212. One question can change your life.

Allow me to introduce you to my good friend, Sally

Sally is one of the few people to successfully create monumental change in her life and sustain those changes for more than five years.

The available data on the human capacity for long-term change is disheartening. Fewer than five percent can maintain change for long periods of time and Sally’s story is a remarkable one, indeed.

I first met Sally in 2008; she was working in a company in which I was doing a large project and she was a team member in one of the groups I regularly met with.

One day she confided in me of her lifelong struggle to get control of her ever-increasing weight.

At 5’6”, she was rapidly approaching the 300-pound mark and, despite her bouncy and jovial outward appearance, her days were filled with despair.

As a veteran of many of the weight loss programs – Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Dr. Bernstein, Herbalife and a myriad of others – Sally was at her wits end.

And then a strange thing happened. A comment from her family doctor during a routine visit left her reeling. The doctor said, “You know Sally, there is a reason why you have been struggling for so long with the same issue. The reason you have not lost the weight is quite simply because it is not important enough to you. If it was important enough you would have done this a long time ago.  I know you’re going to disagree with me and tell me it is very important but, the facts are clear, it just isn’t important enough.”

Sally went home furious at her doctor’s insensitivity. How dare she talk to me like that? And as she played those words over and over in her head throughout the evening, an even stranger thing happened.

She wondered if perhaps her doctor was right?

And then she made a decision that has permanently changed her life in a way she had only ever dreamed of before.

Sally decided to make weight loss an extremely important part of her future. She committed to not only losing the excess weight, but to keeping it off forever.

And so she began a regimen that has stayed with her to this day.

Before eating or drinking anything she asks herself this question, “Is it more important to eat this (pizza, candy, junk food) now or is it more important to reach, and stay with, my ideal goal weight in the future?”

A simple question which soon became a habit.

Sally made The Habit of Making It Important and inexorable part of her life and a wonderful thing happened. The weight she had carried for years began to leave her body. As she asked herself that question each day and always chose her that which was most important, she began to feel a sense of ownership and control she had never previously experienced.

With her confidence boosted by a newfound power, Sally began asking this question in other areas of her life and always allowed the answer to determine her action.

Within a year and a half her weight was down to 130 pounds and she has not gained one ounce since then.

The Habit of Making It Important also nudged her back to school where she completed an MBA, something Sally had long wanted to achieve, but somehow the excuses always got in the way.

So much has changed in her life since “the day my doctor told me the truth,” that she has made it her life’s mission to share The Habit of Making It Important, and its corresponding benefits, with anyone who will listen.

Today Sally’s smile is infectious, her energy endless and her love of life enviable.

We have often discussed the fact that we all only ever do one thing – we do what is most important to us in the moment – and my pal Sally is living proof that when we choose to make the important things important, wonderful things happen.

What’s important to you?

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

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