Mary here: I’m leaving today and by tonight will be on a plane to Brisbane, Australia! Here is a guest post from another American in Australia – Michelle, the great blogger from Eating Journey. She is the woman behind the Exposed movement (here is my exposed post!) and an all around awesome person. Listen up because she says some great things about goal setting.
I recently sat down with my Naturopath. We were going over the plan that she has me on to combat some health issues that I have.
However, this time I wanted to talk about my weight. I have successfully lost and maintained a 100lbs weight loss for about 8 years. However, I was once 25lbs lighter than I am right now. Due to emotional issues and other personal issues I started binge eating in January 2009. I have done a lot of soul searching over the past year and am getting a grip on my emotions.
I sat in the chair and the tears started ‘I have these last 25lbs to re-lose and it’s like I can’t get rid of them’
She listened patiently. ‘You know Michelle what is most important is that we focus on where this holding on is coming from. I could put you on shakes and diet plans but I don’t think that’s what you need.’
I was relieved. The idea of drinking another ‘diet’ shake was not what I wanted.
What ended up happening was an exercise that revolved around the concept of swapping behaviours/thoughts/habits with ones what we want. You see many of us–including me–struggle with being perfect. We want everything to be perfect: scale, abs, eating. When it’s not, we ironically turn to food. Or at least I do.
So I got honest with myself.
The Things I Want to Get Rid Of:
- The scale
- Counting Points/Calories
- Drinking caffeine, mainly Diet Coke
- Baking/Cooking stuff I can’t eat (dairy/gluten/sugar)
- Computer after 10pm
- Making excuses not to work out
- Hating exercise
- Hating my body
The last one was hard to write. I didn’t want to say it. Hello, I should be loving myself all the time. I still struggle
The Things I Want IN my life:
- Daily prayer meditation
- Drinking more water
- A healthy relationship with food
- Identification of emotions when feeling over-eating patterns spark up
- More social networking with friends
- Changing negative thoughts to postive ones
Perfect. I’ll change it all and I will be cured.
‘Michelle, what I want you to do is to ‘swap’ one or two things from your two lists that you can do for one week‘ she says
‘Ok, I am going to focus on eating/cooking things I can eat and adding 20 min of yoga 6x/week’ I felt confident. I would bust out 45 minutes of yoga 6x/week and eating super clean.
The she pipes in ‘I want you to do the following:
- Make them: measurable, attainable, simple
- Journal them everyday
- Tick them off when you do them
How about focusing on 15 minutes of yoga each day and perhaps your main meals. I am not here for you to go cold-turkey. What I want is for you to have success in your goal setting so that you feel accomplished and successful’
Goal setting is more manageable when I reduce my high and often unattainable expectations of myself I have been doing this by creating goals that feel comfortable to attain. More it taught me that YES I have things I need to change. However, having the ownership and ability to focus on two POSITIVE changes this week has given a sense of accomplishment I haven’t felt in a long time.
I challenge you…go through these steps
- List things you want out of your life
- List things you want IN your life
- Swap 1-2 this week
- Make your swaps attainable
- This is SO important. I spent so many years saying ‘I am going to run everyday, do yoga, and stay under points everyday’. I failed every time in every category.
- The goals may seem easy, but what I’ve noticed by say something like ‘2 instead of 4 diet cokes’ is that is takes the pressure off of being perfect and makes me want to go beyond my original goal sometimes.
- Chart your daily progress (bust out the stickers)
- Note how you’re going and how you feel
I hope this helps. I will tell you that this week has been one of the most successful weeks I’ve had. Don’t get overwhelmed with everything you ‘need’ to change. Instead make small positive changes.
What are the things you’re gonna swap?