by Anna Marie Trotman
We are two weeks into the New Year and already my goals have slipped by the wayside! I wanted to make a few changes and life got in the way, at least that’s the lie I told myself. The truth is that I’m a rebel at heart and setting the same goals year after year only to fall short is not good for the psyche.
Over the years I’ve made the same resolutions, repeating the patterns of the past with monotonous regularity!
- Lose weight
- Spend less
- Pay off my VISA
- Eat healthy
What I eventually discovered is that these goals only addressed the outer layers of my personal development. It’s like treating the symptoms instead of addressing the underlying issue. In order to have the best chance for lasting success, I had to go deeper. With the help of an excellent coach and some really good movies I created meaningful change.
Bridget Jones’s Diary
Your motivations for achieving your goals are a basic reflection of how you see yourself in the world and how you interact with yourself, your spouse, your family, friends, and co-workers. Through experience I have learned to asked important questions and when working with clients I’ve encouraged them to go deeper with the answers.
It’s a little cheesy and silly but Bridget Jones took life by the horns. Like Bridget you might fall on your butt a few times before you get it right and that’s just fine. So work on asking the right questions, putting yourself first and running after the things you want in life. (Think first before putting on granny panties in the snow.)
Fast Food Nation
The number one resolution is losing weight. If that isn’t on your list work with another goal.
Ask yourself: Why do I want to lose weight?
So my clothes fit. Let’s go deeper… I hate being fat….. Go deeper….. So I don’t huff and puff when I run up the steps. Go deeper…. So I’m not so tired all the time…. Go deeper…. I really want to be healthy and have the energy to play with my kids. GOOD! Let’s go deeper….. I want to honor my body and all that it does for me. EXCELLENT!
By addressing your goals at the most basic level you begin to have powerful insights and your motivations become more purpose driven.
Girl Meets World
Riley Matthews stood up to a bully who wanted her to basically quit being herself. We often bully ourselves and struggle with the voices in our heads; you’re not enough….. you’ll never accomplish anything…… you’re stupid… and on and on. This isn’t who you are, stand up to the bully in your head and own your power.
I had a client who wanted to lose 75 pounds. She struggled all her adult life with weight. She put on a few pounds after each child, 4 in all. When she came to see me her children were grown and out of the house and in her mind she still had the “baby” weight. We worked on her motivation to get thin and got to the core of some false beliefs about herself.
She didn’t set ambitious goals, she simply gave herself an identity change. She got clear about her reasons for losing the weight, wrote an affirmation, put it on a 3×5 card and in her phone. She began telling herself over and over again: “I make healthy eating decisions and never miss my daily walk.” Slowly but surely she began to live her new identity and was successful.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Keep in mind that things will go great for a few days, or maybe even a week or two. But, life eventually gets in the way and the bully will return. However, when you believe in yourself, anything is possible. No matter how far you may have fallen, you can get back up. The characters in Sing were determined to succeed because they believed in themselves even when others didn’t.
Here is a strategy to overcome some of the pitfalls. Find a few things that work for you.
“Dang, I wanted to lose 3 pounds this week and I had to go to my friends birthday dinner. I had 3 glasses of wine and dessert. Oh well, I’ll start back up next week.”
Put that girl in the witness protection program! Bring your new identity to the restaurant. Looking at the menu, tell yourself; “I make healthy eating decisions, so I’ll have the grilled tuna and 1 glass of wine.”
When you’re building new habits, make your goals insanely simple. Keep on keepin’ on! Completing an action every day for a whole month is how new habits are shaped and resolutions kept!
Anna Marie currently works at the Birth Center and spends a few hours each month working with Iyanla Vanzant, answering emails and helping some of the many individuals who reach out for support.