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Courtney Townley 0:00
Welcome to the Grace and Grit Podcast made for women who want their healthiest years to be ahead of them, not behind them. Join your host, Courtney Townley right now. As she breaks down the fairy tale health story, you have been chasing all of your life, indispensable action steps and lasting change.
Courtney Townley 0:28
Hello, my friends, and welcome to the Grace and Grit Podcast. This is your host, Courtney Townley. As always, I’m so grateful you’re here, I hope you’re taking great care of yourself, this can be a very busy time of year, there can be a lot of opportunity for stress and overwhelm and all the things. And so I really do hope you are extending yourself the courtesy of a little or a lot of self care. And hey, if you’re not doing that, you’ve come to the right place, because that’s what we talked about here on this show.
Courtney Townley 1:00
Now, I’ve definitely had a busy season, I’m in the throes of a very busy season, and I am doing all that I can to manage my stress and my to do list. But next week, I’m actually heading to New York City to do a photoshoot as a part of a rebranding project that I’ve been working on all year around Grace & Grit. And of course, a byproduct of this is we’re going to have a new website, which is very exciting. So keep your eyes out for a new Grace & Grit website coming in early 2023. The current website is a decade old, and it’s time for an upgrade. Because I have evolved. Grace & Grit has evolved. And I want that evolution to be fully expressed. Because that is the work I am most passionate about helping women with which I have talked about a lot on this show this year. I am most passionate about helping women to become fully expressed versions of themselves.
Courtney Townley 2:00
Why? Because I’m a really big believer that being fully expressed is one of the healthiest measures you can take. It is a form of nutrition that will enhance every level of your life. And being fully expressed can be really scary. And oh so hard. So I want to help women make the hard, less hard. I want to help them make it easier and more grace filled.
Courtney Townley 2:34
All this to say, I hope that you are rolling into 2023. extending yourself the kindness of evolving and changing. And if you are rumbling, with giving yourself permission to do that, because maybe you’re afraid of letting some things go that no longer serve you. Maybe you’re afraid of making other people uncomfortable. Or you simply have no idea how or where to start, I want to remind you that this is the work that we do inside of my Rumble & Rise community.
Courtney Townley 3:11
If you have been a listener of the show for a while, and you resonate with the message, and you have been on the fence about joining Rumble & Rise, which is a community dedicated to helping women become powerful leaders in their life. We have two really incredible specials going on for the month of December.
Courtney Townley 3:32
Special one holiday special one is that normally when you buy into an annual membership, for Rumble & Rise, you get two months for free. But in December, we are giving you three months for free. So for the price of nine months of membership, you’re getting 12 months. So it’s pretty awesome.
Courtney Townley 3:53
The second thing that I’m offering is there’s a lot of people who want to tack on private coaching sessions to their membership to make the most of their experience. So I am giving people the option of adding in for private coaching sessions to their annual membership for $1,000 discount, which is massive.
Courtney Townley 4:17
So I’m doing all of this out of the spirit of giving. I am so passionate about this community and this work and I want you to be a part of it. So it’s something you’ve been chewing on something you’ve been considering now is the time. You can find out all the details on both of these offers by going to graceandgrit.com/readytorumble.
Courtney Townley 4:38
Now speaking of evolution and change, the end of the year is a time where an awful lot of us are thinking about what we want to make of the year ahead and come January 1, behavior change is on the mind of an awful lot of people. So before we to break into a new year, I thought it would be a really good time to remind you of some very important behavior change math principles.
Courtney Townley 5:11
I’m kind of internally giggling, as I say this, because I’m always sharing on the show that math is just, it’s not my strength. I mean, I can do basic math, of course, and I got through math in school. But I’m always joking that math is not my forte. But behavior change math, I understand really well, because I’ve been teaching it for so many years.
Courtney Townley 5:36
The principles that I share with you today are going to help you create meaningful change in 2023. With a whole lot more grace and ease. Doesn’t that sound good? So let’s get into it. Behavior change math principle number one, less is more. What does this mean? Well, it means exactly what it sounds like. By doing less, you’re actually setting yourself up for more success. By committing to less, you are actually setting yourself up for more success.
Courtney Townley 6:13
And yes, this is not how a lot of us embark on behavior change, especially around January 1, we make a lot of commitments. And the things that we expect ourselves to do within those commitments are massive. So we’re trying to do way too much out of the gate. So I want to offer that shifting your focus, from addition to subtraction, as you enter 2023 just might be a massive game changer for you.
Courtney Townley 6:54
Hear me out. When we make too many commitments, we thin out our resources, we only have so many resources available. And when we have hundreds of buckets or lots of buckets that we are committed to, we run out of resources very quickly. And when we run out of resources or resources are very low, we’re highly reactive. And high reactivity is always going to mean that we resort to old behavior, it’s going to make new behavior incredibly challenging. So we overall commit to doing less, and I know this is a big ask, because so much of our identity, so much of our worth, we have wrapped up in the hustle in the busyness.
