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On today’s show I’m starting a five part series on transforming. I know lots of us have made New Year’s resolutions and set goals for what we want to accomplish in the coming year. It has been several years since I set a New Year’s resolution. I stopped doing it because I never finish them. Statistics show that 80% of people abandon their goal by February. Only 8% accomplish their resolution. I decided to look into the psychology of why we don’t accomplish the goals we set and look for ways to tackle the obstacles to our success.
I invited transformation expert Bob Thompson to join me in delving into this topic. Bob is the CEO of Legion Transformation Centers and has changed thousands of lives through fitness. Bob’s clients are not gym rats though. They’re me! The reluctant, the pessimistic. Those that want to be fit and healthy but really don’t like exercise. How he helps them transform was of great interest to me and it all starts with the mind.
If we want to change the way we behave, we need to change the way we think. Our best (or worst) thinking got us where we are now. Bob says that changing our mind set starts with a belief in yourself. Whoa! This is my first stumbling block. I believe in myself when it comes to homemaking, podcasting, child rearing, trip planning, traveling afar etc… those are the things I know I’m good at. I have no belief in my ability to get a handle on my health! In fact I’m a proven failure in this area. I’m the direct opposite of what one needs to succeed in this arena.
I asked Bob if you can suddenly get a belief in yourself. What if you grew up in a family where you were never encouraged? What if your whole life you have felt “less than?” Bob says that yes, you can but you have to start by asking the “why?” question. Why do I want to lose weight, save more money, get rid of the clutter in my house, be more active? On the surface we may say we want to lose weight to look better but dig deeper. When your “why” is vanity based, it’s easy to drop the goal. Over time we come to accept our shortcomings. That’s how we end up thirty pounds overweight instead of ten pounds. We passed ten by accepting it and rationalizing it and got ourselves to thirty. When our “why” is to look good at our nephews upcoming wedding we may get 15 pounds off and feel better and make that good enough but when we dig deeper and find a better “why” our goals may find better staying power. If the goal is to be healthy for our grandchildren and be able to be active in their lives or to gain better health to be around for your spouse, it’s loftier than vanity and more likely to have staying power.
Once we find a deeper “why” we can build a sense of belief in self in a few ways.
- Have the mind set that you will not be defined by the past. You are in charge of your own choices everyday. Be kind to yourself in your own mind. Speak highly of yourself to yourself. Treat yourself as you wish to be treated by others. Don’t replay a loop of past failures in your head. Stinking thinking will not get you anywhere, You are the author of your life story. Write a feel good story!! It’s your book!
- Remind yourself that your value comes from your own humanity. You’re a human being created in the image and likeness of God who, as we know, doesn’t make mistakes. He created you for a purpose and you are infinitely valuable. Remember that it is His opinion that matters most. Who cares if your boss doesn’t appreciate you or if your kids don’t call often? It’s painful but, its them and not you. It’s a broken world and when the brokenness of others spills over onto you, you have the choice to believe their narrative or pray for their healing and move on.
- Count your past victories and relish them. When you start feeling like you are nothing, get a George Bailey attitude and remind yourself of all the ways in which you have contributed to goodness in this world. All the meals you’ve prepared and cleaned up. Feeding people day in and day out is gigantic. Count your volunteer hours and time spent on the phone with a sad friend. Working full time everyday and paying bills month after month is an accomplishment. If you don’t particularly like your job or boss it’s even bigger. Do you have a pet that relies on you to care for it? Accomplishment! Your past is full of victories. Don’t discount them.
- Set yourself up for small daily victories. Make your bed every single morning the minute you get up. Don’t leave dishes in the drainboard, clothes in the dryer or groceries to be put away. Run the vacuum! Do it now. Pay bills the day they come in instead of the day they are due. Stay on top of little things and you will stay on top of bigger goals. You’ll develop an attitude of accomplishment that will start to become the norm for you.
Change is not easy. You have to make the decision to do it. You have to be all in. You have to be radical to change. On next weeks podcast we will be exploring the stumbling blocks we all hit when we decide to change. Tune in for tips on creating a winning environment.