Already found yourself making some promises to yourself to lose weight, purge your home of all the unwanted stuff, take up sky diving, quit smoking or any other myriad of different things? We almost habitually start doing this when the calendar rolls around to January 1st. Time to get off the hamster wheel of trying the same strategies we have used in the past, only to beat ourselves up 3 weeks later when we have abandoned it all.
There is a saying my daughters and I use when someone is complaining about something and isn’t looking for a solution – it is
You want to make a change, let’s W-O-M-A-N Up! Here is a plan for making changes stick for good!
1. What do you want and Why? This is a part of the plan where people fall off because they make really vague plans and then fail, because they really don’t have a finish line AND they don’t have a good reason why they want what they want. It is time to slow down and really think about what it is you really want and to be reasonable about your reasoning. 2. Obstacles – You need to know what has gotten in the way in the past. What barriers have been laid in your path and how can you move around them? When you know these pitfalls you can make a plan for them. If you have ever gone on a road trip before, you know that you need a map of your travels. You need to know how much time it will take, if you need to reserve hotel rooms, where you can stop for bathroom breaks or food and if there are places you want to visit along the way. This is how you enjoy the trip. Now, let’s say your car gets a flat tire. What do you do? You may have some road service already in place to take care of the issue. This is how you anticipate an obstacle before it happens, to ensure your trip continues -- just like our goals. 3. Me – We need to know about ourselves, how to use our strengths to our advantage and how to not expect ourselves to act in ways contrary to our nature. For example, I have been on a journey of improving my overall health (too vague, right? You’re catching on!) So, I started with changing my exercise journey. I started with a program (already planned for me) that would have me move in some way every day for 100 days. I started posting on social media for the accountability, I recruited my husband to join me and I started telling people I know. Now, I knew I would never follow through if I needed to figure out how to move my body every day AND I HATE CARDIO. I found something planned for me and with limited cardio – WOOHOO!! This used my strengths (literally because I like strength training) and limited my expectation of planning it out (not my talent.) 4. Alternatives – Chances are that you have tried to make this change in the past, correct? This means it is time to find another way to make it happen. Let’s problem solve to think about other paths to your destination. Think of crazy ideas, because usually when you open up your mind to the outrageous, some other brilliant idea flow out. Make a huge list and then narrow it down to one or two ideas. 5. Navigation – It’s time to put your idea into practice. Let’s GO! Take your idea and break it into manageable steps. Figure out ways to make contributions to these steps every day, so you do not fall off your path.
Set up your accountability partners to keep you disciplined to YOUR plan! This means your partners need to be encouraging and uplifting, not dismissive and invalidating.
Give up the News Years Resolution! Recruit others to WOMAN Up with you! I know I will!