The seasons are a’ changing, but are you? As we put away our summer clothes and take out those winter time sweaters, it’s a great time to think and reflect on how far we have come this year. As the leaves change, think about how you have changed. Was there a major goal you started out the year with? How far have you come?
For me, I was really looking forward to starting my marathon training this year. Like for real this time. However, 11 months into the year, I haven’t upped my running game at all! Instead, if anything, I have gone backwards, sub coming to not working out…spending time chilling instead of challenging myself.
So with a month left, it’s time to get down to it! But change is so hard! I mean I get that nature changes naturally, but how do we change? There are two easy ways to start.
Before we can change anything in life, the first thing is to shed light on it. We have to get real with ourselves, take a hard look at the truth and decide with determination that we will no longer tolerate this any longer. Sometimes we can do this with friends who we trust to be honest with us and tell us what they really see from their side. You know the ones. The friends that tell us they don’t think we look good in that dress or let us know that the guy we have been dating is really a scumbag when everyone else says how much they love him. Those friends are there to give us the reality check that we sometimes so desperately need to hear, even when it hurts. When it comes down to it, most of the time we already know the things that we need to change, but sometimes it takes an outsider looking in to point it out to us. This will help get us motivated and stay committed. We also have to make a decision that this behavior or bad habit that we have been trying to stop is no longer acceptable in our lives anymore. In order to really make lasting changes, we have to hit a breaking point and get uncomfortable.
If you find yourself setting goals but not reaching them, don’t be surprised. Like it or not, we are generally motivated by the negative consequences of something vs. the positive outcomes. Think about it…why do you pay your taxes every year? To avoid getting fined or go to jail. Those parking tickets tend to get paid because we don’t want to lose our license. So instead of focusing on how good you will feel once you meet your goal, flip it around. Start thinking about some negative things that will happen if you DON’T hit your goal. I had a friend Debbie who for years was trying to lose weight. She would spend her time thinking about how hot she would look in her bikini and the beach vacation she would let herself take once she shed those 30 pounds. Every January she made the same New Year’s resolution and said that this would be the year that things would be different. She was bound and determined and couldn’t wait to finally start living her life once she lost the weight. She would say to herself “if I lose the weight then I can start going to dance classes, once I lose the weight then I will start dating.” Despite the positive thinking and writing down her major life goal, month after month would go by and she found that she hadn’t lost a single pound or changed any habits. This cycle went on for years until she finally heard about the concept of setting negative consequence goals. It looks something like this: find something that you passionately dislike, like a charity or a cause and decide that if you don’t reach your goal, you have to donate to it. Debbie found this non-profit whose cause she fiercely disagreed with and hated, and decided that if she didn’t lose the 30 pounds this year, she was going to give $1,000 to that charity that she disliked so much. Guess what? That was the year she finally lost the weight.
So…the seasons are changing, are you? This really is GO time. In the comments below, let me know what you are planning to commit to today.