While I was working at the gym, this morning, the employee in charge of the check-in desk made the comment that the number of people coming to workout is back to it’s “normal” quantity. For the most part, the “New Years Resolution-ers” have fizzled off. It’s something we see every year, maximum capacity for the first three weeks, and then we’re back to the sea of regulars- the same people we’ve been working out with for years. Don’t get me wrong, there are usually a small quantity of new faces who want to achieve their goal bad enough that they keep coming. But the rest…
Go get a pen and and paper and write the answer to these questions down (no seriously, stop reading and go get your writing material…)! Write down the answers to these questions: What is it that you wanted to accomplish three weeks ago? Why did you want it (check here if you need some help with your why)? Do you still want that same thing? Do you want it badly enough to push through the discomfort to achieve it? What’s your game plan that will get you there? What are the small baby steps you’re taking to make your dream a reality? Starting today, or even this hour, what is the one thing that you can do to push yourself along in your process?
Let’s assume that you set out to lose weight, this year. Which approach are you taking? Did you make efforts, in these last three weeks to change your habits? Are these habits becoming more a part of you? Have you stuck with your weight loss approach? Or did you happen to get derailed in your efforts?
There are so many things that can halt your progress in the weight loss game.
Perhaps you’re the only one in your household working to lose weight (Believe me, I know exactly how lonely that can feel). Get yourself a community! Join a Facebook group. Talk to your friends. Guaranteed there is someone else in your life who is also working toward their own weight loss goals. Reach out to me! I would absolutely love to respond to a message with a word of encouragement!
Maybe someone brought a treat home or to work that you weren’t planning for, and you “gave in”. Maybe you haven’t found a way to pull yourself back into action. I get that too! That has happened to me so many times! I have two things to say about this. Shake it off! What’s done is done! Move forward! Love yourself enough to leave that delicious treat (which maybe led to total derailment) behind you, and pick yourself up. Commit right now to practicing the baby steps which will lead you to meeting your goal. You can do this!
Second, maybe you have the temptation screaming at you, but you haven’t actually given in just yet. This is ok! There is nothing wrong with being tempted to eat something that is against your goals. This is going to happen. So let it in, acknowledge it, and then recognize you have options.
Life is full of little choices, and here is one of them: you don’t have to eat it. If you haven’t planned for it, and you’re still on a trajectory of strategic behavior, then do everything in your power to maintain your trajectory! You can throw the tempting treat away! That’s right, pick it up and walk it all the way to the stinky outside dumpster! You can ask someone else around you to eat it so that it’s no longer available to you. You can ask someone in your life to hide it from you (I ask Adam, my hubby, to do this all the time and most the time I don’t find it!). Or you can put it in the freezer and save it for your planned indulgence meal. You are strong enough to not eat it. Remember what it is that you want (your why?) more than you want the unplanned treat. Focus yourself in on your ultimate goal. Take a deep breath and fully commit to not even having one little taste. You can do this!
Maybe you started working out, and your muscles were so sore that you decided you’ve done your time and enough is enough. Or maybe you decided you were too busy for all the exercise that you originally set out to accomplish. It could be that you like your sleep more than you like the idea of waking up early to exercise. Whatever your perfectly logical explanation might be (my husband calls these PLE’s aka an excuse), call yourself out! Creating new habits of exercise is challenging! I know! It took me all the way until I became a mom to find it in me to make exercise a regular part of my life. And guess what?! At first I didn’t necessary love it. But, with enough consistency, it started to grow on me, and eventually I did!
Find it in yourself to push past your excuses. Remind yourself who it is that you want to become. Make peace with the fact that getting there will require you to do the work. Do what you need to do. Set a time on your daily calendar or an alarm to remind yourself. Set out your workout clothes the night before (I’ve done this for years since my workouts typically fall in the 5:00/6:00 am hours). Go buy yourself some cute new workout clothes and shoes (monetary commitment is a powerful motivator). Find a friend to exercise with you. Start small. If you haven’t been in the habit of exercise, commit to two days a week. Then gradually increase from there. Baby steps are the way to lasting lifestyle changes!
Maybe you’ve tried some of the meal plans I’ve put on this blog and have thought to yourself, “the food she wants me to eat is absolutely disgusting! How can she even recommend that!?” Maybe you are a really picky eater, and have the hardest time talking yourself into eating vegetables in one meal, let alone six times per day.
Food preferences can be a legit challenge for some people to overcome. But guess what!? You don’t have to eat exactly what I eat. Do some research to find foods and recipes that work for you based on your goals. Challenge yourself to try new things. Allow yourself to be open minded. If you really want to meet your goals, you will do what works for you. I can’t set them for you or make you achieve them. So spend a few minutes scouring the internet, you’ll find recipes out there for every single approach that can be taken to lose weight. Move past the “I don’t want that” and ask yourself “What do I want?”. Then actively pursue finding the foods you enjoy that will keep you properly nourished while losing weight.
Let’s change the subject (sort of)…
Have you heard the concept of the “Heroes Journey?” This idea permeates all of our favorite stories. Tell me if you recognize this. A protagonist, quite often unremarkable and inconspicuous, is presented with a fantastic opportunity. One which includes both epic adventure and great reward. This character is often quite comfortable in their current situation, without much desire or want to change. That is, until either an internal/external event occurs and the new adventure is something they just can’t shake off. They understand that the road ahead will come with challenges, and there is a high possibility for failure. And yet, the call is great enough that the character knows there’s no other option than to proceed.
Perhaps this was you at the onset of your journey for change. At that time, there was no other option than to proceed on the road to your reward, be it weight loss, feeling stronger and healthier, or even something completely different.
Take a minute and assess where in the Heroes Journey you are right now:
- Call to Adventure: The Hero sees the adventure that she/he desires or needs to go on.
- Crossing the threshold: The hero prepares for and embarks on the journey
- The road of trials: Reality sets in and the hero feels smaller than the challenges ahead of her/him
- The abyss: The only options for the hero are to change, become someone different, and either press forward or quit entirely
- Metamorphosis: The hero changes and becomes something more
- The Ultimate Boon: The hero learns the lessons which enable further growth and change
- Returning the Boon: The hero returns home to share what she/he learned
Each character has to go through this process to become the heroic version of themselves. Take the example of the heroes in the Marvel movies. The main character, or hero, is typically a human who is heavily flawed. They go on an adventure, meet obstacles, face the reality of their weaknesses, they learn essential lessons, don’t give up through the process, and they return to share their learned lessons with the team. All heroes follow the same journey. We see their story and we gain admiration and respect for their courage, conquering spirit, and endurance through their difficult challenges.
The fact is, you are the hero of your own journey. You might have just barely heard your call to adventure, you might be knee deep in your road of trials, or you might be facing the abyss where you allow yourself to become something amazing. Whatever you do, don’t quit on your yourself! Press on! You are worth finding that hero in yourself. Allow yourself the opportunity to gain the self respect for having accomplished something so great!
I believe in you! Take the moment right now to recommit to that goal you are working on. I know that you can accomplish it, and I know that you will be so glad that you did!
You are my hero!
Talk to you soon!
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