Talk of change is everywhere this time of year; more adds for workout equipment and gym memberships, weight loss programs and meal prep services, dating apps and jewelry commercials. And how many of those products are left abandoned in a corner gathering dust or totally forgotten about by March? Most of them. This year, if you sincerely want to make some changes, it’s time to go about things a little differently.
Question what you know about yourself.
In pervious blogs we have discussed the stories we tell ourselves. Some are big, some are small, some of them are adaptive and some hold us back. When you are ready to shift something big and important, it is time to really challenge yourself and ask if what you know to be true is really true.
I recently read an article by Kendra Hall in which she shared that as an adult, she just knew she didn't like to ski. She tells the story about a 3rd grade ski trip that was a total disaster for her and only time she ever tried skiing until adulthood. From then on she told herself, she did not like skiing and simply never bothered to try again until her parter wanted her to join him on a family ski trip. We can all think of a lot of stories, especially from our childhood that inform how we see the world even today. If there are things you want to change get very curious about the things you think you know about what you can do and what you are capable of. Until those stories are challenged, change will be like moving a mountain for you.
Take real time for yourself.
When you are running from fire to fire just barely keeping up, you are so much more likely to crash and burn. It may sound counter intuitive, but no matter what your goals are, in order to make them them work, you will need time to sit and reflect. What is working? Could you change things up? What could do you do to make working towards that goal feel more fun?
Are you having fun?
If the answer is no, something is wrong. I don't love working out, so if you bump into me at the gym early in the morning, you are unlikely to see me smiling the entire time and doing a jig. BUT, I enjoy the trainer I work with and the people that I work out with and if I didn't, I likely would have gone elsewhere a very long time ago. And I love to supplement with fun dance classes, a difficult pilates or spin classes. If I did those all the time, I would probably get tired of them but they add a little something to my week when I make time for them.
Creativity is important.
It does not matter what your goal is, challenge yourself to do something different. I know, that is a lot easier said than done. If change were simple, you wouldn't need to set goals. When I'm stuck I try and pay attention to what people I look up to are doing. There are a lot of ways to accomplish the same task, what can you do differently to address the problem.
Make a plan.
If there is no plan, no schedule, no measurable, observable, tangible goals, you are just day dreaming. Even if the first step in the plan is to ask someone for help or read a book, make a plan. Everyone has to start somewhere and it is ok if at the beginning the ending is a little muddled or fuzzing the best way get started it to make a plan for the first 2-3 steps.
Be clear about your WHY.
If you do not have a powerful why, you are wasting your time. When your WHY is because everyone else is or I think it would be nice, you are going to give up very quickly. How many powerful stories of transformation have come after a person had a life threatening event or lost someone or something meaningful to them? Their why became very clear after a loss of some kind. You don't have to experience loss to dial into your why. For each of your goals, ask yourself why it is important to you that you make this happen for yourself. Without your why, you are spinning your wheels. Knowing your why is a powerful tool to get you back on track when you are faced with a big challenge to your goal.
I have referenced this before but I think it is totally worth doing it again. One of my favorite TED Talks is Simon Sinek's on "How great leaders inspire action." If you need a little help getting to your why, this TED Talk is a great place to start.
Just as important to the success of a goal as why is who. Who will benefit the most from you achieving the goal? When more than one person benefits and you are invested and connected to that, you will be so much more committed to making it happened. For example, if you want to lose more weight because you want to be able to be more active with your children, it is so much more than just something you want for yourself.
As always, I’m here. If you are ready to work on having the life you want, call me and let’s get started!