What Did You Decide?

Yesterday’s blog was on figuring out your heart-felt reasons Why you want to achieve your goal. The next step is to decide.

Not only are you deciding how you will proceed, but most importantly you are deciding how intensely you will proceed. The power of your decision behind going after your goals will determine your level of success.

For instance, if you decide, “I think I’m going to lose weight,” that’s the level of commitment you bring to the process. It’s fairly tepid and you may lose a little weight, but chances are you won’t keep it up long-term.

If you decide, “It’s important to me for these reasons to lose X amount of weight,” your commitment will likely be stronger. You may get discouraged or derailed, but you are more likely to meet your goals.

If you decide, “I am going to do whatever it takes to lose X amount of weight and achieve these measurable goals because of these heart-felt reasons,” then your chances of success skyrockets. With this momentum behind you, if you stumble or face a challenge, you are much more likely to pick yourself up and keep going.

What often gets in people’s way is they think decisions are made once. Each moment of every day, you are deciding. You must be aware of these decisions and continually decide to move towards our goal.

Decisions like, “In this moment of this workout, am I going to give it my all, or ease up? Am I going to plan my meals, or am I going chance it? Am I going to eat what is on my plan, or am I going to have a little treat? Am I going to go to bed and get enough rest, or am I going to stay up and watch this movie?”

When a decision is powerfully made, you consistently make the small decisions that move you forward. And it is consistently (not perfectly) moving towards your goals that will help you achieve them.

Some ways to increase the power of your decision are to have a powerful Why, and review it often. Figure out how achieving your goal will make you feel, and strive to feel that way as much as possible. Pay attention to your beliefs about what you can achieve and what you deserve, and reframe them if necessary so that they help you move forward instead of hold you back. Visualize and focus on your goal being yours so completely that you feel as if you already have it.

What are some ways that you can increase the power of your decision? How will you respond if you hit a bump or are less than perfect in your moment-to-moment decisions? How can you let go of any belief other than you can have what you wish to achieve?

Together we can do it!




Photo by nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



The Three P’s of Change

I was thinking this morning about what it will take for me to rebound from my surgery next week. What it boiled down to was Persistence, Practice, and Patience.

I realized this is true regardless of whether you’re recovering from surgery or illness, working to lose weight, starting a new business venture, or making some other life change.

When we’re finally ready to make a change, we often want it to happen right now. That makes the process very frustrating and fraught with ups and downs. At the very least, this can make the journey unpleasant, and worse can cause us to get so discouraged that we give up on achieving our goal.

So being Persistent is key. Persistence is mostly a mind thing. It’s being determined in the moment to make the decision that will move you towards your goal, rather than choosing the option that will maintain you where you are, or even set you back.

After my surgery, I will need to consistently make the decision to eat healthy foods to give my body the nutrients it needs to heal and recover—and not fall into comforting myself with holiday treats. And I will need to move as much as I can. Not only does the doctor say that walking will speed my recovery, but consistently doing what I can will help keep me in the exercise habit so as I am feeling better it will be easier to motivate myself to get moving.

There are typically some routine actions that have to be Practiced consistently to facilitate making a change. For instance, if we are going to take better care of our teeth we have to consistently practice flossing and brushing morning and night. If we’re losing weight, we have to practice eating healthy foods in moderate amounts and exercising. If we’re starting a new business, we have to practice good bookkeeping and customer service.

There are things we can do to facilitate these regular practices. If we’re dieting we can plan our meals for the week so that we have the right food on hand, stick to a schedule of regular eating, and stay on track with calories. For starting a business we can block out the same time every week and devote it to bookkeeping.

The actions that I want to practice to facilitate my recovery include meditating, eating nutritious meals, walking, and resting.

To facilitate these, I intend to maintain my practice of meditating upon waking. For the past several weeks, my husband and I have made big batches of healthy soups and frozen much of it so that we’ll have easy, nutritious meals on hand. This weekend I also plan to lay in lots of fruit, Greek yogurt, and other healthy snacks that don’t require any preparation.

Apparently they will get me up for my first walk while I am in the hospital, so I have set some minimum goals for myself for walking on the treadmill when I get home. And certainly I plan to enjoy a lot of naps, reading, and movies.

The biggest gift we can give ourselves when making changes is Patience. We need to make peace with the fact that change will not happen overnight. And we may make decisions in the moment that aren’t the best, or we may miss an opportunity to practice some of the actions we set for ourselves. This is normal! One of Bill Phillips’ mantras in his book, “Transformation,” is “progress not perfection.” Change is about consistency, not being perfect. The quicker we can forgive ourselves, the faster we can get back on track.

There are a lot of unknowns about how I’m going to feel after my surgery next Wednesday. Perhaps Thursday I’ll need to sleep all day and I won’t get my planned walk in, or the only thing I’ll feel like eating is toast. That’s OK. While I want to push myself to do those things that will help me recovery quickly, I’m also going to be sensible about it and listen to my body.

Over the weeks of my recovery, I plan to eat some of the lasagna a friend has promised to bring over and I will allow myself to enjoy some holiday treats—in moderation—and I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I am going to strive for consistency, not perfection. By not holding myself to an impossible standard, I’m much more likely to be successful in the long run.

Where could the changes you’re making—or plan to make—stand to have some Persistence, Practice, or Patience? How could using the three P’s make a difference in your success?

Together we can do it!

It’s Your Decision

Do you have confidence in all the choices you’re making? When you make a decision, do you follow through with it? Do you honor the promises you make to yourself?

Each time you question your ability to make a good decision, you are really questioning your belief in yourself.

I used to unintentionally erode my self-confidence by being so afraid to make decisions that I often wouldn’t make any decision at all—which ironically was still making a decision and disempowering myself all at the same time. While I’ve always been careful of the promises I made to others because honoring them was so important to me, I wouldn’t think twice about making and breaking promises to myself.

This presented a continual message that I wasn’t trustworthy. This lack of faith in myself fed my fear of making the wrong decision, which just perpetuated the cycle.

To get off this crazy train, it’s helpful to recognize that each decision you make just leads to another decision. Unless you’re making a decision that will result in life or death, if you don’t like the way you’re going, you can always make a new decision and shift direction.

While our decisions may result in consequences we don’t like, often the fear of the consequences is much worse than actually going through them. Typically, going through those experiences gives us the information we need to figure out what we do want, which enables us to make that new choice.

When you can let go of feeling like every decision is monumental, you can then begin strengthening your beliefs in the choices that you are making. It’s important to let go of an “all or nothing” perspective and look for progress rather than perfection.

Did you make a healthier lunch choice? Win! Did you honor your commitment to get more exercise by parking at the far end of the lot at the grocery store? Win! Did you follow through on a decision that will have short-term pain, but long-term gain? Win!

Today’s assignment in my 21-day Gratitude Challenge is to have confidence in all the choices I am making today and be grateful for being able to believe in myself.

It’s still early, but so far I am on track. I am grateful to myself for following through on my decisions to meditate, workout, eat a healthy breakfast, and write my blog. Win! And I will be more conscious than I normally am of the rest of the decisions I am making today, which is important because I’m still not 100 percent perfect in my self-promises.

It’s still easy to talk myself into a treat when I really want to eat clean, or to read a novel in the evening instead of doing the extra work that I promised myself I would do. It doesn’t mean that I never make the decision to treat myself or relax, but then it’s honoring a decision that I’ve made rather than reneging on another decision.

Pay attention to how well you honor your self-promises. Look for ways that you can strengthen your belief that you can become the best possible you.

Together we can do it!