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What Made You Change?

While having lunch with a friend yesterday we talked about motivation to change. She knows she needs to lose weight and knows how good it feels and knows how to do it, having been successful before. But she’s looking for that “thing” that pushes her over the edge to make that behavior change.

Having been in her position for many years (that being the state of DENIAL!), we talked about things that have forced us to change in the past. We found the exercise of listing what’s helped in past changes to be helpful in cueing us into the future. So I’m sharing some of my biggest motivators:

– An African safari gave me an entirely new perspective on how I could lead my life and gave me the courage to quit my job and start my own business. I spent two weeks learning (which I really hadn’t done when I was working 70 hours a week) and seeing what’s important in the big picture. I still worked 70 hours a week, but it was much more satisfying.

– I quit smoking on a bet with a handsome man for dinner. I won but also found out I REALLY won – he was handsome but I was no longer a smoker! Plus he might not always be handsome, but I bet he’ll always be dull!

– Looming big birthdays have always woken me up to lose weight – 35 pounds at 40, 40 pounds at 50, 60+ pounds at 60. Do we see a pattern? I think I need to break it!

– Doctor’s orders have gone unheeded (“next week I’ll start”) but how I feel has driven more diet and exercise changes – sore knees, achy hips, foot problems, etc.

– Health fears. Diabetes – along with great thick hair – runs in our family and I kept putting off the fasting blood test for fear of getting bad news. Then my blood pressure started creeping up. And looming above all was my need to get my own insurance after Cobra stopped.

– Photo opps. Both when I knew pictures were going to be taken (weddings, vacations) or when I saw photos and couldn’t believe I really wore a red dress that made me look like a red whale in the picture. Hm.

– Upcoming vacations have made me think. Can I keep up on the tour? How uncomfortable will I be on the long flight? What clothes can I bring?

– Clothes! Nothing fits and I don’t want to move into the next size again!

This list could almost be the “Cosmo Quiz – Are You Ready to Change?” Score 3 points for each one of these motivators you feel. A score of 9 or more says “Go for it!” But it’s never just one reason that motivates us. And it’s often something we’re completely unaware of in our psyches that is the tipping point.

Funny how once you make a change, you realize all the benefits and wonder why you didn’t do it earlier. We realized this while writing our lists.

So take a few minutes and write your list of “What Made You Change”? What’s worked for you in the past to get you off and running to a better you? And then mine that list for insights into how your life can be better with a little change.

Feel like sharing your change list? Please post what’s worked for you , in the hopes that it wakes up change for others.

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