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Transforming Habits Through Self-Mastery

A New Chapter Begins with One Simple Step

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transformation
Mike Kitko made rapid changes by completely overhauling everything in his life all at once.

I have radically changed my habits through self-mastery. These days, my life looks completely different than it did before I decided to make healthier shifts. The way I approached my journey and transformation is not the norm, but the exception. I went all-in. But I’ve since learned that going all-in is not the only way to successfully bring self-mastery to your life.

From Breaking Point to Turning Point

Back in 2016, I was a 300-pound alcoholic with zero self-esteem, self-confidence, or self-worth. I was abusive to my wife and children. I lacked confidence and courage, so I attacked others out of fear. 

I felt lost, alone, and suicidal. I didn’t have a source of income after losing my second six-figure income in 20 months. On April 1 of that year, I was sitting in the same recliner in which I had once bottle-fed my baby girls. I put down the book I was reading – The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson – and headed to my basement to get on my treadmill.

I hadn’t used the treadmill in over three years. In fact, I hadn’t read a book in about the same amount of time, either.

I set the treadmill for a half mile and began running. Five minutes later, I felt like I was going to die. My heart was pounding, I was gasping for air, my chest hurt, and my legs felt like rubber. I reflected back to 19 years before, when I was in the United States Marine Corps. I had been 200 pounds and completely capable of running six miles. This half mile felt like a marathon.

I had been neglecting and abusing my body, and in the process, I had absorbed and inflicted mental and emotional trauma. This day was my turning point.

My Radical Changes 

I made rapid changes by completely overhauling everything in my life all at once. I eliminated processed carbohydrates and refined sugar, drank water only, exercised daily, read books endlessly, journaled multiple times per day, stopped watching TV, and meditated multiple times a day. 

Over the course of the next two and a half years, I lost 80 pounds and kicked active alcoholism. I rebuilt my physical, mental, and emotional health and I found spirituality. I started two businesses and regained the ability to earn a very healthy income. 

When I began teaching self-mastery, I thought my way of incorporating new habits was the only way. I’ve since learned that slow and steady can win the race, too!

Slow and Steady

One morning, during my daily workout, I was reflecting on what separated my successful clients from the struggling ones, and it hit me like a bolt of lightning.

“Self-Mastery is not about eliminating all of the things that make you happy, but gradually redefining happiness to include only those things that sustain and promote life.”

I have worked with many executives and professionals who were looking to transform their lives. Early on in my coaching, I expected and encouraged them to change all of their habits immediately. I used myself as an example for them, and it created guilt and shame in them when they fell short.

My story is not the norm. It reveals what is possible and serves as a powerful example of what willpower and commitment can bring when there is no other hope.

As I shifted my teaching and coaching from radical transformation to slowly implementing healthier habits and choices, more of my clients started finding success. In order to successfully transform your life, you don’t need to eliminate everything. Just begin doing things that serve your health, growth, and expansion. Things that do not serve will eventually eliminate themselves. There is no single way and no rush to the process. A slow and steady approach will bring the same changes to your life that I recognized.

A Single Step

You don’t need to overhaul your day to begin a new chapter. You can begin a self-mastery journey today with one single step. Eliminate something small that doesn’t serve you or add something that does. By simply choosing to focus more on hydration, for example, you will replenish your cells with the life source they need. Eventually, you might consider doing even more. If you start with the basics of life, maybe in a day, week, or year you’ll feel compelled to make even bigger shifts.

Just keep it simple. Simplicity is the path to successful integration.

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