Courtney Townley 7:50
But the second point I want to make here is that even if you commit to less the commitments that you do make, it is so worth being incredibly reasonable in how you approach that area of change. So let’s just say that your goal next year is to improve your health. That’s a big commitment. But then the strategy that you use to go about that is so massive, and so overwhelming, that you can’t sustain your efforts for very long.
Courtney Townley 8:29
So not only do we need to make fewer commitments, we need to commit to less action. And I’m not saying less action overall, but less an action initially. So break things down into smaller actions commit to less. As a human being having a human experience, I have no doubt you’ve experienced both of these things where you have overcommitted and you have also taken on too much behavior change at once. And then of course, in the new year, like I said, this just becomes even more enticing because we’re so ready to create change.
Courtney Townley 9:16
I want to encourage you this year to consider trying the opposite. Instead of looking at behavior change as this exercise in addition, start looking at it as an exercise in subtraction. So I challenge you in 2023 to lean into the discomfort of committing to less and extending yourself the grace of taking small consistent actions. And really, this is the beauty of compounding right.
Courtney Townley 9:55
When we are focusing on doing 1% Better can persistently, we are far more successful in the long run, than if we commit to doing 100% Better. Once in a great while we can’t sustain 100%, especially not right out of the gate. I also think giving yourself permission to focus on subtraction, doing less committing to less, aiming for that 1% Better, also helps us to get out of the all or nothing thinking. Something is always better than nothing. Point 0001 effort is better than no effort. But that’s not the game we play, the game we play is if I can’t do 100%, I’m not going to do anything at all.
Courtney Townley 10:59
So behavior change principle math principle number one, less is more. Behavior change math principle number two, is expect 50. What does that mean? It means that you are not supposed to feel good all the time, you are not going to feel good all the time. Your journey is not going to be fun all the time, you are not always going to feel inspired.
Courtney Townley 11:30
But this isn’t what we’re sold. We’re sold, that there will come a moment that we will feel amazing all the time that our process is going to be linear, and flawless. But man, that is just not the case, with any kind of change that you embark on in your life. And this is just a friendly reminder that if as a human being, you are supposed to feel the full spectrum of human emotion.
Courtney Townley 12:05
So if you are pursuing some kind of behavior change in 2023, I’m going to encourage you to drop the expectation that your process will be linear. And or the expectation that once you reach your goal, you will never face challenges again. Because if you have those extra expectations, you are setting yourself up for a lot of disappointment and a lot of unnecessary suffering.
Courtney Townley 12:32
In everyday life, we have the amazing and we have the heart every day, for the rest of our lives, that will be factual. We get to experience both. But when I when a lot of women embark on behavior change, what I see is number one, the expectation that it will be linear, we see this a lot around weight loss. Right? If I don’t lose X number of pounds in the timeline that I have set up for myself, then I’m gonna throw in the towel. Nothing, nothing good is happening. I’m not I’m not creating any kind of change. If my process does not look like that. And man does that get a lot of people in trouble and quitting on themselves along their weight loss journey. Because the body loves homeostasis, it loves to kind of settle in one place for a while. There’s lots of chemistry that is happening all the time when you’re in a state of fat loss that you aren’t necessarily going to see on the scale every single day.
Courtney Townley 13:42
Your path will not be linear. You are going to rumble with some difficult emotion. You are going to have to face disappointment and frustration and inconvenience and irritation and feeling uninspired. And when you reach your goal, there are going to be new challenges showing up.
Courtney Townley 14:12
One of my favorite things to remind people of is “new level, new devil.” So when you have spent time working on some kind of behavior change. The universe just has this way of putting another obstacle in our path that furthers our development. So the challenge is that the curveballs as I like to call them never really go away.
Courtney Townley 14:38
In fact, I would argue that the more evolved we become the more we develop ourselves. Sometimes oftentimes the bigger the challenges become. So the solution here is to expect discomfort in 2023. If you’re embarking on behavior change The kind because behavior change is quite literally the act of pursuing discomfort on purpose. Expect it, expect discomfort.
Courtney Townley 15:12
Remember that all emotions will come knocking next year. Even the ones you would rather didn’t come knocking, they’re going to come. But in those moments, if you remind yourself, that emotions are messages for you, not mandates, they’re not your identity. They don’t have to govern your life, but they do have information for you. If you’re willing to look at that, you’re going to learn a lot about yourself, and you’re probably going to have a much more enjoyable and fruitful journey in 2023.
