Here we are ALREADY, in the third trimester, and it just so happens to be my favorite because it’s the one where we get to meet our baby.
My greatest intention in this final stretch of pregnancy is to focus on the atmosphere I am creating for him to enter the world.
These "S" words were chosen to cue my daily intentions as we prepare to cross the finish line. I’ve posted them on notecards, saved them in the notes section of my phone, and set transition alarms so I’m brought back to them all throughout my day. Identifying these intentions was the easy part — staying accountable to them and living a life centered around them, however, takes great effort and requires taking action.
How do you stay tethered to what you set out to do?
This is a question I ask my clients at the start of coaching. Most of the time it is answered with "I'm not sure." Like many things, there is no one way to do this but in my experience, people often rely on it being a continual feeling of motivation when in reality it is an act of daily choosing and taking action.
I'm obviously in a season of intentionality surrounding the preparation of bringing our third baby into our family, but I can't help but shed light on how applicable this is to someone starting a health journey, as well.
Intentional living is not bound to one season. It's an art of living intentionally every day, in every season, and taking time to focus on how you are nurturing your mind, body, and spirit. It's honoring where you are heading, even if you aren't exactly sure where you've been called to just yet, and moving forward fully committed to the journey.
I hope you are making the connection that this isn't something you can apply in one area of your life and neglect in another. All parts of your life must be congruent with who you desire to become. This is why pursuing a health journey and partnering with Fleurish Health is all-encompassing. You must nurture ALL parts-- body, mind, soul, and spirit --all parts are interconnected.
The progression of setting out on a health journey or creating an intention in your life often looks like this,
- Recognizing the desire or necessity for change
- Establishing goals (Verbalizing and Writing them down)
- Seeking out a health coach, mentor, or professional to help you get there
While this is a great start, I want to remind you that the greatest part of the journey comes after this. It lies in perpetual choosing to take action to move toward these goals and intentions every single day, whether you feel like it or not. No one can do this for you. It doesn't matter how much money you spend on a coach or mentor. Just hiring someone won't actually change anything. The progress is solely contingent on YOU showing up AND doing the work. In other words, you will ONLY get out what you put in. This is why so many people don't get much further than those 3 progression steps I listed above... For whatever reason, they don't take the necessary action steps. You will never make an impact on your goals and intentions by just writing out and verbalizing "what you need to do." You have to commit to continuing to take steps forward. I encourage you to write this down, "I will take (x) action step every day toward my goals" and list out what action step that is where I've placed the (x). Then schedule time for it on your calendar, prepare what you need to be successful in advance, and uphold your commitment to yourself. Even just committing to doing 1% better each day is enough to perpetuate change.
The Power of Choice
Our growth lies in repeated choosing. It’s not often a big leap, it's developmental and each stage is key to growth, change, maturing, and long-term sustainability. Although we’d often like to, we can’t fast forward or skip over any parts. I say this to my clients often,
“your health journey is a lot like a healthy marriage”
If you've had a bad experience with marriage, this could be triggering, but I encourage you to stay with me for a minute. I'm referring to a healthy marriage. Why do I use this comparison? Because like a health journey, in marriage, you must remain in pursuit to be transformed into the people that best suits the success, health, and growth of the marriage, individually and as a unit. By nature, we are selfish. It takes repeated choosing to show up selfless in a marriage and to offer unconditional love to another person, whether they are meeting our expectations or not. To create a desire to serve my husband was not natural to me. I had to set intentions every day and ask myself if I was showing up for Tyler in meaningful ways. It would have been easier to say "he is not meeting my needs so I won't meet his," but take it from a girl who tried that for the first few years of marriage, that will only make things worse! To realize that we have the power of influence over our spouses and to spend time healing, working on, and changing ourselves so that we can show up in the relationship healthier, in my experience, over time this influences our spouses to do the same. My greatest learning early on in my marriage is that I must choose to work on it and in it every single day. Like health, it was a skill that I had to acquire and then continue to refine for the rest of my life as we both grow and mature and enter new seasons. I needed better habits, better routines, to learn how to respond instead of reacting if I felt triggered, and to be so committed to it that even if there were hard days, I would wake up and choose to take action the next day to be better than I was the day before. There is not one day that passes that I do not have intentionality in this area of my life. Thankfully now, we both do, and that is why we are so strong. And when people tell us we are lucky to have a great marriage, it's not because we appear to or because of luck, it's because we've BUSTED OUR BUTTS to create the marriage we both desired to have and the one that God intended us to have. An act of daily CHOOSING - an act of sacrifice- and an act of not relying on feelings alone to govern our decisions--and repeated showing up for each other and taking any other option off the table.
