Steff’s Easy-Start Guide to Changing Your Life: Part Two

I began this series last month, here’s part one. It’s pretty unstructured, but the early part of the series is focusing on the head game, because without the head game down, you’ll have no success. It’s all in the head game.

The most important thing you need to do if you want to effect serious change in your life is stop bullshitting yourself. No more excuses. Get it done.

What, you want to wait until everything’s perfect and momentum is good, the clouds are gone and the humidity is stable? Right. Come back here to Planet Earth, where rarely do you ever get what you want when you want it, even in restaurants where you’re paying for precisely that.

That’s why you gotta take what you want. Fuck happenstance and trials and tribulations. Shit happens, always will happen. That’s how life unfolds. I’m down 60 pounds this year, even though the last four months have been consumed with bouts of insomnia, several illnesses, debilitating back injuries, cockroaches infesting my home, and even overtime for the last three weeks steady while rehabbing my back injury, and yet I’ve lost 25 pounds in that time.

You have NO excuses. In the face of adversity is exactly when you should be doing even better at changing your life, because that’s when you need the emotional success of saying, ‘Yeah, well, at least I’m kicking ass there.’

God knows I’ve drawn on that a lot in the last few frustrating months. Now I’m healing, I’m eating well, my money’s sorting out, I know I’m through the hardest part of the year at work, and now I know: I can succeed in the hard times, too.

You NEED to prove that to yourself. You NEED to be tested. Anyone can swim a channel in calm waters, but it’s the ones who get across and survive the storms we really revere.

I have become an incredibly self-involved person this year, but the success I’ve had is my reward. Next year I get to reap the fruit of it by unleashing this hot, together, successful, confident woman on an unsuspecting city, and I’m going to enjoy the experience. I WILL get where I want, because I’ve made it through from July 17th till now. And you’ve no idea just how hard it has been. I’ve just kept my head down, kept the faith, and knew I’d get through it. Now I have.

I think a lot of people get into the trap of micro-managing the change in their lives. You know, checking bank balances every day and worrying that it’s not improving fast enough, or they’ve not lost any weight since two days ago, shit like that. It doesn’t work that way. You need patience, grasshopper.

At the end of the month, what’s the bottom line? Check in on your progress every few weeks. Relax about it. What’s important is your mindset. Like with weight, it doesn’t matter what the scale says, what matters is the math. Are you eating less than you are burning? Then you’ll lose weight. Or money: Spending less than you’re taking in? You’ll create savings. Have faith.

I trust my judgment, and every month I get on the scale and I’m down a little bit more. It shocks me, too, because I expect to fail, so I constantly push myself to toe the line on the day to day. In the end, it works out.

Adversity happens. It’s up to you to use it to fuel you for positive, or allow it to turn you into a victim. Me, I always allowed myself to have the excuses. God knows I had plenty of good ones. “It’s the dead Mom thing.” Or “Well, I almost died again in yet another accident.” Or “It’s all the accidents, working out hurts.”

I spent my life making excuses until I finally realized that life sucks more than it rocks. It’s mundane and filled with little troubles and hiccups. Nothing ever goes smoothly. Movies edit out all the bullshit that happens in between ‘scenes’, yet we have to live through it all.

Until I realized that, and started living with the intention of being better than just copping out because life gave me convincing ‘outs’, I knew I would never, ever achieve what I want. Because what I want doesn’t come from a catalog page. I can’t get it prescribed at a doctor’s office. There ain’t no club I can join that’ll give me my access to this fabled life I dream of.

What I want is: A life 180 degrees different from where I had been allowing mine to go.

No matter what the obstacle this year, I’ve found a way to use it to change my life for the positive. My cockroach infestation? Allowed me to become the clean, attentive homeowner I’ve always wanted to be but never had the motivation to become. My back problem? Has allowed me to finally heal the hip that has been the bane of my existence for the last several years. My seemingly endless bout of yeast infections earlier this fall? Finally forced me to become the healthy eater that had somehow thus far escaped me in my weightloss efforts.

Adversity’s what you make it: An opportunity to get kicked down, or a chance to rise up. Put down that pint of ice cream. Do 10 push-ups. Kick some ass.

In a year of changing your life, the more you rise up, the more you kick its ass, the greater the feeling of confidence and power you’re gonna have at the end of it all.

I speak from personal experience. No excuses. No more. Trust me: No excuses becomes addictive, it’s empowering, because once you stop making excuses you begin to realize you never had to make them in the first place; you ARE all that.

So, be that.

[I’ll have a few more postings on this topic, from different points of view. It’s going to be pretty unstructured, but hey. That’s how we roll. But I’ll keep on the topic through to the New Year from time to time, and maybe we can all kick a little more ass and take a few more names in 2009.]