When the ball dropped in January, did you use the opportunity to set a few new goals for 2018? Have you followed through?
New Year’s resolutions themselves aren’t inherently bad. Why wouldn’t we strive to improve our health, happiness, and wellbeing? Yet, 92% of people fail to make a lasting change, and resolutions tend to fall by the wayside come February.
We’d like to offer something else: a few questions for the Pongo Power community. After all, transformational learning is one of our top mechanisms for coaching behavioural change.
Do you believe in your own resolution? When you decided on the area of your life that you wanted to transform, did you pause and ask yourself: who is this resolution for? Did you trace the resolution’s purpose back to its roots, and determine why do you “need” to change?
If your 2018 goal was to quit smoking, then the second two answers to those questions are obvious. The first question is still very important. To achieve something big (and quitting smoking is huge!) your mind needs to truly believe it is possible. This means letting go of past “failures” and mistakes. Letting go of “I always do this,” and “I always do that,” will help. For example, letting go of, “I always start smoking again when I’m stressed out.” This is so that you can make room for new thoughts and space around the behavior. If you don’t really believe that the goal is possible, chances are you won’t succeed.
If your 2018 goal was to lose weight and eat healthier, you wouldn’t be alone. Year after year weight loss is the number one New Year’s resolution. We ask you to consider these questions when assessing your physique goals.
Do you believe it is possible for you to lose weight? Who do you need to lose weight for? Why do you “need” to change?
Take ten minutes to do a one-page “brain dump” on your weight loss goals. This means grabbing a pen and paper, and just writing, free-flow state of consciousness. Do not pause to worry about grammar. Do not consider whether or not you “should” write it all down. This is a chance for you to empty your contents of brain on paper, and discover how you feel about an idea, goal, or issue in your life.
All of the choices surrounding your body’s appearance belong to you and you alone, but you may be surprised by what you uncover. If, for instance, you write that you “need” to lose weight and get in shape in order to live longer; spend more time playing with your children; or backpack the Appalachian trail, you can begin breaking down why those goals are important, and so on. Finding the roots of the goal may help you achieve it, since it’s more enticing than simply “diet and exercise” for diet and exercise’ sake.
If, however, in this brain dump exercise, you uncover that your true body goals are not directly tied to assumed physical health benefits of weight loss (we now know BMI indicates nothing reliable about health), pause. Where is this goal really coming from? Who is it really for? Maybe this year could be about feeling better, stronger, and happier without being tied to a number on the scale.
Taking a few minutes to reflect and analyzing your goal might not change the goal. It may, instead, change the motivation, thought patterns, and behaviors around the goal instead, to help you achieve what you really want. This is transformational learning.