What's Missing From Your Resolution?
Let’s just say I have a goal and it’s to lose weight.
Great goal. I’m in great company. Lots of people want to lose a great amount of weight. Great things are gonna happen once I hit a certain number on the scale. Great.
So I do the things I think I’m supposed to do: eat better, exercise more, repeat. One of two things will happen. Either I will lose the weight or I will not. Great.
Let’s just say I start to do those good-for-me things. I revamp the way I eat and I kickstart my body into motion. I’m doing fine and heading in the right direction…
… and then it’s my kid’s birthday. I had planned the party before making all of those “good-for-me” life changes. I invited twenty kids and their parents (okay, maybe this is a pre-COVID scenario) and promised my child they would have a swank, one-of-a-kind, over-the-top, sugar-laden cake. Oh yeah, and the theme is CandyLand....
I have been waiting for a certain someone to ask me out on a date, and they finally do - to a fancy Italian restaurant known for having the best pasta this side of Italy… and I juuuuuuust started my resolution to eat “better”...
My boss just called me in for a meeting to inform me my job description now includes three times the amount of responsibility, we have a new benefits plan but I will have a higher deductible and no dental, and there is no wiggle room for a raise this year… but there IS a plate of chocolate donuts in the break room….
How will eating right help me not lick the cake batter bowls clean?
How will more exercise keep
me from ordering gnocchi, cannoli and downing a bottle of wine?
How will eating right AND exercise help me from not succumbing to my emotions by grabbing as many donuts as I can on the way to the bathroom stall to go angry cry?
The answer is they won’t help you. They can’t.
All hope is not lost. There is something that can help you in those situations. And it’s simple.
So how do you create the candy theme party you promised your kid but not sneak a year's worth of cupcakes in the process? How do you go on that date and enjoy your evening but not bust the buttons on your pants? How do you find a different way to express your anger and frustration than by shoving some of the most addictive substances known to mankind down your gullet?
You beat the odds when you have a very strong reason for not doing those things.
Oh right... you said your goal was to lose weight. So what? Where is the emotional connection that will stir your heart and make you pause? (awkward silence...)
If my reason - my “why am I trying to get healthier?” - is strong, specific and something I believe in, my chances of success rise by leaps and bounds.
I used to start every year with a “I want to lose weight” goal.
My reason was because I hated myself.
Every time I ate something green and leafy or took an extra flight of stairs, I was essentially saying to myself, “I hate you and what you’ve become. This is your punishment for all the years of bad choices.”
Can you now see why I couldn’t achieve my goal? My motivator SUCKED!
One of the biggest reasons why things are different for me now is because I have a very deep, emotional connection with why I want to reach my goals. I have lost 45 pounds of unhealthy fat and am keeping it off because every day I remember my “why” and it motivates me.
Everyone’s reason is different; but it must spark something in your heart and soul. My “why” has three components which stir something in me: I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and love who I see. I want to be healthier so I can live longer with my husband and dance until we can no longer stand. I want to be alive and vibrant to have a better relationship with my son so that he will embrace the life I show him and share my memory through the generations.
I recently took it one step further. I wrote it all out on the back of my son’s school picture and that is what I use as a bookmark in my daily readings. Everyday I look at it and read it aloud so that my brain locks onto it and can reflect it back to me in times of struggle when I need it most.
Having a strong “why” doesn’t mean I am never tempted or thwarted by things outside of my control. It means I know how to take a moment and decide for myself what is more important: my reason for being healthier... or doing the unhealthy thing which will take me further away from my reason for being healthier.
I know from experience that it has helped me out of many tough situations and it has already helped improve my relationships with my family and how I view myself with grace.
It can be a scary process to determine your “why”. If you need a guide, send me a message. I love introducing people to a new way of life and helping them find their path to making it possible.
Melanie Hartt is mother to Daniel, wife to Bill,
an Independent Health Coach and owner of Little Daniel's Den