To begin, begin.

– William Wordsworth

So we talked about step one of the process of figuring Out What’s Holding You Back from achieving your goals…realization; realization that you are getting in your own way. Today I want to talk about phase two, clarification. This phase is all about getting clear on the things that are Holding You Back; something many of us, if we’re honest, don’t really want to examine. It can make us feel like a failure to sit and take a deeper look at the barriers we have created that are not allowing us to reach our goals, no matter how much effort we place on reaching them. If we don’t learn to identify and remove the barriers, no amount of effort is going to get us where we want to go.

So today I challenge you to take a bit of truth serum and get real honest with yourself. This is something I have practiced numerous times in my life when I am on the cusp of attempting a big change and working towards a goal that is important to me. I have to be realistic with myself and first identify how I am getting in my own way and what I am willing to remove, barrier wise, to get to my desired goal.  In order to put this into better context, I will basically use my current situation and goal to layout what clarification looks like.

As many of you know, I recently had a baby. Almost 6 months and counting, and let’s say things in the health and fitness department have been seriously lacking! And for someone who makes health and fitness a priority in their life, this has been a hard reality to accept. But I have treated my body with the love and compassion it deserves in my current situation, not allowing guilt and shame to enter into the picture. But now I am at a point where I basically need to make a change for my own sanity and health. I had to allow my new life to settle in enough to know what the new normal was going to be. And now that I have wrapped my head around the idea that I will have far less time then I ever had before to dedicate to my health and fitness, I need to be very strategic and clear on my goals and the barriers I am currently working against. So I am going to go through this exercise with you all right here, on the fly, to show you there doesn’t need to be any big fanfare associated with it. Just sit down and start clarifying what is going on for you.

Now, what this exercise is not, is a way to create excuses for why you are not where you want to be health and fitness wise. It is simply the things you are creating in your life presently that are preventing you from getting what you want out of your health and fitness.  I encourage you to do this for yourself at some point after you have read this. If you only ever get this far, at least you will have begun and you can always look back at this list and assess where you are currently and modify as necessary to get started.  Just keep listing until you cannot think of anything else. So here goes nothing.

– I am eating too many empty calories – carbs and sugar mainly and not working out enough to substantiate it

– I am not moving my body enough, not making it a priority

– I am not prioritizing myself

– I am lacking motivation

– I am afraid I will never have the body I did pre-pregnancy

– I am overwhelmed to start from scratch

– I am not able to wake up a little earlier to work out (not a morning person)

– I am not making good lunch choices when at work

– I am eating more than my body needs

– I am frustrated at myself for not prioritizing my health and fitness sooner after pregnancy

– I am having more cravings than normal for sweets and giving in more than I normally would

– I am weaker in mind than normal, allowing temptation to get the better of me

– I am not getting enough sleep

– I eat out of boredom

Ok, so you see that is not all that difficult. It’s just taking the time to do it. Next post we will talk about step three and what to do with this list now that you have it.

While it can be difficult to be honest with ourselves, it is by this very practice in honesty with one’s self, that enables us to move forward in a way we probably never could before. So today, make a pact to begin. Simply and with purpose.

Strength in honesty,

L