So, the first thing you have to consider is what DO you want to accomplish?
For many of us – it means losing that last 10 – 15 pounds so we can look great in a swimsuit – or, stun them at the class reunion. For others, it means learning a new skill (Thai cooking, painting, bonsai gardening, a new language), improving your relationships, the list is vast – AND, you will not be able to get it done in one try (nor should you attempt it – you only set yourself up for failure).
So, I would like you to start determining those areas that you would like to see changed, or maybe ‘beginning something new’ – think about them seriously. Ideas include:
- Starting a weight loss and / or exercise program.
- Taking art or cooking classes; rock climbing; taking an online course (or, local course) in spirituality or on meditation.
- Maybe going to a counselor or support group to get rid of that addiction or habit that has been holding you back.
Whatever! Give yourself 10 minutes to just do a free flow of ideas.
This is your list – so don’t hold back – WHAT DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE – OR BEGIN?
Good for you – I hope the list is long, and that the process was fun. If not, try being the ‘kid in the candy store’ and try again. This should be about creating a compelling future.
Now, as I stated before – you will not be able to change or begin all of these at once. You brain resists wholescale changes because it craves a certain level of ‘certainty’. If you think you are Superman or Superwoman – please, check your ego at the door!
So, look at the list and let’s pick one (or at the most two) things out.
OK – great. We know the ‘what we want to do’.
Now, ‘how’ are we going to do this?
I am all for plans – but, let’s stretch our capabilities with these ‘changes’, and get the momentum going forward – from today and in the future.
So, for your changes:
Change 1: _____________________________________________
What step can I take TODAY to propel me forward? Note: this may be as simple as a phone call to someone whom you admire that exhibits this behavior (they will be very flattered); a Google search for a class; taking a walk every 30 minutes – I don’t know what your goal is – but, what can you do TODAY matters.
Change 2: _____________________________________________
What step can I take TODAY to propel me forward? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Now, here is a consideration as I have further planning sessions on Days 3 – 5 on nutrition, exercise, and mental/spiritual practices. So, if all you state is that “I am going to go through Days 3 -5 on the ‘Optimal You’ Jump Start” – I am fine with that – As Long As You Follow Through. You are elite – hold yourself to that level.
Assuming that we have a strategy in our head – let’s ask “what can I do this week?” And, here’s another question for you – ‘How do you know if you succeeded?’ Write that down as well. REMEMBER – anything worth doing, is worth measuring. If you just get a ‘warm fuzzy’ because you had good intentions – that’s not enough.
And, use pencil – because there is an important question at the end of this that will ask you to determine if your strategies are too difficult to maintain.
Let’s keep walking down the timeline – what can you do in a month?
What can you do in two months?
I think you get the idea.
But, here is a VERY important point – keep your eye on the goal – but, allow some ‘float’ in how you accomplish it.
For example, to say that ‘I am going to exercise everyday for an hour’ sounds great. You won’t achieve it! (I’ve tried – but, don’t hold that against me). So, you set yourself up for failure.
A better goal would be ‘I am going to exercise for 30 to 60 minutes a day – and, I will never miss two consecutive days’. This allows you some leeway – and you still get the results.
You could also allow yourself one ‘cheat meal’ – and, won’t miss your goal. Does that make sense?
So, look at your goals and strategies and make sure that they make sense for you.
Tomorrow – we will look at how we maintain motivation. There is no sense in setting a goal if you aren’t motivated to attain it.
See you then!