We say we want to eat better, feel better, and look better. But in order to make our goals materialize, we have to take responsibility for what we want by taking the appropriate actions. Here are three simple steps to help you turn your healthy goals into concrete accomplishments:
Step One: Blame No One. Pointing fingers at the fast food industry, the media or your mother is not going to move you one step closer to reaching your goals. Blame invariably inspires guilt and reproach, so that when we start out blaming others, before we know it we are faulting ourselves. There is no time for that. Besides, the minute you blame something or someone for the shape of your life, you are denying yourself the opportunity to take the action you need to transform your circumstances. It isn’t a question of whose fault it is that you are where you are today. The point is to shoulder the responsibility for moving your life in a more positive direction.
Step Two: Expect Nothing. Taking responsibility for your life is its own reward. We should do so because it is the mature, grown-up thing to do. A willingness to be accountable for our choices and actions is what it means to be an adult. Because there are no guarantees in life, if you decide to begin making your health a priority, don’t expect your family to support you or that your blood pressure will be lowered. An ongoing healthy lifestyle is not about trying to slim down so you can fit into your swimsuit by summer or about living to be 100. It is about saying, “I am going to take care of myself because as far as I know this is the only body I am going to get, and it makes sense that I should respect and care for it.”
Step Three: Do Something. Responsibility demands action. Until you do something about the shape of your life, nothing is going to change. And here’s the kicker: because it is your life and you are responsible for the way it looks, only you can decide what you must do. So, take stock of your life and do what you can do to improve it. If you have been sitting around, get up. If you can’t run, then walk. When you fall down, take a minute to gather yourself, and then get up and continue with your plan of action. Because in the final analysis, how much we weigh is not a fraction as important as taking responsibility for our lives by doing what we can to make them healthier and happier.