The Path to Doing What You Want

We speak to Nutritionist and successful business woman, Belinda Mann, about achieving her dreams

girl on beach

A few years back one of my dreams was to formally study nutrition after being seriously wowed by the healing powers of healthy eating. Despite my interest, I made up plenty of excuses as to why I couldn’t study. I had already studied for a science degree and wasn’t sure I wanted to be a student again, then there was the fact I was working full time and had a partner and flat to look after. The time and money involved in retraining myself and worrying that I was too old to be changing career (at 28).

It’s funny the excuses you come up with! I smile looking back. I was almost ready to keep working for 35 more years doing a job I didn’t like! We spend more time at work than anything else in life so I had the realisation that the effort would be worth it in the end. Suddenly three years of study seemed like a very worthwhile commitment to make when I could be rewarded with a career in a field that excited me and filled me with passion. Every journey starts with a single step and so I enrolled!

After the three years of hard work I graduated from the Institute from Optimum Nutrition at the end of last year. Now the real dreams were about to begin! Full of enthusiasm I left my job in the city with lots of big ideas. Looking back at at my list of aspirations from this time last year it’s funny just how many of my goals I managed to make a reality! From working with a raw food community in Ecuador, assisting a detox retreat in Brazil, having articles published in my favourite health magazine from Ibiza (Passion), reviewing a luxury raw food wellness spa in Bali, being interviewed for a nutrition article in ELLE magazine and launching my own detox advice website (www.which-detox.com). Not to mention writing for Hip and Healthy!

We all have big ideas in us waiting to come to fruition, and now is the time to put pen to paper about how to set about making the deepest desires inside you become reality. Whether it be with work, travel, or personal development, and it doesn’t have to be a full blown change either. If you don’t want to embark on a university degree, look at short courses, or maybe set up a blog to write about your passion. When it comes to health and fitness small realistic adjustments in your lifestyle are always the way to bring about real long term change.

Setting goals for the things you truly want in life is a brilliant start. Then the next step is working out how to achieve them. With any goal (no matter how exciting!) there are bound to be times you feel tired, like everything is too hard and you want to give up.

When the going gets tough here are my top tips to keep you on your path to fulfilling your goals:

1. Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t do something, instead think about the reasons why you can! 

In Action: For example saying in the past I didn’t have the time to study. But the desire to work in a job I loved for the next 35 years was a very good reason for me to find the time and make an effort.

2. Make a big goal into many smaller goals. Plan out realistic times to have each mini goal achieved to help keep momentum. Goals should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed. Achieving small goals keeps you motivated to keep going. 

In Action: If you want to eat more fruit and veg start by increasing 1-2 servings every day it’s more manageable than trying to increase by a lot.

3. Keep ‘to do’ lists manageable and just write down things you know you can achieve that day. Never ending to do lists can make you feel overwhelmed before you even start. Stay in the ‘here and now’ anything you don’t absolutely have to finish today put on another list.

In Action: Don’t worry about planning next month’s detox think about buying healthy food to feed you today.

4. Motivation is key. Tell everyone about your goal, then they can help to keep you motivated. Just like a personal trainer keeps you at the gym, the best results often come when we have someone encouraging us and giving a gentle push.

In Action: That’s why I started a health coaching service. It’s for people who don’t necessarily need nutritional advice to deal with a medical condition, but want some help to identify weak points in their diet and work out practical solutions to get around them.

5. During tough times imagine yourself at the end point of your goal and how you will feel. This feeling will help pull you in the direction of making your dream a reality.

In Action: If you are trying to beat a sugar addiction and are feeling tired, persevere and imagine how much energy you’ll have in 2 weeks time when your sugar cravings have disappeared. (A few drops of Rescue Remedy is always super helpful to pull you through as well!)

Find out more about Belinda at www.belindamann-nutrition.com

image source: http://brooklynhawaii.tumblr.com/post/33827633283