Like Riding a Bike

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I’m sure that each of you reading this, read my previous post, then went to every website I referenced and bought every book and now know everything there is to know about paleo. This makes you either incredibly motivated or a genius and I am comfortable with either. If you don’t fit into that category then you are normal and have a life. I get that too. Needless to say, labels are not very important here so don’t worry about which category you fit into and keep reading!

Goal setting and forming healthy habits. That is what we are talking about today. You have probably heard of SMART Goals (goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely). Today I just want to focus on REALISTIC goals. In any journey to achieve change or better ourselves we often look at the ideal outcome as the only one that is important. However, I would argue that we never actually achieve the ideal because we are not perfect and can always get better, do better, be better. Or is that just me? If it is, then you can just stop reading and come back tomorrow for part two. Baby steps…small realistic goals that can be measured in increments (or mini goals). For example, the 30 day detox that was mentioned yesterday. That is a short-term measurable goal and is totally realistic even though at some point you may want to stab someone. Don’t worry, that is just the detox talking, you will go back to your loving and sweet self in a couple of days!

How do we achieve these goals and how do we integrate positive habits into our lifestyle? By being perfectly paleo on day one and never looking back? That would be pretty awesome, but not the answer to this question. Instead consider one word, Consistency.

I want you to close your eyes and visualize yourself riding a bike……Okay! Now open your eyes!!!! You cannot read with your eyes closed! (Clearly this would work better in therapy)….So you are riding a bike and you decide to take a new path. There is no road or sidewalk, just grass, dirt and a lot of bumps! You take the path. It’s rough, uncomfortable, and you may even lose your balance and have to catch yourself on the way down. At the end, you are exhausted. That was truly hard work. Then, you take the path again, and again, and again—day after day, maybe even multiple times a day. With time you get stronger and you wear a pathway into the grass, where your tire now fits perfectly. It is smooth and almost effortless. This is what change is like. We don’t necessarily conquer the path on day one and we may not even get to our intended destination, but we move in the right direction. This is not just about your gross motor abilities this is about your brain. We have to retrain our neurological pathways to fire to new receptors as we build new habits. It takes time, intention and consistency. By doing this, we are making it easier to do the very things that we need to do in order to accomplish our goal.

How can we be realistic with our goals?? Expect bumps, hard work, falling down, scratching up our knees and maybe even a few tears. But we put in the work, little by little, day after day, and progress happens. We recognize the progress and celebrate the small victories, like NOT falling down. NOW go get on that bike and take a new path today, for that is an achievement in and of itself.

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