve optimal health. We believe in feedback, never failure. And because all of our clients are unique, our coaching sessions vary and often involve some trial and error until we figure out the “magic” that results in that “light bulb” moment or breakthrough. Below are some strategies related to belief systems, mindset and word choice that will help you make real progress on your journey towards sustainable good health.
Let’s change the conversation from diet to lifestyle. A diet is temporary, uncomfortable, and restrictive. Consider talking about your “diet” as a new, healthy way of eating. Transforming a diet into a lifestyle is more positive and sustainable.
Like diet, “weight loss” is temporary and often not sustainable. Weight loss is also typically tied to a number. By focusing on “getting healthy” versus losing weight, you’ll feel less pressure and again the results will be more sustainable. Additionally, getting healthy involves more than just losing weight. While you may not see the numbers on the scale go down as rapidly as you would like, your overall health will be improving because of other lifestyle modifications, i.e.: more movement, better sleep etc. Weight loss should always be the byproduct of getting healthy.
We often hear our clients say that they hit a “plateau” when they reach a certain number. Remind yourself that what you’re doing now to get healthy is very different from what you did before. Trust the process – it works!
Discipline is often used to describe how well someone adheres to their “diet”. It connotes rigidity and is punitive. Consider shifting your mindset from one of discipline to one of consistency or commitment. Focus on developing the habits and routines that support consistent behaviors.
Once again the word “cheat “is negative. Being healthy doesn’t have an on/off switch and food shouldn’t be labeled as “good” or “bad”. Cheating also overemphasizes rules and implies bad behavior.
We sometimes hear clients talk about how they feel “restricted” because they can’t eat their favorite foods. Instead of considering the things that you’re missing, why not consider all of the wonderful (and healthy) foods that you’re adding into your diet. Have you discovered new recipes, veggies and spices? How do these foods make you feel versus some of your favorite (unhealthy) foods?
Can’t versus don’t
This is a biggie. How often have you been to a restaurant with friends and you’ve said, “I can’t have that”. Can’t or cannot means unable to, forbidden or not allowed. While seemingly an innocuous word, saying “don’t” versus “can’t” puts you in control of your choice. In The Amazing Power of ‘I Don’t’ vs. ‘I Can’t’ Forbes magazine analyzed the powerful difference between can’t versus don’t.
Growth mindset versus fixed mindset
You’re never too old to change, learn and grow. It’s important to reframe challenges as opportunities and pay attention to your belief system. Your mindset can have a powerful effect on how you deal with life’s stressors which may include your health. Dr. Jacob Towery from Stanford examines the importance of mindset in Your powerful, changeable, mindset.