Common errors in thinking about health..

Winter has officially ended. I don’t know about you, but by the end of winter, I am feeling pretty BLAH…. After months of sleeping more, going out less, and too little light, I feel less than my usual energetic, positive-minded self. Every March, I start to worry that I will feel this way forever until, low and behold, the sun starts to shine brighter, the days get longer and SPRING officially arrives. As the season shifts from winter to spring, my mood gets more positive, more and varied exercise is far more attractive and I need less sleep and lighter foods. My inner environment starts to mimic the outer environment.

Spring is also a time many people adopt healthier diets and start to exercise more regularly… Beach days, light summer clothing and long anticipated summer holidays are just around the corner. The current you is making decisions not only for the current you living in this moment, but is also sowing the seeds for how the future you wants to feel. That can be a marvelous thing, or a major bummer depending on what seeds you are planting.

Since you read my newsletters, you must be at least a little curious about having a healthy mind, a positive mood and a fit body. And can I say that I love that you read my newsletter. Truly. Why else would I write this on this sunny spring day..? But I’m curious… are you taking action to feel the way that you want to feel? And If not, why not?

In my experience, there are common roadblocks on our path to vibrant health.. Mistaken thinking that prevents seeds we have the intention of planting from actually taking root:

Thinking that knowing is the same as doing . They are different things. Knowing what foods make you feel the best is different from eating them. Knowing that practicing yoga in the morning is best for your body, mind and spirit is different from actually setting the alarm, getting up and doing it. Knowing which habits need to change is different from actually changing up your routine. Knowing is the first step, but the 2nd, 3rd, and 1000th involve action. Which brings me to..

Mistaking motion for action. They feel kind of similar, but they’re not the same. If I search for a better diet plan and read a few books on the topic, that’s motion. If I actually eat a healthy meal, that’s action. If I attend a workshop or read a book on mindfulness, that is motion. Practicing mindful eating or mindful walking is action. If I inquire about a yoga class or retreat, that’s motion. If I actually get on the mat, that is action.

Motion involves planning, strategizing and learning. These are all great, and often necessary for action, but they don’t actually produce a result. Motion can just make us feel like we are taking action on something when we actually aren’t. We can feel like we're making progress on something without running the risk of failure. Action, on the other hand, delivers results.

It's easy to be in motion and convince yourself that you're still making progress. You think, “I bought a gym membership/bought some new cookbooks or health foods. I’m moving in the right direction.” It feels kind of good, but more like we are convincing ourselves we are doing something that we know deep down we aren’t really doing. You don’t want to merely be planning, strategizing or giving the appearance of action. You want to be in action! You want results. You want to actually eat healthy, exercise regularly, sit mindfully and play joyfully rather than plan for it (That’s where me, and Align to Thrive comes in… )

Thinking that you are weak if you can’t attain your goals on your own. You are smart, capable and used to doing oh-so-many things very well on your own. Shouldn’t you also be able to motivate yourself to eat well, exercise, meditate and manage your stress? So why does going it alone not work? If we read self help, diet or stress-management books and do the work on our own, we can’t see our own blindspots and we don’t know what we don’t know. Why not work with a guide that knows the roadblocks and quicker routes to get to where we want to go rather than getting stuck in the woods alone? It is easier to do what you say you want to do when you tell others (a coach, accountability partner, or supportive friend) AND it’s more fun.

Thinking that you don’t have the money. What we spend money on is a reflection of what we are prioritizing. Where are you spending your money? How much of it to you spend on things that make you feel better temporarily (easy dinners out, treats, glasses of wines, holidays or massage, anyone?) but don’t make you feel good in the long run? Maybe it is time to prioritize you in the long run. The you that wants to feel great tomorrow, this summer and 10 years from now.

I start my next 10 week health coaching course April 22. I have helped many people break up with stress, optimize their habits, improve their mood, lose weight, and improve their energy and vitality from tools from Ayurveda, yoga, coaching and ancient wisdom. If you are ready to feel more calm and confident in your own skin, have better energy and start feeling younger every year, let’s have a chat.


Kari Zabel