5 Tips To Take Control Of Your Internal Narrative & Become The Change

~ 8 minute read

Transformations take more than just a wish or a want.

Without a why to solidify your intent, you will easily be misguided or distracted along the way.

But this article isn’t about just finding your why and then that’s all you need to succeed because in reality, you need more than a why.

We would like to think that if our why is strong enough, it can take the battering of the modern lifestyle. It can stand strong against the challenges it brings and the constant bombardment to divert our focus else where, away from our own focus.

As an example, if you are trying to lose weight, you are told its just about calorie balance and consistency.

Now even though that is true, the mental challenges are something we have to address.

We are constantly having our attention trying to be pulled away from our own focus to appease someone else’s agenda. Whether thats through advertising, social media or peers.

Talking from past personal experiences and client experiences, I have come to appreciate the importance of the mental aspect of change and how important that is, to really illicit true change.

Using myself as an example, I have gotten myself into ‘very good condition’, from competing in a bodybuilding show to getting ready for that one photo on the beach on holiday or stag do.

Now every time I have got myself into shape, the reason it has never stuck is not because I didn’t know how to maintain it, or have the will power to keep saying no, but in my transformations, I just changed my physical self rather than addressing my mental self.

The analogy I like to give is, I am like the Hulk. When I am lean I am essentially Bruce Banner, with this inner fire to just go all HULK SMASH and smash all the food I can get access to.

I have this internal want and desire to be big and just go around doing what I want. I struggle to maintain the Bruce Banner lifestyle for that long because I haven’t changed my internal narrative.

In a Non Superhero/Marvel context

Every time I diet down from say 100kg, down to 90kg, I make the physical change of 10kg, however I still have all the habits and tendencies of 100kg Rob.

So I am a 100kg Rob in a 90kg Rob body.

So it is only a matter of time until 100kg Rob takes over and comes back with vengeance, and anyone that personally knows me and my huge appetite, it won’t take me long to put on 10kg (and that won’t be just 10kg of water weight).

This is where understanding your internal narrative is key to find success.

Once we go beyond just wanting to weigh an arbitrary weight, thinking that once we hit that, we will feel complete, then we can then start to address the elephant in the room of, we actually need to change who we are, both physically AND mentally.

Now change will come with a lot of resistance both from internal and external influences. These can be and not limited to:

  • We choose short term satisfaction rather than following our long term mission
  • We are trying to undo a lifetime of childhood habits that are hard wired into us
  • We attach emotions to foods. Using certain foods to feel good or change our current states. When you feel sad you eat X and when you are bored you eat Y
  • We buckle under peer pressure. We feel a need to be accepted and then try to meet the standards of our peers, whether they are good or bad for us is irrelevant when in a social situation

Making a change is tough, but starting small gives us the opportunity to find mini wins and not feel like it’s changing us too much, so we don’t put up as much resistance.

We are our own worst critiques and obstacles from stopping change.

So here are my 5 mini wins that can create the start of some big changes. I recommend these to clients and anyone else looking to make a change. These are also things I have actioned on my own journey to permanent change.

I have put these in order of how I believe is the best approach at introducing them into a daily routine without them being too big a change to create too much resistance. I have also put them into a 4-week strategy so you’re not overwhelming yourself with too much change at once.

WEEK 1

1. THE MORNING WALK

This is a daily staple for me and anyone I coach with any goal for the mental state improvements I feel it brings. Also, if you have a weight loss goal this is a daily staple.

Physical Win: You increase the amount of energy you are expending daily, which if you have a weight loss goal, this is always going to be a positive.

Psychological Win: This is where we start to change the narrative. You start becoming the person that commits to something and does it without fail, come rain or shine, you are committed.

So you get 2 for the price of 1 with this daily habit.  

WEEK 2

2. TAKE A MOMENT

This is a habit that I like to stack on to my morning walk. This means it doesn’t become ‘a thing I have to do’, it’s just part of what I do.

After each of my morning walks, I take a seat at home, keep my phone on aeroplane mode so there are no distractions and close my eyes.

I then use this time to let my mind just wonder and not be influenced by everything going on around me.

In a time where everyone is fighting for our attention, I try my best to create at least 1 opportunity a day that lets me be in full control of what’s going on in my head.

Tip: Use this time to check in with yourself and see how you’re doing. We often get too caught up in the daily hustle and don’t take a moment to see how we are actually doing.

