No doubt everyone has been asking you about your New Year’s Resolution and what your plans are for this year. By now many of us have forgotten all about it and it’s business as usual. Whatever you have decided is not important to anyone other than you because your future is really in your hands.
The point is – it’s not what you want to do or not do: it’s what you are doing that will get you to where you want to be, to achieve your goals and, more particularly, who do you need to be to do what you need to do so you can have what you want.
Well you might ask, what exactly does all this mean? Perhaps a little story might help–
Let’s suppose you want to learn a new skill – it doesn’t really matter what it is – it’s just a new skill, maybe something on the computer or maybe you have thought about enrolling in a university course or something at WEA or TAFE.
Perhaps the first thing to consider is the purpose of your undertaking. Have you ever noticed when there is a lot of passion behind whatever it is you have decided to do, everything just seems to flow. Obstacles pop up and you deal with them seemingly without even thinking too much about them and suddenly there is no obstacle. When you are faced with a major frustration in the process, it’s just something you need to deal with and that’s exactly what happens. Conversely when there is little or no passion, every step becomes a chore, it all becomes just too hard and your interest flees.
Have you ever watched a little kid learn to ride a bicycle?
When I was a kid I remember my dad introducing me to bicycle riding. And by way of explanation, I need to tell you I am one of the most unco-ordinated people on earth and I am definitely not an outdoors person, although I do enjoy bushwalking. That aside, when my parents gave me a bike, I obviously had to learn to ride it. We lived in the bush and fortunately for the purpose of learning to ride the bicycle, we had a driveway that stretched for about 500 metres so I had an area to practise on! Well my dad is somewhat mechanical and felt it necessary to explain all about balance and so forth, most of which went right by me. Then it was time to get on the bike and he was very supportive and held the seat and the handlebars so I felt safe and he would run along the driveway like this in the hope that I would eventually get the message to peddle like fury and maintain my balance.
I don’t really know how much weight my dad lost in the process but I do remember he did that for a very long time and then eventually I got the hang of it and once I did, I enjoyed riding my bike along the driveway and beyond. However, there was no passion and I felt it was just one of those things I needed to learn.
My dad was really passionate about teaching his kids some of the necessary life skills and he was certainly committed to teaching me to ride that bike and stuck with it until I got the hang of it.
This is not dissimilar to learning a new habit, you just have to really stick at it until you get the hang of it and then it feels like second nature.
Now who do you think he needed to be to get me to ride that bike? The words I would have chosen are determined, committed and supportive. I also think he was passionate about getting his kids to learn to do different things and master some of the basic life skills. For my part this was a great lesson in learning to be committed to achieving a goal.
Being committed means different things to different people in different circumstances. When I think of people making their New Year’s Resolution I often wonder just how committed they are to achieving what they say they would like to do and perhaps that’s just it – they would like to do something rather than really, really want to do/achieve something. When you really want to achieve something, accomplishing that something is usually fuelled by passion, a passion to achieve, a passion to succeed, a passion to master a skill/new habit.
And then there is the bigger picture. What is the real purpose of your wanting to achieve, what will it give you, what will you be able to do when you have it? Where will that skill take you?
Weight loss is often one of the big topics of discussion at this time of year especially after the spoils of Christmas and having been on holiday, away from routine of work demands and just enjoying yourself and now it’s time to get back into the swing of things again ready for another year and somehow you find that the clothes you wore before have shrunk in the wash or whatever happened to them while they were hiding in the wardrobe over the holiday period.
Weight loss is really not about losing weight – it is more about adopting a lifestyle choice and it’s about nurturing yourself and your body. When you have a healthy body you are more able to look after your kids, you are more likely to be around for them when they really need you. You are able to give so much more because you feel so much fitter and happier within yourself and the last thing on your mind is your weight.
Have you ever considered how your loved ones would manage without you or if you were incapacitated in some way all because you failed to take care of yourself along the way.
Goal setting sounds really corporate and something many of us would prefer not to have to worry about and yet we set goals for everything, sometimes without being conscious of it.
Think about your Christmas shopping – are you the person who leaves it until Christmas Eve and then rushes out to do the shopping in one afternoon just so you can tick that off your list and then come home and collapse in a tattered heap knowing you have yet to do a thousand things before the rellies come for lunch the following day? How does all that leave you feeling? How do you imagine you might feel with a little planning so that the whole exercise felt like an effortless experience and something you could really enjoy, after all Christmas is supposed to be time for family and a time when we can really enjoy other people’s company and relax into the moment.
Sometimes we need someone to champion us along, someone to keep us accountable and someone in whom we can confide every now and again when we think that it’s all getting a bit too much or we find ourselves wondering how we are really going. Sometimes this can be a friend, sometimes your next door neighbour or one of the rellies and often it work better when you have someone completely disconnected to you because they don’t buy into your excuses and help keep you focussed on your goal.
I’m sure most people have heard of SMART goals and yet how does this work for you?
Well one of my goals is to put on a workshop with my friend Claire. This is timed (the T in Smart) for April – we are yet to finalise the date and complete arrangements for the venue. We are working toward this (the second T in Smart) and will publish details closer to the event.
Now, all you buddies out there, I want you to keep us accountable on this because it is also something that can easily slip by and have nothing happen unless we work towards our goal.
If you’d like to explore this further, please feel free to contact me for a free session – that is free of obligation, free of judgment and free of charge – just fill out the form and, hey presto, I will get back to you to make a time for a chat. How easy is that?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Until next time
Marg
Life Coach Adelaide