Is this how you go through your life?
As Alice in Alice in Wonderland stated
Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
The Cheshire Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
Alice: “I don’t much care where.”
The Cheshire Cat: “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
What are your plans to get the results you want?
Does your plan for getting the results you want sound a little like this? I should lose weight, I should take a walk, I should… (fill in the blank). Does this sound like maybe your New Years Resolution?
Let’s take one of the more famous New Year resolutions, weight loss. The resolution goes something like this. In 2021, I am going to lose weight and get fit.
Resolution #1 Losing Weight
Let’s take the weight issue first.
Is there a specific goal to achieve, either a target weight or a target amount of weight to lose? If so, at least you have some metrics to start working with. You start with ______lbs. and want to get to _______ lbs. Is there a time frame? Is it reasonable.
Next step comes the restrictions. It can come in several forms. Restricting food, eating food that you may or may not like, joining a weight loss program, and often times, just plain old deprivation and suffering.
The good news is that there is a focus, a target, and results may occur. This can be quite motivating and keep you going.
The bad news is that once that target weight loss has been achieved, BAM the weight begins to creep back up. The cycle repeats time after time.
Why does this happen? This is because the hard work met the end goal. It’s like coming to the edge of the cliff and not being prepared for the drop off when you look down.
Let’s dig deeper. Did the goal achieve the identity that was desired. Was it just hitting the target and affirming the goal? What does wanting to lose weight mean to you? Why is it important? What does it look like/what it its identity?
Your motivation is key and the Five Why’s can help you find it
It is important to understand what motivates you. Understanding the difference between what you want and what you think you “should” do are important. There is a great exercise you can do, it’s call the Five Whys.
Here’s what it looks like:
Q: Why do you want to lose weight?
A: Because I want to look better.
Q: Why do you want to look better?
A: Because then I can get that new job.
Q: Why do you want that new job?
A: So I can make more money
Q: Why is the money important?
A: So I can feel validated
Q: Why does the money provide validation?
You can use this methodology to start probing into the real why. You may find you get some interesting results and maybe get to the bottom of your motivation.
Resolution # 2 Getting Fit
What does getting fit mean? What does it look like? I often see this with people taking up running or people that have been running for years. It’s generally someone who has a goal of running a marathon. OK, that is a target goal, but is it a one and done? Is the identity to become a runner or just run that race so say they did it? The difference is a fine nuance and could also be interesting to utilize the Five Whys technique.
The real work is understanding what are your resistances and what are the obstacles that get in your way. Chip Conley
As someone who is focused on health and wellness, saying I want to be healthy and fit is a great aspiration. What does being fit and healthy look or feel like?
Really visualize what that is for you? We will never be the actor we see in the movies or the model in the magazine. But what does that future self look like, and in what time-frame. Think of this as your future self identity.
For me, my future self looks like a 90 something woman outside feeding koi in the pond, walking the vineyards, keeping up with household chores and maybe even running some local races. I see myself as being active, being happy and content with my ability to do these things. I don’t even imagine being wrinkle free, model thin, or having flowing brunette locks. I visualize how I feel and engage with the day, not what I look like, that is my identity vision.
Make your vision your reality
We need to put in the work to have that vision become a reality. No where in the vision do I see sitting in a chair during the day, eating junk food, and watching mindless TV. It means moving during the day, staying flexible and agile, eating good wholesome food in moderate amounts, getting a good night sleep and for me some daily mediation. That’s my vision and it’s actionable.
Sound all well and good, but how do you get started?
- Write down and really articulate what your vision for yourself is? It can be long term like the one above or short term, like running a race in 6 months (that is my short term vision as well). Use the Five Whys to help you dig deeper.
- Have a daily plan and write it down. You can use a calendar, post it note, journal, etc. Just have a way you can see the progress. Let’s take my big example: Move more, eat well. I can put a little check or x on my calendar each day that I walked or ran (or got over 10,000 steps) and felt I ate well. Really, whatever works for you. You can have a different check mark for eating well. If you like badges, find some stickers and use them.
- What about setbacks. OK, you splurged and had a piece of cake, or binged on Netflix the entire day. Take a deep breath and move on. I always loved the saying from the Zone Diet. If you messed up a meal, you are just one meal away from the zone. The morale is, we can’t worry about what is in the past, we need to just move forward.
- You can start tiny and build habits. If you want to learn more about Tiny Habits, click over to my coaching page to read about Pam’s Tiny Habit journey and learn more and maybe even take the FREE 5-Day course.
- Build a vision board. They are fun. Mine is above! It is on my desk right in front of me to see every day.
How are you going to look at your results and maybe work backward to figure out what direction you want to go? If not, you can be like Alice.
I’m here to help if you like, just reach out!
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