Want to make healthy habits stick? Introducing Project Vibrancy Coaching!
Do you get frustrated trying to make healthy habits stick?
It’s true! I think of myself as a relatively disciplined person, but I struggle just like anyone with sticking to many of the changes I name for myself, even though they’re important to me.
I’ve spent years examining and exploring the why, honestly. I’m driven that way – to get under my own skin and figure out what’s really going on. And to push myself to learn and grow and see bigger pictures and patterns.
And to share what I learn with you! In fact, it’s been part of the process of mapping out a new program for you that complements Project Vibrancy Meals.
I’ve shared some insights with you in the last few years. Thanks to my own coach, I’ve learned to trace the places that I get stuck back to specific thoughts, emotions, and beliefs from my past that without examination, were invisibly getting in the way of making changes important to me.
We all instinctively dislike experiencing negative emotions. Whether it’s relatively benign events like taking out the trash (annoyance) or standing in line (boredom), or more serious challenges like having difficult conversations (fear) or leaving a relationship (grief), our days offer 1000 distractions for pushing discomfort aside and finding a nice, soft cushion of denial on which to cozy up. We all use “cheats” for managing stress by checking out, whether it’s social media, procrastination, podcasts, alcohol, Netflix, sugar, less-than-nutritious food, books, etc.
On their own, there’s nothing wrong with any of those things, of course. But if you’re not setting and meeting your goals and living a healthy, vibrant, connected life that you love, it’s worth considering that you have some ruts to bust!
Despite my wriggling away from discomfort whenever possible (lol), I’ve made some exciting pushes forward – launching Project Vibrancy Meals was huge for me. I spent years trying to come up with a system for 1) teaching people to cook, 2) with healthy recipes that people could just plug into, 3) that could fit into busy lives, 4) and that I could offer within a supportive community. I believe that PVM is all of those things and I’m thrilled to have it out into the world and changing people’s lives.
But I have many more projects to launch (yay!) and deeply examining this struggle with accepting discomfort has been the key to getting the ball rolling smoothly. It’s weird yet helpful to have an old blog post to look back on to see that it takes years of practice and failing and trying again to put the pieces together.
Apparently I first wrote about naming my inability to sit with discomfort as a problem 3 years ago! Ha. I can only say – and I’m sure you’ve experienced this too – that finding understanding and insight is like peeling back the layers of an onion. It just takes time, multiple passes with new life experiences (and mistakes and a TON of journaling), and often professional support to slowly reveal the negative thoughts at the center of getting stuck in ruts we’d rather not be in.
In the end, figuring out the thoughts that are keeping us stuck and taking action anyhow is how we can meet the goals we set for ourselves. I’ve been wrestling with this for awhile, but I would have made MUCH slower progress without the help of my amazing coach.
In fact, I shared on Facebook last week my experience with how much being coached has helped me move toward all of my goals, both personal and professional:
How about you? Have you been coached before?
I credit online coach Brooke Castillo for pointing out that the true definition of self-care is understanding and feeling discomfort and doing what you know you need to do anyhow, because you’ve made a decision to move your life forward. You give yourself the gift of progress and trust. For me that looks like going to bed and getting up early, sticking to the schedule I map out each morning, working out, meeting new people, cranking out writing, and overriding my subconscious dread (for me it shows up as nausea) and pushing on.
So what’s been the result of experiencing – and even seeking, with the encouragement of my coach – intense discomfort? Kind of magical things:
1. I’m eating even healthier food, getting more exercise, and getting better sleep.
2. I’ve gotten much clearer about boundaries and what kind of people I want in my life and communicating how I expect to be treated by them.
3. I’m managing my time better – aka feeling discomfort, understanding the thoughts that are creating it, and doing it anyway! – and my lifelong battle with procrastination is making a lot more sense.
4. I’m now sharing this process with Project Vibrancy Coaching clients. We “meet” online in a group once/week and as a client, you start with a food journal, basically writing down everything you eat and reactions you have, whether physical or emotional. Physical reactions like bloating, headaches, joint pain, skin rashes, itching, etc. can show up days after eating a triggering food (or foods), so the only way to really figure out what causes problems is to keep track for awhile. So many ah ha moments ensue!
And you also pay attention to the thoughts and emotions present when making certain food decisions, especially decisions you wish you hadn’t made. Mistakes are so loaded with good info! I love mistakes. It becomes powerful to see how negative emotions affect all of our food (and other) decisions…and how much easier it becomes to make better choices when you’re aware.
We also talk a lot about customizing Project Vibrancy Meals for your health goals and finding GOOD resources for your personal health exploration and journey. There are a million websites dedicated to gut health, autoimmune disease, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, elimination diets, nutrient density, exercise, stress management, finding a good practitioner, and more. I consume a lot of this information and distill the best of the best and pass it along to you.
But most of all, having a community of friends on a similar journey who get to know each other and hold each other accountable for personal goals is incredibly powerful. It’s also really fun!