Mindset Journey, Part II
Having a healthy lifestyle become a routine requires tweaking mindset a bit. Here's a little about how to have good goals propel you forward.
On Goals and Goal-Setting
What do you really want?
In regards to your health, I can name a few things that everyone wants. You want to not have to deal with chronic illness. Whether you aren't there yet, are on the path, whether you know it or not, or whether you deal with it already, it's something you don't want to deal with. You don't want to die before you're supposed to because of it.
You don't want to experience pain of any kind. Physical pain, mental pain, emotional pain. No one wants it.
This is a good place to start.
Regarding health and wellness, there can be hundreds of different goals because our vision of what attaining our goals looks like and feels like, varies from person to person almost as much as our genetic biome.
So I'm going to go in a couple directions on goal-setting and then walk you through how to think about them constructively.
First, health and pain. They sound so basic. I believe the younger you are and the less you have seen this with people in your life, the less you may think of this as a goal to think about right now.
And I get it. Looking back I felt pain as early as age 9 when I was bullied over being fat. And I was in my early 20s when I had chronic, everyday knee pain, which went away all on its own when I lost my first 20 pounds.
I don't know about you, but that's some pain early on. Those things are far back in my memories now, but obviously if I'm using them to show a point here, they stuck, didn't they?
So take a moment and think. Did something like this happen in your past? Did you counter that and fix it? Or did it teach you something, good or bad, that affects how you think today?
Just allow yourself 1 minute to dwell on that before going on...
Chronic pain and illness.
This one is a tough one because obviously the doctors know far more than I do on this topic. But I'm going to just share a few thoughts with you on their standpoint on something.
It's something I've experienced and maybe you have too.
Fat-shaming in the doctor's office.
There's so many thoughts that come from this. Everything on the spectrum from listening and following their advice, to complete refusal to go back. Because they hurt you, they must be wrong.
This is such a deep topic. For me, it was the latter. And then when I buckled down and reached out for help when my attempts failed, I was given partially the wrong help. What a mess.
So I'm going to first begin by saying that doctors are not saying this to fat shame you and cast judgement. Most Americans are at least overweight. They aren't singling you out on purpose.
They are trying to help you. They are trying to make you realize that according to your current biometrics, you're on a path that will lead toward chronic illness, if you aren't there already. We are talking heart disease, diabetes, etc.
The ones that can be prevented, improved and even put in remission with lifestyle changes.
They're telling you shamelessly to lose weight to stop that from happening, or make it better.
They don't know you. They don't know the whole story. They don't know how you struggled and how you might deal with the first type of pain mentioned above.
But they don't want to see you get worse.
So here's where it might go wrong.
I don't think many doctors were teachers. And how could they in most cases? The programs and expectations are insane to get them in front of you to begin with.
But it's possible they don't know how to tell you these things in ways you'll respond positively to.
And that's why you won't want to come back. Because the pain like the above-stated comes back, and that's all you're taking away from the visit.
You've learned that a doctor's visit is associated with emotional pain, not with improvement, so why would you want to ever go back?
So here's the deal. There's two goals that anyone here can adopt for 2022: I want to _________ so I don't feel pain and so I reduce the risk or issues surrounding chronic illness.
If those don't work for you, there is always "My goal is to live a healthier lifestyle." And I'm sure you know exactly what needs improvement.
So how do we get there?
We start by making a goal. But it's not just a simple statement. "I want to lose some weight."
That's not a complete goal- that's just what you want.
What's the difference?
The difference is that a clear, well-made goal closes loopholes that prevent it from happening.
I use the SMART goal-making system with my clients:
Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
The fitness and weight-loss industry uses this, as does business and project management.
"I will lose 30 pounds by July 4th" is much better. It establishes just how much, in a way that can be measured (even though the scale isn't my first choice) and it gives you a deadline.
The deadline is important because it doesn't implement an abritrary timeline from the start.
But there is one other word that makes this a stronger goal.
Did you see it?
Will, instead of want. Want means that it's something you are thinking about.
It doesn't mean you're going after it. The word "will" is strong and actionable and tells our brain that it's "gonna happen, or else!"
So what's your smart goal?
I'll tell you mine. I will fit into these 3 pairs of size 6 and 8 pants I have, comfortably, by the end of May.