Does this also sound like you?- This is the week (in particular 9th January) is when eight out of ten people kick their plans and resolutions right out the door.
Possibly, possibly not. As the matter of fact- raw foodists, statistically don't tend to fall into that category, as already they've managed to successfully reach a totally new level by changing their diet and along with it, their lifestyle. And unless you are in 'I am at my last straw and have no choice' bucket, that my friends is not an easy task.
OK say, you are in the majority of the crowd who have given up on wiping the slate clean and starting all over. I can't say I blame you, life just takes over, right? Old habits are too hard to kick, no?
And we are back to - possibly, possibly not.
According to allabouthealth.org, six out of ten people admit to making the same resolutions for an average of four years. That a pretty icky fact- I mean haven't we learned? But then again there are the other four out of ten people, what about them? I like to believe that those are the guys and ladies in my coaching practice, taking the bull by the horns and then riding it to any one direction they choose, because with the right tools and strategies, there IS no room for excuses, which lead to failure.
One Goal Setting exercise in particular has shown up to be so fool-proof in my experience of working with high achievers, that I couldn't simply just keep it to myself. Does it seem fair to trade 15 minutes now to doing the exercise for the prize of your goal? I think so.
So why is this particular exercise so effective? I found that setting very specific, measurable, realistic and time based goals, knowing your big WHY, announcing publicly what you have planned, devoting much focus on the benefits and rewarding yourself along the way is the key to any successful outcome.
Print this worksheet and do it right away...
Let me guide you in answering the questions to set you up for success…
1. What is your goal?
Simply putting 'to lose weight" here won't cut it, you may as well quit right here. Not only is this goal very vague, it also contains a lot of negative connotation, that we associate with the word 'to lose'. Get specific! Make this goal measurable- how much weight exactly? Make it realistic- if you weigh 130lbs, losing 60lbs is not only ridiculous, it is horrendously unhealthy; on the other hand if you weigh 300lbs, it is very achievable and contains masses of health benefits. Make it time based- do you have an anniversary, performance, holiday, an exciting date coming up? So a really powerful 'statement' goal is going to sound something like this: "On 1st April 2012, I Joe Bloggs, am finally wearing my grey Levi's jeans, I weigh 180lbs and look and feel unbelievable". Doesn't that sound much more fun than just 'losing weight'?
2. Why is it important to achieve the goal?
Notice how I purposely make this question the very first after you state the goal. There is no way around this one, I cannot stress enough how important it is to know your big WHY. When I asked my client, a teacher at a high school, who wanted to gain more muscle why he wants to do that, his initial response was 'to look better'. I then asked why he wants to look better. He said, because when he does, it instantly makes him feel more sure of himself. I asked why he needs to be 'more sure of himself', his response was that it is when the children in his class will look up to him and respect his dietary and ethical decisions, and that when pupils look up to a teacher, they want to try harder at school, get better grades, look forward to his classes and succeed in life because of their teacher's influence. Do you see how much more likely he would be at succeeding his goal, knowing what a big part it plays in lives of others' too, rather than just 'look better'. Keep digging with this question, don't just stop at One WHY, keep asking why, why why.
3. When will you go public?
Announcing your goal to a family member, a friend or a colleague shows real commitment and you will be more likely to stick to your plan. Going public could also mean blogging about it, posting it on Facebook (even better on someone else's wall), putting it up on your vision board or even your fridge.
4. What are the benefits of achieving your goal?
Isn't this the whole point of having a goal in the first place- the benefits? Focus here on positive aspects, rather than negative. For example if you are planning a detox, rather than saying 'I would have finally completed something I've been putting off for 3 years', you should go for something more upbeat like 'I would enjoy amazing smooth and clear skin and be a real example to all of my friends". Focus on how much life would be better for you and those around you.
5. What will you do step by step?
This question may seem rather pointless at first, but I don't do anything for no reason. This is actually the one that is going to seal the deal for you. It is so so important to break up your goal into smaller more achievable blocks, because that is exactly what will keep you on track, motivated and devoted. Say you want to do a detox or a particular health kicking diet for 28 days, you may like to have 4 sub-goal categories and have each looking something like 'fit into my red dress', 'run non-stop for 45 minutes straight', 'have 2 days per week eating 100% raw'. Rewards can be anything that doesn't contradict your current plan, for example if your goal is based around decreasing the number of chocolate bars you eat, it's only common sense to NOT reward yourself with a box of chocolate, but instead make it be in line with your brand new healthier lifestyle- perhaps a new chopping board, a book, Raw Food 101 DVD (no pressure:)), or maybe a sauna or a massage.
You see, it is never too late to start over. It's all about HOW you do it. Do it properly from the beginning and you'll find you won't NEED to 'start over'. If you would like to do a 7-14 day cleanse with every recipe, tip and shopping list mapped out for you, even a choice of Budget or Luxury Detoxer plans, take a look at 'Purified- Your complete 7 Day Detox Program'