As we near the end of the goal series, I hope you have not only created some goals but also put a SMART Plan in place to help you get motivated. Hopefully you thought about some of your negative thoughts and fears as these can really hinder your ability to achieve your biggest goals and dreams!
With your goals in place, and your negative thinking out of the way – now, I want to talk about moving away from a problem (your smoking habit or your unhealthy diet) and towards a solution. Often, when we are faced with a problem, we feel the need to analyze and understand it. We tend to place blame on someone or something. “My problem is I just like food too much to ever lose weight.” But, when we begin to focus on the solution instead of the problem, an amazing thing happens, we get closer to solving the problem!
Imagine that it is a morning just like any other, but this morning, when you wake up, you have achieved your goal or your dream. Look around you, what are the first things you notice that tell you that you have finally achieved your goal? Do you notice that your body feels energized? Has that morning coughing fit disappeared? The solution is that you started exercising and eating better or that you quit smoking once and for all.
The solution may be easy to imagine, but how do you get from here to there? One way is to think about solutions that have worked in the past. “It’s easier for me to begin exercising when I have a friend to work out with.” If this worked before, it’s time to find a friend that wants to lose some weight and is willing to be your exercise buddy!
The key is to think about what has worked in the past, or things that you do well. If you know you are always too tired to exercise in the evening, sign up for a morning class. Or, vice versa – if you love sleeping in, don’t expect yourself to be motivated to go to a 6 AM Boot Camp class. If you get bored easily try a new exercise class such as Zumba or water aerobics. You get the idea!
It works the other way too, if you have tried going cold turkey on smoking or have tried a crash diet only to fail miserably, you know these options won’t work for you, it’s time to be creative and think of some other possible paths towards your solution.
Start small, take small steps and as you begin to work your way towards a solution, stop every once and awhile and ask yourself, “is this working?” Keep the idea that everything is an experiment, just start and see what happens. It may work and it may not, you may think that a Zumba class is the answer, but after trying it you may realize it isn’t working. That’s okay, you have now eliminated one possible solution and are one step closer to figuring it out.
Stay tuned, next week will be my final blog post on the “achieving your goals” series.