I recently messed this up and thought it was worth writing about.
Mistake #1: Not Being Clear Enough About What It Was I Wanted
I came across this story of a person who, when she was pregnant, had a very strong craving for a strawberry donut from Donut King. So she asked her husband to pretty please bring her donuts and what do you know… she got caramel Krispy Kreme donuts instead. Not what she wanted. She should have said “I want a dozen strawberry donuts from Donut King, and if you bring me any other type of donut, I will have a temptation to throw them back into your face!” 🙂
Another example she gave: a person who wanted 3 new clients by the end of the week. Well she got them…. but none of them could afford the full price, and asked for a bunch of discounts. Nope nope nope! Better: “I want 3 clients, by the end of the week, who want my top package, and are happy to pay full price for it.”
Third example: I want my dream house, which costs 3 Million dollars, which I must now go make. Okay, but what makes a dream house a dream house? And does it really cost $3 Million? And do you really need $3 Million, or just 20% of that $3 Million, so you can get that mortgage? Information is power. Perhaps your goal is not as hard/big as you thought initially.
Goal setting is really powerful in that you start with your destination in mind, and then you plot the little steps that will take you all the way there – but you might be wasting your time if you don’t necessarily want that end in the first place!
I had this goal: Lose 20 Pounds
But I realized that actually, I do not give two shits what the scale says, and no one else does either. What I really care about is what my body looks like, and how I feel in it.
I want to spot reduce in specific areas, and I want to do it in a healthy way. (I do not want to get a tapeworm or Bulemia to achieve this, as an example.)
So I actually had to rewrite my goal – making sure to include these aspects:
- Quantify our goal: Break it Down, be stupidly specific, and do not leave it open to interpretation
- By When? Sure you could say you want it now! Today! But the power in your goal comes in making yourself believe you can achieve it. So choose a date that is realistic, so you feel good about it. Like it’s actually possible and can actually happen.
- Why? This will drive you and get your head in the right space to make it happen. Why do you want this particular goal? What do you hope to have once you’ve achieved it? How will your life be different for having it?
So instead of “Lose 20 Pounds” – This is what I’ve ended up with:
I want my stomach to become flat and be flush with or concave with my ribs, in a fun and effortless way, by Memorial Day because then I will love my body, have the ultimate confidence in it and myself, and be able to wear whatever I want. I’ll have accomplished something I have wanted my entire life and I will be full of personal power. I want it by Memorial Day because I do not want to wait any longer!
But that wasn’t the whole solution.
Mistake #2 : Not Clearing My Mental Obstacles
So I have this weight loss goal, it’s one I’ve had for a very long time, but I don’t have it yet. I am pretty good at reaching my goals, so why not?
Denise Duffield-Thomas suggests that you make a list of all the reasons you DON’T want your goal.
Yeah, I know, my first reaction was “Are you serious? I want this – there aren’t any, what a stupid suggestion.”
Then I thought about it some more and realized she was right. I actually did have all these mental blocks in my way. Negative beliefs that I carried around with me that totally got in my way of what I want. And they were so ingrained in me that I didn’t even realize I had most of them. They were practically subconscious.
- I want to be able to eat what I want when I want, and I can’t do that and lose weight.
- I want to eat sweets as often as I want to all the time, but I can’t do that and lose weight.
- I don’t want unwanted attention, and I’ll get more if I lose weight.
- It’s going to be hard and involve a lot of work
- It’s going to be a struggle
- It’s going to be uncomfortable
- It’s going to suck
- It’s going to involve saying no to a lot of people, specifically going to places where there is going to be food that isn’t on my diet or when people want to feed me
- It’s going to involve being weird in social situations, like sitting at a restaurant where there is nothing on the menu that works with my diet and ordering a water while everyone else orders a dinner
- It will require a lot of difficult workouts that I won’t enjoy
So – what are the downsides of getting your goal? What hassles will you encounter? Maybe you’ll have more stresses, what kinds? What will the people in your life do or think if you manage to achieve your goal? What are the fears around your goal? What would be bad for you about your goal? Make your list. Mine surprised me.
Okay so I had my list, you have yours, now what?
Are these reasons really true? Do they have to be? I’m willing to wager… probably not. For example, I realized that losing weight doesn’t have to be hard. I am the one who makes it hard. Tons of people do it easily, or at least, more easily than I’ve done it in the past. Why can’t I be one of them? Why can’t I indeed.
Here’s my shift.
Dropping body fat will be easy, an enjoyable journey, comfortable, and fun! Other people in my life will accept my boundaries and my choices. I won’t be tempted by what other people are eating. My workouts will be empowering and enjoyable. I will get as much attention as I want when I want it. My body will learn to love new foods as much as I love the ones I love now, and my cravings for the foods I want now will normalize.
Mindset is everything, and supercharges everything that you do. Try it!
Good luck to us both 🙂