Prioritize your goals and find balance in healthy habits.

Interview with Chelsea Clark - Health and Wellness Coach on the Journify platform

You became passionate about improving other people's lifestyle when you became "tired of being unhealthy and unwell", which is a trend especially for busy people. Do you have any recommendations of triggers or alerts to watch out for before it becomes harder to change bad habits?

I definitely got caught up in the go, go, go lifestyle that so many of us do. I spent many years trying to do things “right” and to keep up with high expectations that I put on myself. I ultimately ended up ignoring my health issues when they first started to arise. I pushed through regardless, and undoubtedly this made everything worse. Eventually things with my health got so bad (mainly in the form of chronic migraines and chronic fatigue) that I was unable to keep up and had to put my whole life on hold. I was forced to reevaluate how I took care of myself and how I wanted to carry myself through the world. I am so very grateful that I had the chance to go through this process and transform my life to one that is so much more nurturing, fulfilling, and balanced than before, but I do wish I would have caught on sooner and started to make shifts earlier.

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My biggest recommendation for how to catch things before they turn into a really difficult issue is to take some time to slow down and get to know yourself better. Get to know your body, your physical symptoms, your mind, your emotional patterns… tune in as often as possible. This will allow you to become alerted when things start to shift or you are falling out of balance, so you can figure out what to do to offset that and move back towards center. 

Some signs that things are getting out of balance include feeling drained, unfulfilled, stressed, tired, or disconnected much of the time. Maybe you feel stretched in a million directions, or like you are doing everything, but none of it that well. Another big one is looking around and realizing that you aren’t doing things that you love and that bring you joy.

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Most people try to change their lives many times, but one of the main reasons why they aren't successful is because they don't know how to prioritize goals (also why over 80% of New Years resolutions never become a reality). Do you have any practical advice on how to prioritize personal goals?

I am a big believer in breaking things down into very simple, very small, very manageable steps. We can’t tackle everything at once and make major life changes overnight. If we expect this to happen, then we will quickly become overwhelmed, end up disappointed with the results, and likely give up. A lot of the time when we set goals, we make them big, lofty, and out of practical reach. While it is wonderful (and necessary) to have a big picture vision of where we want to head, it is important to break down these big picture goals into manageable steps.

Making changes and reaching our goals is about daily, everyday habits. It’s about asking yourself, “What is one thing I can shift today that is completely doable and manageable for me?” I believe it is all about the simple things that can accumulate to not just change life, but to transform it

Another really important piece of prioritizing personal goals is to figure out your "why." You’ll want to get really clear on why you want to reach that goal, and what is going to change for you when you are successful. It can help to ask yourself questions such as, “If I make this change, what will open up for me?” “What will reaching this goal allow me to do?” or“Who will it allow me to be?”Or even, “If I don’t make this change, what will things look like for me?” When you are really clear on why you are doing this and what the deeper results are that you want to achieve, you are more likely to prioritize the changes necessary to make it happen.