One thing I love about the year-end holidays is that it’s the one time of year we always seem to create the time to gather with old friends. It gives me so much joy to reconnect, catch up on each other’s lives and share hopes and plans for the coming year.
This year, at one of those gatherings I was struck by an all too familiar story.
As a group of us enjoyed a lovely meal together, over the course of conversation sharing our latest happenings, one friend expressed her frustration with her weight and said she was going to rejoin a national weight loss program the beginning of the year.
I was a bit surprised. She’d participated in this program several times, so I just had to ask, “What makes this time any different?”
She really didn’t have an answer. She was just so uncomfortable in her own skin that she felt compelled to take action, and that was an action that was familiar.
In fact, she really didn’t expect any weight that she lost to last. That was familiar too.
When I asked her if she would rather lose the weight forever, it was as though she hadn’t even considered that as a possibility. She had lots of reasons why it would never be permanent – she loves food too much, her husband isn’t supportive, foot problems making exercise difficult etc. etc.
Her story is way too familiar.
Doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result - isn’t that the definition of insanity? Yet we’re smart, and at least seemingly sane, and we do it anyway.
This pattern (whether it be weight or any challenge) is true for so many of us – I know it has been for me, so I want to share another approach to help you achieve whatever your desire is for 2017.
It’s an exercise I call the “Wise Whys?” and as the name implies, it helps you connect to your “Why.” Knowing why you want something, and I mean really knowing why you want it, is so powerful in helping you achieve it.
Rather than repeat the same resolution, and even use the same tactics to achieve it, this activity helps you peel back the layers to get insight on WHY you want what you want. When you know that, you gain a sense of purpose, something much larger than the “goal” and THAT is what makes the difference.
Here’s the approach:
- Find a quiet space, where you can think and write (pen and paper, digital – whatever works best for you).
- Ask yourself what you want and write it down.
- Then ask yourself why you want that.
- Whatever your response is, ask “Why” again.
- Repeat for a total of 5 rounds.
“Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. That's who you really are. Let go of any part of you that doesn't believe it." C. Assaad
While it might feel like you’re a toddler again, drilling down in this way helps you get a clearer vision of what you want, and create a true connection to that vision. That allows positive emotion to flow, and that’s the goal - to connect - not to the pleasure of a short-term habit (eating junk food), but rather to the pleasure of achieving the goal (feeling fit and energetic).
Revisit your responses daily. Look at them and adjust if anything surfaces.
Once you’ve complete the exercise, then it’s time to ask yourself “How? What action do I take to get there?”
If you feel like the same ol’, same ol’ will do it, go for it.
But if not, it’s time for exploration to find a better path. There’s no magic to January 1st. You can start anytime, and until you find a plan of action that feels right, every day revisit your Why.
You may find yourself naturally drawn to options and choices that take you down the right path…
I welcome your questions and comments. Simply COMMENT and I’d be happy to respond. Know someone who’d like this – please pass it along.
Wishing you much success
P.S. Need some help digging into your “whys”? Imagine how great you’ll feel in 2017 by taking that step to live the life you want. Let’s chat about what that path can look like – just for You. I offer a complimentary session and scheduling is easy with my online booking system: Schedule Now