When most of us create a goal (weight loss, financial freedom, better relationships) we expect to achieve those objectives by using an intense, boot camp approach. In other words, we will try and change everything about ourselves overnight. We’ve all done it and if you are trying it now, let me ask you a question: How is that working out for you? When a person uses this approach, they are trying to immediately create a new routine, habit or skill sets that are completely foreign to them. Most often, the result is failure.
In The Karate Kid, Pat Morita’s character Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel karate as a means to defend himself but initially, Daniel thinks the training is a joke. Why? Because instead of an all-out ninja style karate camp, Mr. Miyagi has Daniel paint his fence with a unique up and down motion. Huh? Next, he instructs the boy to wax his entire collection of classic cars using a very specific, circular motion; Wax on, wax off. This infuriates Daniel because he believes Miyagi is simply using him for free labor and is about to quit when Miyagi unveils his method for teaching. Daniel had been learning karate the entire time by practicing the motions that would allow him to block blows from an attacker. Miyagi engrained these moves using repetitive motion and provided the base for Daniel to become great at martial arts.
At Integrated Wellness Concepts, we take the very same approach to helping our clients achieve their health and wellness goals by helping you create change one habit at a time. Is it a slower approach than the all-out bikini boot camp/nutrition explosion DVD/Book combo you saw on late night TV for three easy payments of $99.99? Probably, but what we have learned is that most of these programs usually end up in garage sales and the purchaser is no closer to their goals than before.
Understand that goals cannot be achieved without change, but we need to build a firm foundation before we attempt to change everything there is about how we live, eat, sleep. If weight loss is your goal, start by adding a manageable amount of physical activity each day and when that is part of what you do, decide what adjustment you will make to your nutrition. If strengthening your finances is your objective, start first by creating a budget and cutting out non-essential items. When your debt is lower and more cash is abundant, consider starting a Roth IRA or other investment strategy.
The key elements to a total wellness makeover are the exact same as what Miyagi taught Daniel. Learn the basics to create a firm foundation and then add new elements when you are ready (mentally and physically). This is a slower process friends but one that will yield more than quick results. It will produce a new lifestyle. Mr. Miyagi was smart!