- When we set goals for ourselves, we typically set outcome-based goals. Think ‘New Year’s Resolution’. We say, “I want to lose 20 pounds” or “I want to run a 5k” or “I want to be less stressed” or “I want more balance in my life!” Those are great goals to have. But we fall short when we don’t break the goal down and focus on the behaviors that will lead to success.
- Setting a big outcome goal can be exciting and energizing. We may run out and join a gym or a diet program and if we’re lucky we stick with it for a week or two. Then we think we lack willpower and feel badly about ourselves when we don’t follow through. Lack of planning makes follow through difficult, if not impossible.
- We are human. Human beings are naturally resistant to change. We seek the familiar. Our habits are literally ingrained in our brains, like wagon wheel ruts on the Oregon Trail. So when we don’t have a plan, we easily and naturally revert back to our old habits.
- The more often we try something and don’t succeed the less likely in the future that we’ll even try. It’s called self-efficacy and it’s our belief in ourselves to accomplish something we set out to do. So it’s better for us in the long run to make sure we are set up for success.
- Behavior change is like building a house. There are steps you can’t skip or skimp. Construction begins with excavating and preparing the land, and building a strong foundation upon which the entire house will rest. That is followed by framing, roofing, windows and doors, siding, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, drywall, and all the interior and exterior finishing. Each step builds upon the previous and lays the groundwork for the next. Breaking the process down into steps allows for important planning, preparation, and coordination. Now, imagine what would happen if you just skipped the foundation altogether or started building on a grassy lot without preparing the land. Some night you’d be sleeping soundly in your bed to the sound of raindrops on the roof, and *poof* your house would just slide away with you in it. That’s exactly what happens when we seek out a quick fix or jump into action before we’re ready.
What You Should Do Instead
When we decide to change our behavior (e.g. eat healthier, establish regular exercise, practice stress reduction, etc.), we need to begin a building process. What we do and how we do it, sets the stage from the very beginning. At each stage, certain building blocks are put in place in order to support the next phases of our journey. Jumping into action without a plan will likely send you right back to where you were. And no one wants that.
Opt for a long-term strategy for a healthy lifestyle that sets you up for success. Start by answering these questions:
- What do I really want to achieve?
- Why is this important to me?
- What challenges do I anticipate?
- Is there anything I need (e.g. knowledge, skills, support, etc.) in order to accomplish this goal?
- What is my next step?
p.s. Care to Try a New Way?
If you’re trying to lose weight, restore your health, or find balance again, consider Wellness Coaching with me. You’ll create your own personal wellness blueprint and receive unconditional support and accountability on your journey to success. Not only will you gain insight and clarity, you will learn new life skills that will help you reach your goals once and for all. By choosing this path, you are making a commitment to yourself to create the life-long change you have been seeking. But don’t take my word for it – check out What Others Are Saying. Then Contact Me to set up your complimentary consultation.