I spent many years attempting to hack my behavior. Forcing change, trying to make something budge. It’s the typical approach to life and health that appears like it should work.
Logically doing something should create something different. And it does, but only if you change the pattern because your pattern produces the outcome you experience. If you have a problem, that problem was birthed out of a pattern.
Change requires shifting the pattern, and that starts by understanding the pattern (learn your pattern here).
When you know the pattern, you can influence it by creating better skills.
Skills reinforce behaviors, even those you want to change.
I am skilled at sleeping past my alarm. I’m skilled at waiting too long to prepare food until I’m ravenous and will eat anything. I’m skilled at overthinking, worrying, and anxiety. I’m skilled at things that reinforce the outcomes, creating the problems I want to change. Changing this requires influencing the pattern with better skills.
Part two of this podcast mini-series teaches you how to transform the goal into skills you need to develop to create a better outcome. Change requires you to focus on developing the skills you need to create change.
Ask yourself what skills you want to develop this year. I’m not talking about your average skill, like getting skilled at weightlifting. But the everyday mundane skills necessary to influence your patterns.
Health requires health skills.
I love the word skills because it signifies growth. It doesn’t matter where you start or how good or bad you are at something. Skills open the door for you to become better.
A skill is a set of training to complete a particular task. It’s the ability to do something well, which signifies a process. If you want to be good at health, you have to develop skills that create it.
This year, I wonder what could change if you stopped asking who you want to be and instead asked, what skills you want to develop to become a healthier version of yourself.
Think bigger. Skills that encompass your entire life. Perhaps better said, skills that influence the everyday mundane. Here are five health skills you didn’t know you needed but can change the pattern of your health and your life.
five health skills you didn’t know you needed
01: The skill of change.
Most people have numerous things they want to change. And the general way of change is to zoom in on what needs to change—putting all your focus there. That’s not all wrong. But, the reality is there will always be something to change. The hardest part of change is not found in what you’re changing but in the act of change.
Change is a universal constant in life. Forever and always, there will be something you need to change. Instead of investing so much energy into what you want to change, put that energy into getting comfortable with change. Befriend change.
When you are better accustomed to change, you can embrace the pain and resistance it brings. You are likelier to stick with it because you’ve already overcome the battle, ending the fear of change. Change is a skill you can accomplish regardless of what you are trying to change. And it will last a lifetime.
02: The skill of doing what you don’t feel like doing.
You might want to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise, or read more. There are a lot of things you’ll want to do. But all change comes with a level of resistance. Change requires exchanging or sacrificing one thing for the sake of something else. That’s not easy.
It’s not easy to move your body when it’s dark and cold outside. It’s not easy to eat healthy when no one else is. It’s not easy to do things when you don’t feel like it. But it is a skill and one worth developing.
The skill of doing what you don’t feel like doing requires you to see the bigger picture. It requires you to look beyond the temporary pleasure into the greater reward of living a better outcome.
But that only happens through a pattern of consistency created by the skill of doing what you don’t feel like doing. If you develop this, it works across the board in all areas of life, especially in health. Because we all know, it’s rarely easy to do the healthy thing, even if it is worth it.
03: The skill of creating space.
Space feels like a long-lost dream. That’s because life has a way of filling your day to the brim. Something always demands your attention, even when you don’t ask for it. It’s not always easy to say no. Plus, saying no doesn’t always feel like an option.
But space and boundaries are a necessity for living a healthy life. Creating space is a skill that must be acted upon to become a pattern.
Space allows you to breathe and to dream. It helps you relax, regulate, and return to a balanced state. Creating space is a way of setting boundaries and ensuring you care for your needs and purpose. Develop the skill of creating space, and I promise you’ll experience a more positive outcome.
04: The skill of awareness.
It’s easy to run through life disconnected from your own life. It seems silly, but many people live so disassociated from themselves and reality that they keep chasing a place that might already exist. Working for something that is right in front of them.
Ultimately, they are wasting life, repeating old loops that keep them stuck when the answer they seek is within reach.
Chasing directly results from a lack of awareness. Partially because you don’t know who you are, much less where to land. But also because awareness helps you see where you are currently, providing direction on where to go.
Awareness is the ability to tune into your feelings, thoughts, actions, and what is happening around you. It’s the ability to look at yourself and your surroundings to acknowledge your strengths and challenges and, ultimately, what you need to thrive.
Change without awareness is impossible. And awareness isn’t a destination. It’s a skill. One that can be developed through training by paying attention to what is currently happening in your life and the lives of those around you. Every change begins with awareness.
05: The kill of doing even when you don’t know the result.
Part of the reason we engage with patterns is to ensure the result. It’s not necessarily a guarantee, but a pattern has a lot of predictability. If you do x, most likely, you will achieve y. Because of this, it can become difficult to overcome old patterns because you love the predictability of it.
It feels safe.
This is why there is a skill to getting comfortable doing things even when you don’t know the result. To get comfortable with uncertainty and the potential for ‘failure.’
Of course, some things have clear results attached to them. But most of life is the exact opposite. It doesn’t work that way. There’s no telling how things will turn out or end. The only sure way of finding out is to engage with the act of doing.
Don’t avoid what you don’t know. That only keeps you stuck in old patterns, reinforcing your need for security. Get comfortable with the unknown. Many of the best things in your life will come from doing things without guarantee, like loving someone else.
Love has no guarantee, but it can bring the greatest joy.
If you get beyond the fear, a great adventure awaits when you develop the ability to do something for no other reason than curiosity. With no expectation but to grow in your understanding, take a leap of faith and let life unfold in the way it was planned all along.
Life isn’t always about accomplishing a goal. It’s about living and experiencing. Many of the best things happen when you jump without expecting how you’ll land. You just do it because that’s part of living.
What would you add to the list?
What skills do you want to get good at?
The beauty of skills over goals is the work is never done. It’s always a progression. A process and journey of growing and becoming better. Which also means there’s really no failure only learning. No matter how bad you are, you can always work on it. You can always build new skills.
Keep working. Keep jumping. Keep assessing. And keep changing. It’s the answer to creating new outcomes.
READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP?
Stay tuned for the following podcast that teaches you how to change the pattern. When you change the pattern, you change the product. And that changes your life. Grab the Nourished Planner to hold you accountable in building better patterns all year.
Every month, you get advice on changing the story, including places to keep track of the change.
Build a new pattern with the Nourished Planner. Get your copy here!
In the meantime, here are a few resources to get you started building better patterns and setting healthier resolutions:
- Upgrade Your Wellness Routine With This Tip
- 5 Ways To Guarantee Health Success
- 15 Healthy Habits To Take Into The New Year
- Why I Gave Up Finding Myself (Real Story)
- The Power of A Habit