No matter what month it is, someone somewhere is realizing they set a goal and haven’t reached it.
I’ll log my food. Do this cleanse. Get to the gym. Get my 10,000 daily steps…
The list goes on.
So why does this happen?
Why is it that even with the best of intentions we often find ourselves not being able to push through and do what we know in our hearts would make us happier?
Lose those 20 pounds, stick to the budget and get the debt paid down, spend more time doing what fulfills us spiritually or mentally?
We operate out of our subconscious belief systems.
Our belief systems are the ways in which we see the world. They are ways of operating and functioning that we have adopted in order to survive/thrive in this life.
Some of these are beliefs are healthy, and some are not.
A belief that fire will burn you is healthy. That one’s obvious.
It’s the beliefs we aren’t aware of that hinder us most when it comes to making changes in our lives.
Let’s look at a couple common ones I see that impact a persons ability to make changes…
If I lose weight I won’t fit in.
What? This may sound so strange! Yet time and time again I see this happen with my clients. A person begins making changes and they start to get backlash from friends, family members, or people at work.
Comments such as, “Look who’s all getting healthy now”, “I better not eat this with you around”, “Don’t judge me”, etc…Not always meant to harm, but subconsciously we hear these and our reptilian brain sounds the alarm that we may soon be ‘outside’ the group.
What do you do when your inner circle of friends spends 50% of the time you are together lamenting about trying to lose weight and you actually start doing it?
How do they react? (The tricky part can also be when they are genuinely happy for you, but YOU can’t fully accept it and therefore assume they must be secretly upset.)
What if it’s your spouse that isn’t on board? That one is terrifying for many people. Not only does it bring up insecurity in you that your spouse isn’t interested/supportive of your changes, it can also cause insecurity in your spouse because you are changing and they are afraid they are going to lose you or not know how to relate to you (or they are jealous and lash out).
To make any change or reach a new goal you are changing your patterns, beliefs, and ways of operating. And to rewrite our story often takes accountability, courage, rewiring our thoughts, determination, and a lot of self love and grace.
One of our core needs in life is to belong and be loved. And if we sense that this new habit is going to put our being accepted and loved at risk, we begin to sabotage ourselves.
We get sick. We binge. We find a reason it’s not the right time to work with a coach. We look for signs that it’s failing and then accept them as truth. (The scale goes up by 2 pounds so we quit.) We say it’s too expensive to pay for a program or for healthy food, etc…
And when we quit, while there is guilt/shame/frustration that we feel, we also feel settled.
Our beliefs about what we can and can’t do are proven true to what is wired in our minds as reality.
And as a human we find comfort in feeling comfortable.
In knowing what to expect.
Playing it safe.
So what if you don’t want to play it safe? What are a few ways you can get past this hump and reach your goals?
Here are 3 steps you can take:
1. Get accountability. You need someone to help keep you on track when you want to quit. When your friends say you’re crazy or you decide that one ‘mess up’ means you’ve completely blown it and want to give up.
This needs to be someone you will be honest with. Find what works for you. I offer weight loss accountability 1:1 coaching because that works for my clients. Some people need to join a class at the gym where they are expected to show up.
Find what works for you, and know that for a season you may need to step out of your comfort zone because obviously what you are currently doing isn’t’ working, right?
2. Take some time to write down your beliefs. What do you really believe about yourself when it comes to the goal you have set? Since we are talking about weight loss, do you believe you are meant to be 20,40,60+ pounds overweight?
Do you really believe that you have tried EVERYTHING and nothing is going to work for you?
Do you believe you aren’t lovable and therefore you eat to keep yourself overweight and feeling insecure about your body so you never have to find out if you are? (That one starts to dig a little deeper!)
Does food equal love to you? Comfort? Control?
Are you actually at a healthy weight and do you need to learn to love your body where it is?
These are just a few areas to get you started thinking about when processing your weight loss goals.
What about another area of life? Finances is a fun one. Do you believe that you can live beyond paycheck to paycheck? Do you believe that there is no money to be made, no good jobs out there? Do you believe that being wealthy is wrong? Do you believe that you must catch a lucky break to have more? Do you believe that if your credit cards are taken away you will fall apart? You will feel empty? Once again we must look at our beliefs in order to move forward.
We must know our own story in order to expose it and know how to rewrite it. My story is different than yours, and yours different than mine.
3. Don’t try and change everything at once. Choose 1 thing and start there. Imagine all your beliefs as roads in your mind. Some are dirt, some are paved, and some are highways worn in from years of travel.
What would happen if the roads in this imaginary city of our mind decided to do construction on every road in the city in a 4 week span? People would go crazy right?
First, they might not even have the man power to do all of that at once.
Second, how would the citizens do the daily things they need to do in order to function without even having ONE road left in normal working order?
See the picture I’m painting here? Start with one road at a time. Know that the well paved highways- whatever that obstacle is for you, may take longer to reconstruct.
For example: If I haven’t been exercising like I want to, a good place to start would be trying to make sure I get 10,000 steps in each day. That’s not too crazy and doesn’t require a complete overhaul of my life. Sure, an extra walk may need to happen, but that’s rewarding physically and mentally/emotionally and not too massive of a change to make happen.
If it’s that I’m not eating as healthy as I’d like to be, I commit to track my food for 2 weeks and keep my calories in my healthy range. I hate tracking my food, but it offers accountability so I can see how I’m eating isn’t aligning with how I want to feel in or fuel my body.
But I don’t do everything at once unless I set it up in a way to make it realistic. (The two examples above may not seem extreme, it depends on where you are in your journey. You could easily do both, or just start with one step at a time.)
So as you look back at the goals you set for yourself last month, think about them through these lenses so you can get back on track.
Do you need to give yourself some grace, or do you need to get serious and get some accountability and someone to help you make the changes? Only you know.
All my love,