Courtney Townley 15:58
When discomfort comes, when difficult emotion comes, and it will, because life is 5050? What are you going to make it all mean? Are you going to make it mean that you’re a failure, that something’s wrong? That Oh, look, here’s evidence once again, that I shouldn’t be pursuing this, that I can’t accomplish this, you can make it mean all of those things. And you will not create behavior change, because you’ll quit on yourself. So expect and embrace the 5050 behavior change math principle number three 30% can be 100%. Say what.
Courtney Townley 16:47
So what this means is you are not always going to have the same amount of resources available, you are not always going to have the same amount of time, you are not always going to have the same amount of energy, you are not always going to have the same amount of mental bandwidth. And on the days, that you only have 30% of your resources available to give and you give 30% You’ve just given 100%. So let me say that again, on the days that you only have 30% of resources available to give and you give 30% You’ve just given 100%. The problem is, we expect ourselves to have the same amount of resources available all the time, we act as if we do we act as if we always have the same amount of resources available.
Courtney Townley 17:57
We’re always pushing, rarely pulling back.
Courtney Townley 18:03
And then of course, that leads to a lot of negative thinking, a lot of exhaustion. And a lot of what we talked about last week on this show was burnout. You cannot give 100% of your resources 100% of the time. Especially when you have multiple responsibilities and multiple things that you are giving resources to. So the solution here and the thing that I would encourage you to remember rolling into next year is to number one, be radically honest about how many resources you actually have to dedicate to a pursuit.
Courtney Townley 18:46
So if I want to improve my relationship with exercise next year, the intensity at which I exercise cannot be the same 365 days a year. Because I’m gonna have days where I’m sick, I’m gonna have days or weeks maybe where my stress levels are through the roof. I might go through some periods next year where I’m not sleeping well. So I have to be willing to adjust my expectation for what I have to give in order to keep showing up.
Courtney Townley 19:24
A lot of you’ve heard me talk about the principle of structured flexibility and that’s what this is. If I only have 30% capacity today, what might I need to adjust with my exercise plan to still show up and give it my best. It’s not always going to look the same. And that’s a really important thing to embrace and practice. If you want to be able to stay the course with whatever change you are setting out to make next year. behavior change math principle number four, sometimes being 100% committed is easier than being 95% committed.
Courtney Townley 20:15
And some of you might hear that and say, Wait, hang on, Courtney, are you contradicting yourself? You just said allow for flexibility. But now you’re saying sometimes it’s helpful to be 100%. committed?
Courtney Townley 20:27
Yes. Because to change certain behaviors, sometimes giving yourself no wiggle room is a grace filled act.
Courtney Townley 20:43
In other words, what this means is flexibility isn’t always a grace filled act. So some examples of this are, think about people who want to stop drinking alcohol because they have a very codependent relationship on it. Drinking less is not always the solution to improving your relationship with alcohol. For some people, it’s making alcohol non existent in their life. So they make a strong commitment to not drinking alcohol. 100% of the time, I see this a lot of sugar, people play the game of moderation.
Courtney Townley 21:36
For some people, that works really well, a lot of people it works really well. They eat less sugar, and they can still have it in their life and have a healthy relationship with it. But for other people, every time they eat sugar, they go off the deep end with it. And here’s what I have found is that, when we give ourselves with some commitments, when we give ourselves just 5% of wiggle room, we end up spending 100% of our time negotiating that 5%.
Courtney Townley 22:16
So again, let’s just say I have a commitment of walking more next year going for going for walks, and I’m going to do it, let’s just say I’m going to do it four days a week. But then next year comes. And I’m negotiating that walk every single day, because I gave myself permission to not do it every day. That’s what I mean about by spending 100% of the time negotiating the 5%. So this may or may not be applicable to you. But I think it’s really important to hear this principle. Because for a lot of people I coach, there are certain things in their life. There are certain commitments, they are better off making 100% of a commitment to than giving themselves any wiggle room. So we call these non negotiables.
Courtney Townley 23:11
Some people their non negotiable is I just don’t drink alcohol. It’s just not something I do. I don’t eat sugar. I’m not saying I don’t I’m saying this is this is how some people choose to be in relationship because it, it’s what works for them. It helps them to stay the course. So just remember that non negotiables can be a kindness to behavior change, it can help you to be more successful with behavior change, I don’t think you can approach all behavior change that way.
Courtney Townley 23:44
And again, some people may not have to approach behavior change at all that way. But there are an awful lot of people rumbling with certain vices. That making 100% of a commitment to can be really powerful. And even like food and alcohol aside, I’ll give you an example from my own life recently. I’ve been working this year on writing a book. Oh dear lord, I did not realize what I was signing myself up for. But my point being that I realized that by only writing for a couple chunks of time a week, I was giving myself tons of opportunity to negotiate when that time was going to take place. And when I did sit down to write, I was having to regroup and reorganize my brain because it had been a few days since I had last written. So what I decided is writing daily is a non negotiable for me. Because I was spending so much time in the the negotiation phase of when I wasn’t going to write that I wasn’t writing enough.
