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  • Writer's pictureTracy Spiaggia

The Key To Change That Lasts

As I continue to hone and craft my health coaching business, I am repeatedly drawn back to one simple truth. Information is abundantly available to everyone with access to the Internet, to the extent of overload. So, lack of knowledge, albeit confusing and everchanging, isn’t the real problem. So what IS the real problem? Applying that newfound knowledge EVERY…SINGLE…DAY until you’ve formed a new lasting behavior, aka, habit. THAT’S the key to successful lifestyle modification. This is what people need the most support with. Yes, I’ll offer a lot of health-related information when appropriate. What I’ll really be to my clients is (1) an enthusiastic cheerleader, championing your every victory – of which there will be many – and (2) your training wheels to help steady you as you learn how to cycle through your new healthier lifestyle.

That’s the essence of health coaching. It’s not an authoritative model, where the floodgates of one-way education fling open, drowning you in data that has no real applicability to your day-to-day life. Rather, it’s a relationship. It’s bi-directional. It’s a true team effort to get you from where you are to where you want to be. I know every person dreams about the life they want as they live out the life they actually have. We are designed for greatness, but the cares of this life weigh us down and hinder us from achieving our best. If you have an advocate, though, who comes alongside you to help dispell lies and highlight truths, you can throw off your heavy load and move more intentionally, swiftly and purposefully through your life towards that inner greatness you know you possess.

Below is an excerpt from an interview by Gretchen Rubin of Geneen Roth. Read Geneen’s perspective on the gremlins of positive habit formation. I absolutely LOVE and totally resonate with her “crazy aunt in the attic” analogy. I have the same squatter in my “attic.” I never invited her in or to stay. She’s an interloper. She’s an antagonist. She’s not vacating anytime soon, I fear, so I do like Geneen. I take control over our encounters by living louder than her so as to muffle her taunts. I force my positivity and truth perspective to reign supreme, despite her woodpecker-like annoyances in the background. It’s tiring, yes, but the only other choice is to concede. I will not.

Gretchen: Have you ever managed to break an unhealthy habit?

Geneen: The hardest habit to break has been to stop listening to what I call “the crazy aunt in the attic:” the voice that blares continually, day in and day out, about how I’m not good enough, did it wrong, should have done better. When I notice that I suddenly feel small, diminished, incapable, disappeared, I’ll track back and ask myself what triggered it and what I am telling myself. I’ve gotten very good at seeing that the crazy aunt is having her way with me. Then, I tell her to go out on the lawn, drink tequila and leave me alone. Or simply, that I am walking out of the attic and into the rest of the house (that is my body, my life) and so she can keep blaring on but I am not listening to her. I disentangle myself from her clutches and realize that she is not telling the truth.

Isn’t that awesome? I don’t know about you, but when I find others with similar struggles to mine, I feel “normal”, if that’s even a real thing. I know “misery loves her company”, but I’m not miserable. Not by a long shot. I do wrestle, though. I feel validated and normalized knowing there are countless others with the same inner struggles as mine. That gives me the courage and fortitude to rise above and get down to the business of improving my human experience.

Let me help you do the same. We all believe “oh, I’ve got time.” No, you don’t. The disheartening statistics prove my claim. Lifestyle-related disease is the most formidable thief of life. Do it now. Start today. Employ the support of someone with the gift of encouragement to lovingly prod you along to victory – ME!

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