Have you ever just dumped your goals?
Maybe it was a sudden thing when you consciously decide, "I'm out".
Or a gradual thing when you remember around March as you sleep in and eat toast for breakfast that you were going to work out and eat better once upon a January 1st.
I used to see this program in operation when my kids were little.
When they would accidentally spill a little bit of juice or water out of their full cups they would look at it and then promptly dump the entire thing.
On carpet, tile, the car...didn't matter.
Even if it was just a little drop that was initially spilled.
We do the same thing when we dump our goals due to an all-or-nothing mentality.
We may fail in our attempts a few times.
Or decide it just isn't worth it when we really get to experiencing the uncomfortable stuff that goes along with not eating candy or getting up early or being more organized.
And we dump our cup.
If you are okay with that and it is a conscious choice I don't see a problem here.
If you are frustrated with the games your mind is playing and are ready to change...let's get to it.
If you saw the video I put out you will remember that there are a couple of ways we sabotage ourselves.
And if you didn't see it....why not?! Catch it HERE. It's really good at explaining the process of how and why we sabotage our own efforts.
When we come to a "wall", or a challenge and it becomes uncomfortable we either make ourselves smaller than the wall by explaining why we are not able/capable of moving forward or we make the wall bigger by setting such high standards that we give up. All-or-nothing, perfectionism are all parts of this program the mind is often running without us even being aware.
Both methods are the mind giving you reasons that you are incapable of moving forward.
We are usually aware of the feelings behind it.
Feeling discomfort, discouragement, helpless, hopeless, and a type of relief when we return to our previous behavior that is familiar and comfortable.
Sometimes we aren't even aware of that.
And that's okay.
You can start noticing now that you are becoming aware.
But I want to give you a hack that you can use the minute you start to slip.
When the very first drop leaves that full cup.
No dumping necessary.
There is, however, one rule.
I'll come back to that. Just know now that it won't serve you at all.
Rather than have perfection be your goal, allow yourself attempts.
I'm SO glad you asked!
Here is the process:
1. Make goal #1 to keep trying. That's the goal.
No matter how many attempts. No matter what else happens. The goals is not perfection, it is persistence.
2. Set your sites. Where do you want to end up?
I'll share mine so you are able to just observe. I have several aims this year, but one that my husband and I are working on is becoming 100% financially free. No mortgage, no debt.
3. Write down WHY
This is the first thing to be forgotten when a really cute (unbudgeted) pair of shoes or a fantastic workout outfit sits before me on the rack...because they suddenly feel super important. Have a very firm idea in your mind of where you are going and why. I keep pictures hung on my wall of what we will use our extra money for and what my husband will do with his extra time. I see it SO strongly and vividly that I can FEEL us on the plane to Alaska, our first planned family adventure once we have achieved financial freedom. I need an emotion that can compete with the one when I see that perfect pair of cute boots. It is all about how you feel.
4. Make a plan
Do not allow perfectionism to hijack this step. We have found that this is not as crucial as we thought in the past. The important part is that you begin. Make a plan but realize that the next part is going to bring it home.
We have created a budget and for the last year we have been tracking and taking notes about when we broke it and when we didn't and why. Our plan is how much to spend on what. Our plan involved talking with people who have achieved that goal and reading books.
This is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. Each week my husband and I have a meeting to track our spending and look at what worked and what didn't work and choose one thing each to work on for the next week. Sometimes we choose to ride the bus into the nearest city rather than drive or sometimes our focus is to check the budget before we spend. This has been the most critical part to keeping this goal for the last year. The most important part of this step is to withhold judgement. It does no good. If we were to start blaming, pointing fingers, becoming angry or frustrated I guarantee we would find 14 other more important things to do on Sunday at 5 without even realizing we were completely sabotaging our plan.
So what would this look like with weight loss?
1. Goal=Keep trying
2. I will have _% lean muscle, -% fat
3. I will feel so comfortable in my own body. I will be able to hike and climb and join my kids when they do physical activities without being winded.
4. I will keep my blood sugar steady by eating 4 times a day, making sure I have a protein, fat, and vegetable with each meal. I will have fruit instead of vegetable for breakfast immediately after my workout. I will stay aware of my feelings and my satiety sensations during the day.
WHEN I slip up, I ask myself, "Why did that happen, Love?". Sometimes I find that I'm eating because I am trying to distract from feeling an emotion, I didn't plan ahead and became too hungry, I am angry at myself and engaging in some self-punishment. So next week I will choose one area to work on. Maybe it is to prep breakfast the night before, or take 10 mindful minutes to just feel what I'm hiding from, or to take time to journal about what I am angry at myself about. Whatever it is, this step supports my main goal: to keep trying.
Whipping myself without being aware of WHY I slipped will serve to sabotage me. Guaranteed.
Not being aware of why I am slipping up will create a dependence on white-knuckling, grinding, and ignorant bulldozing through action steps and missing the opportunity to improve my mind at the same time. And completely ignore the root cause.
The extremely cool part about this step is that when you address the root issue for weight loss, for instance, you will be addressing the root issue for other challenges as well without even trying. The mind has a few favorite programs that it runs over and over. Addressing it in one place will mean addressing it in another.
You can't help but progress if you set your goal to just keep trying.
I made an evaluation sheet to make it that much easier. Download it here.
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