Courtney Townley 24:57
So my non negotiable is right Writing for an hour every single day. And I gotta tell you, it has been so helpful. I also do it first thing in the morning when I have the most resources available. Because I had to make this a priority if I truly want to see this accomplished. So maybe it’s worth considering what you need to make your non negotiables next year. And again, it shouldn’t be a lot of things. But there might be one or two non negotiables that could radically change your life. All right, one more behavior change math principle that I want to introduce today, which is a 100% success rate will not change you.
Courtney Townley 25:49
I know that feels like sacrilege to say that, right? But again, 100% success rate will not change you. What does this mean?
Courtney Townley 25:59
It means that success is built on the back of failures, mistakes, by working through obstacles. And if you aren’t having to do any of that, if you aren’t having to rumble with failure, if you are not making mistakes. If your execution is always perfect. You’re not learning, you’re not growing, you’re definitely not changing. So we think that we are supposed to be perfect. We have this perfectionism, right. And a lot of people have a lot of pride in their perfectionism, right?
Courtney Townley 26:40
They wear it like a badge of honor that, well, I’m a perfectionist. Well, if you’re a perfectionist, you’re basically saying, You’re not going to grow, you’re not going to change. Because we don’t learn and grow and change. By executing things perfectly. We learn and grow and change by getting really messy. I always use the example of my husband. Years ago when we were skiing, I wasn’t falling. And of course, you know, there’s a part of me that’s like, oh, you know, I’m such a great skier. I’m not falling. And he’s like, No, you’re not taking enough risk. That’s why you’re not falling.
Courtney Townley 27:24
So yeah, you’re good at a certain level, but you’re not evolving your level, if you’re not falling. He didn’t say it exactly that way. But that’s essentially what came across. And he was so right. I also see with a lot of clients that I have worked with, historically, who are every single week telling me that everything is going perfectly well. That’s concerning to me. Because what that means to me is we didn’t set the bar high enough, or you’re not being honest. Which it could be either or.
Courtney Townley 28:01
But if you are not rumbling along the path to change, I would really question if you are either number one hiding from failure. So you’re not, you’re not challenging yourself. You’re not risking anything. Because you’re staying within a in a space of competence. And we have to get out of that space in order to change.
Courtney Townley 28:33
So I just want to offer that aiming for 80% of a success rate is far more useful to you. Don’t aim to get it right all the time, allow for like this 20% of a buffer to get wildly messy and make mistakes and take a few steps back. Because that’s where the magic happens.
Courtney Townley 29:00
And one of the questions I love to ask at the end of a coaching call with my students is when they tell me a commitment that they’re making. And they actually tell me specifically, what they are going to do in the week ahead, in dedication to that commitment. I always finish by saying well, how confident are you that you are going to make this happen? And if they tell me I’m 100% confident it makes me wonder if we weren’t kind of downplaying their capacity. I don’t want them to be 100% Confident. But if they are less than 80% confident if they tell me Yeah, like I’m like 80% Sure I’ll get this done. Or I’m let’s say they say I’m 50% sure I’m going to get this done. That’s concerning.
Courtney Townley 29:51
Because what that tells me is maybe we set the bar too high. So we we continue the conversation And we land hopefully on a place where they’re around that 80% mark. They feel challenged, but they don’t feel overly challenged and they don’t feel under challenged. So, making room for the 20% to be messy and imperfect, and all the things that we don’t love will create growth in the year ahead in profound ways, especially if you lean into that 20% With a mindset that I am growing. It’s not supposed to be clean and linear and perfect all the time.
Courtney Townley 30:45
Alright, my friends, that’s all I have for you today. I hope it gives you something to think about in terms of how you might approach behavior change next year. Obviously, this is just like the tip of the iceberg. But these were just things that were kind of top of mind in terms of patterns that I see around this time of year patterns that can go horribly wrong and really set us up for failure with the things that we want to be changing in the year ahead.
Courtney Townley 31:09
Again, if you need help with this, if you want to dive deeper into your own process next year, and really become more fully expressed and more vibrant and so much healthier. Consider joining us instead of Rumble & Rise again you can check out the details of all of our holiday specials by going to graceandgrit.com/readytorumble. Alright, have a wonderful day and I’ll see you again soon. Take care
Courtney Townley 31:39
Thank you for listening to the Grace and Grit Podcast. It is time to mend the fabric of the female health story. And it starts with you taking radical responsibility for your own self care. You are worth the effort and with a little grace and grit anything is possible.