When it Comes to Making Change – Slow Down

growing seed

Yesterday we kicked off another round of the 10-Day Mindful Eating Challenge.

To date almost 1,000 amazing people (mostly women) have taken this journey with me and I absolutely adore every moment of it. I would run this challenge every day of the year if I had the time.

I love a lot of things about this challenge, but one of the things I love the most is seeing how profoundly very small, gradual changes can affect people’s lives.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good motivational video on YouTube just as much as the next person, but sometimes we can get too caught up in the idea that we need to make these massive, heart-stopping, profound changes in our lives over night to truly reach our goals.

As if the speed of the change somehow demonstrates your commitment to the change.

It makes for good video but, in my experience of working with clients all over the world, the exact opposite is actually true.

Rapid change is exciting and inspiring but it’s almost impossible to sustain because it’s not built on a solid foundation. You can decide to wake up at 4:30am on Monday morning and run 10 miles or cut all sugar out of your diet starting January 1, and you’ll probably do it…for about three days.

When it comes to real, long-term, lasting change, slow, consistent progress win every time.

Not as sexy for YouTube, but far more effective.

As we begin to explore the idea of mindful eating through the 10-day challenge, I give them just a small task each day to begin to put this practice into action in their lives. Even though the changes are small, they quickly begin to notice things about themselves and they way approach food .

It’s like planting a seed. You place it in the ground. You water it and allow time for the sun to work its magic. And, soon it begins to sprout. You don’t declare your garden grown at that point. But you also don’t start harvesting your crop with a machete. You take pleasure in your progress. You continue to water your small seedling and continue to be patient while the sun nourishes it. And slowly, gradually, but ever so consistently, your seed grows into the beautiful bloom you dreamed of.

But this process takes time. It takes patience. And it takes commitment.

You wouldn’t try to learn how to fly an airplane by jumping into the cockpit of a 747 somewhere over Kansas. No. You would read books, take classes and eventually explore a simulator.

You wouldn’t try to carve a delicate sculpture out of a marble block into  by taking a jack hammer to it. No. You would chip away, slowly, continuously, moving bit by bit towards your ultimate vision.

I call it “gradual, relentless progress.”

And the same approach works best for creating a new relationship for yourself around food.

Set your intention or your vision and then make the commitment to tend to it every day. Take time to visualize your success, choose small actions and make choices each day that are aligned with that intention.

Slow down.

Give yourself time.

Learn from the process.

Turn off the inspirational Nike videos and make your goal gradual, relentless progress.

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Sara Best

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