3. BE PRESENT WHEN YOU EAT

This sounds extremely simple, but the days where we all sit at a table to eat, whether that’s at family dinners having a conversation or dining for one and being content with your own thoughts.

Even sitting at a table to eat rather than the sofa on your lap is an ask in today’s society. Yet these are the moments that allowed you to appreciate your food, enjoy each mouthful and think about what you are eating rather than just shovelling food down and moving on.

We are losing the ability to focus on one task at a time and not be distracted.

You would think that eating would be safe from distraction, but now with your phones taking a place at the table, they become a distraction. You feel you need to be productive or see what someone else is up to when you’re sitting still.

Use the dinner table to be a sacred place like your bedroom, where no phones should be. Focus on the task at hand and do it well.

If you’ve cooked a meal, appreciate that fact. Appreciate the flavours of your meal and if you’re on your own, use this opportunity to take another moment and reflect on your day. If you’re with others, discuss each other days and thoughts on topics.

Becoming a conscious eater will control not only your appetite levels (physical win) but also you will take more enjoyment out of food and the joys it can bring, from a socialising mood full of conversations to a sensation to your senses, with meals full of flavour.

WEEK 3

4. GET BETTER AT SLEEPING

Upgrade your thoughts on sleep just being something you have to do every night and realise it’s something you get to do, that can make so many positive changes to your body.

From allowing your body to repair and grow broken down tissues, to sorting through everything that happened that day into a neat filing system called, your brain.

Sleep is an essential part of our day for growth, so try your best to maximise the time you can get

I recommend these 3 things to boost your quality of sleep

  1. Be consistent with your sleep and wake times. By finding your natural rhythm for your sleep cycles, you can really boost the effects they can have on your wellbeing. The deeper you go, the better it is, I mean sleep of course. By getting to bed at a consistent time and creating a night time routine that enables your body to start to unwind means you will achieve levels of deep sleep sooner and start your recovery process.
  2. Stop looking at your phone before bed. This follows on from number 1 nicely.
    Try for at least 1 hour prior to put your phone down. We have night mode on our phones now, but the blue light from our phones is essentially like a concentrated version of the suns blue light in our hands. This will confuse your brain into thinking it’s still time to be active rather than time to unwind and rest.
  3. Leave your phone outside your room on charge and buy a manual alarm clock if needed. By keeping your bedroom phone free means you can connect better with your partner or connect better with yourself. Using your bedroom for fun activities with your partner or by reading or listening to a book and improving your self development is a massive win all round.

WEEK 4

5. REVIEW & REALIGN

This last strategy for solidifying change is in my eyes one of the most important.

Performing a weekly review can help you stay on top of your direction you are travelling in. Whether that’s towards a target or if you’ve falling off the right path and just need a nudge back in the right direction.

I’m a big fan of taking a more birds eye view approach to life which helps us gain some freedom to live our lives day to day, but by having a weekly review, we can make sure we are staying on track and ensure we’re moving with intent towards our goal.

Sometimes life happens and causes us to take a different path, but the beauty of reviewing our week, means we can stay on top of our internal compass and keep us moving in the right direction.

You can download my Weekly Change Review here to get you started.

IN SUMMARY

These are just the first 5 actions that I recommend when someone comes to me looking for a more than just a physical change.

When you need to take control of your own internal hulk, you need to take control of your day.

Don’t let your day take over and cause you to become solely reactive.

Find a moment of your day where you can be undistracted and then own it and start your day proactive.

The morning is normally the one part of your day that you have control, so if that means getting up a bit earlier to get some time to yourself, then make the effort. If you struggle to get up early, aim for an earlier bedtime and give yourself the best opportunity for success.

Remember, change will be uncomfortable and will take you out of your normal habits & routine. So embrace the change and discomfort and thrive in the thoughts of what the change will bring.

Nothing obtained easy will be valued enough to sustain, so put in the work and become the change.

WANT the Change
SEEK the Change
BECOME the Change

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope it helps you start the change you deserve.

If you feel that this can help someone, then please do share and let’s help spread the change mindset.

~ Coach Rob

HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

If you’re looking to upgrade your strength training and expose yourself to new stimuli, check out my offerings (click here) or book yourself into a complimentary consultation (click here), where we can discuss your goals and hopefully work together to achieve and surpass them

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