Sound familiar to your health journey? To your parenting? To your career goals? To another season in your life? This is why we say ALL PARTS ARE INTERCONNECTED. You must set intentions, and you must commit to the process of changing yourself. You want better health and to reach your goals, then refuse to settle for anything less, and make decisions every single day that support your goals.
A good exercise is to take an honest assessment of where you've struggled in your health journey and compare that to where you've struggled in your parenting, your marriage, your career, and any other area of your life. Often times there is a correlation that can be found...IF you are honest with yourself.
*Cue all of my past Fleurish clients smiling remembering the moment this first clicked for them.*
That's why what we do at Fleurish Health isn't cookie-cutter, replicable in a one-size-fits-all approach (like a diet or traditional program) and it's definitely not a quick fix, because there is nothing fast or rule-based about it. If you are looking for that, you've landed in the wrong place. Changing yourself and your habits is hard, but it is a REQUIREMENT to change your health. Here we focus on whole health, which is made up of your mental, physical, and spiritual health.
“The quality of your commitments will determine the course of your life.” – Ralph Marston
Commit to commitment. Lacking commitment for some can serve to protect or avoid feelings associated with failure. When we assess our commitment levels, it can be beneficial as the first step toward identifying what's holding us back.
Unpopular Opinion: CANCEL "Fake It Till You Make It" culture
Unfortunately, we live in a culture that is more concerned with appearing to be somewhere we think we should be than we are about actually being there…Having a FITYMI mentality is only providing you with temporary value and will eventually be what holds you back. I share this because I see it in the health and wellness space often. I have been guilty of saying this in the past in business until I was convicted that this actually wasn't healthy. You can still take steps before you feel like you are "there" or "ready," but that doesn't mean you need to fake where you are. Being vulnerable, authentic, and honest with yourself is step 1 to becoming a better version of yourself. We must become self-aware and get honest with ourselves before we can cultivate change, growth, and improvement in our lives. A FITYMI mentality can lead to feelings of uncertainty and self-doubt because it doesn't actually build confidence or help you acquire any skills necessary for what lies ahead of you. It creates the appearance that you have something that in reality you actually don't. So, instead of putting your efforts into faking it, I encourage you to focus on creating an environment of learning and setting daily intentions to take action toward what you want, or in the case of your health, what you need.
My encouragement to you and to myself is to focus on setting intention, choosing to take action, and resting in what each day brings, whatever that looks like. As we enter this new season of becoming a family of five, I anticipate beauty and also challenging moments, but I know that it is all a part of maturing, learning, and growth. What if you started to view your health journey in this same light? What if you take moments that feel like failure and setback and turn them into opportunities to learn something about yourself and your journey that will be vital to keep you moving forward in the future? What if you not creating space to reflect on these things is what keeps holding you back? How might this change your relationship with yourself and with your health? How might changing your relationship with yourself perpetuate change in every area of your life?
I encourage you to trade in quick gratification for lasting change. The work you put into your journey will always be worth it. Embrace it ALL: the good- the hard- and everything in between. Remember, new seasons are not meant to be lived as your “normal life.” Things are changing around you and within you. You will not show up how you typically would. You may not be able to meet certain expectations you previously placed on yourself or that others have placed on you. This requires you to give yourself ALL THE GRACE, have healthy boundaries, and know that this season was purposed to look different, feel different, and sound different. Lean into it and watch what happens.
Thank you for sharing in this space with me. I'd love your feedback on this blog and for you to share your pregnancy and health experiences with me. If you would like to schedule a consult for Health Coaching, we'd love to support you. Click here or below.