Making a Change: Attitude is Everything

 You might have read the book Attitude is Everything: 10 Life-Changing Steps to Turning Attitude into Action, by Keith Harrell. This practical guide inspired me to develop a winning attitude when it comes to a healthy lifestyle and weight. Below are Mr. Harrell’s first 5 steps, along with my take on them:
1. Understand the power of attitude. Keith Harrell writes, “Your attitude is a powerful tool for positive action.” When you embark on a mission to improve your health, your attitude about how you approach this goal can be even more important than the plan itself. Even the healthiest meal plans have fallen by the wayside when the planner’s deep-down attitude was a feeling of doom and gloom or a lack of confidence. Going into your mission with a can-do attitude is key to success in anything in life, including weight loss.
2. Choose to take charge of your life. Keith Harrell again: “To transform your attitude into action, you must accept responsibility for what goes on inside your mind by monitoring your internal dialogue.” One of my favorite yoga teachers mentioned just last month that the average person has about 60,000 thoughts a day, most of them negative, and most of them repetitions of the same few thoughts! How are your thoughts? Could they be more positive? How could you quiet the little A.M. radio that is constantly chattering inside our minds? Meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or relaxing music can all help here.
3. Identify through self-awareness those attitudes that are holding you back and the ones that are propelling you forward. It’s easier said than done, but since life only happens in the present, try to focus on the here-and-now and let go of beliefs—and even relationships—that are holding you back. Such self awareness can be vital in your making huge leaps to a more positive lifestyle, happiness, and success. Mr. Harrell suggests creating “a private-life game plan” by writing out specific goals for our lives.
4. Reframe that bad attitude. Mr. Harrell suggests that negative attitudes, such as anger, can be transformed into gratitude and forgiveness by shifting our perspective. Letting go of not only past regrets but also angst about the future is key to optimizing your contentment. I’ve read a few books by the Dalai Lama where he deals with how to find happiness and peace in life, and gratitude seemed to be a common thread. If we can’t feel gratitude for where we are now, regardless of our discontents—perhaps about our weight or our current position in life—then future success will be limited, at best.
5. Find your purpose and passion. Understanding the importance of living your life with purpose and passion—that is, having a personal vision—is critical to achieving success. It’s easy to get into a rut in life, whether it’s a dead-end job you dread or a relationship that’s been dead for some time. The alternatives—change and fears of not finding another job or relationship—are scary; however, life is too short to linger in situations that are stagnant.
Bringing it back to weight loss These same principles apply to your diet. Are you eating fast foods because they’re convenient and easy and then feeling sluggish and kicking yourself afterward? Consider meeting with a registered dietitian to get a fresh start on your eating and your overall health. You also might want to check out alternative medicine, such as acupuncture or yoga, or visit a holistic counselor. A life coach might help you find just the direction you’re looking for to help you meet goals that you have not even realized you had. Go for it, my dear readers! In the future, I’ll include Keith Harrell’s remaining 5 life-changing steps to turning attitude into action. I hope you’ll join me!

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