As I'm winding down this year and pressing into the new one I am, of course, thinking about resolutions. That word is spoken puts one image into my head, a piece of paper with about four things on it. Most of us could actually write down our resolutions and blindly swap with another person in town and it'd probably end up being the same list in different handwriting! Because we all want to lose weight, make more money, and spend more time _____. (You fill in the blank.)
The problem with that list is that it's too vague. And that's the very same reason we end a year having not completed one of the things on our list. And then we make a list again for the new year and the same words are on it.
If I gave you a piece of paper that said, "Come to my house. Get the coconut oil. Put the coconut oil in my car." You might be very willing to do these things, but it's not going to take you very long at all to realize that being "willing" doesn't get the job done.
Why? It's too vague.
Very few people reading this blog will know how to get to my house. Not even my children who live in my house realize I have coconut oil. They wouldn't kno if it's above the stove, in the pantry, or because of all my homemade facial concoctions, if it's under my bathroom sink! And finding my car would b even more difficult since it tends to be all over town!
And THAT'S why most "New Year Resolutions" do not make it past the first week. Because so many people usually have "lose weight" at the top of their resolutions list, we're going to use "lose weight" as the example throughout this blog. But understand that ANYTHING (make more money, spend more time with the kids, etc.) can apply with these same principles.
The first step toward successfully completing your desires for the new year is to change your wording from "resolution" to "game." We understand that word better because we're a culture of sports fanatics. We know that to be an NFL player you've got to be serious about "being in the game". Nonchalant, overweight uncles throwing a football on Thanksgiving do not REALLY get in "the game". They merely watch those who are. So now you're going to get in the game! The game is called "weight loss." It's going to be a great game and you are going to win because you're going to KNOW HOW to play the game!
Your first objective in playing the game is knowing your GOAL.
Now u need to think like a football player who has a goal called an "end line" or a "touchdown line." So your "goal" is not to "lose weight." Thats the name of the game. Your GOAL is determined by deciding how much weight you want to lose. You need to be EXACT. How you come to this conclusion is up to you. Do you want to lose enough weight to be at your proper BMI? Or do you want to lose a number of pounds suggested by a doctor? Your GOAL is the final number of pounds you wish to drop.
So now you know your GAME is "to lose weight", and your GOAL is an exact, final number of pounds.
Now you need to picture a football field. It's green with periodic white lines drawn all the way across it. The player knows the GOAL is the touchdown line. But he's got incremental goals. Since I don't know a THING about football I found this information on www.Dummies.com; "White lines on a football field are critical to playing the game. By knowing what yard lines, hash lines, and end lines represent, you’ll have an easier time following the game."
I couldn't have said it better myself! If your GOAL is to lose forty pounds then your yard lines, hash lines, and end lines are your incremental goals. That's where you lose your forty pounds in eight pound segments. (Or whatever you set up as your incremental goals.)
Let's recap, you now know your GAME is "to lose weight", and your GOAL is an exact, final number of pounds. Your yard lines are incremental goals.
Let's wrap up by talking about our GAME PLAN. If just saying, "I'm going to reach my goal!" was all it took to win, then I wouldn't have needed to share my opinions and ideas about how to succeed. No game is won just by wanting to, or by knowing the goals. There has to be a GAME PLAN that includes various PLAYS. These plays are thought about, demonstrated on a white board, practiced, written on little pieces of paper and velcroed to players biceps. And having one game plan isn't enough. There are many and during the course of a game the players have to try different plans as they move their way from yard line to yard line.
This is most definitely true in the weight loss game! Your going to start with a game plan of what type of diet will best suit you. When a player discovers a particular play isn't working he doesn't throw up his hands, give up on the whole game and go sit in the stands to eat a hot dog! I dare say that the nature of life will dictate that some of your original PLAYS won't work. Don't get frustrated because the PLAY worked so good for a friend, or a celebrity that you take yourself out of the game! If you find yourself failing at THAT particular play simply call a time out, regroup, look for a different play, and then continue the game!
I'm going to throw out a bunch of "Don'ts" here;
Don't be vague.
Don't bit off more than you can chew & swallow.
Don't give up!
And I'll wrap up with these "Do's";
Do have a specific, final GOAL.
Do set up incremental YARD LINES.
Do have a GAME PLAN that includes the option of any PLAY needed for the moment.
The only thing not mentioned in this method of goal achieving is setting dates. I didn't talk about setting deadlines because we've been using weight loss as an example. And while many people definitely do use deadlines in losing weight, it wouldn't have been prudent for me to do so.
I had a weight loss goal of forty pounds that I'm proud to say I met... Over the course of three years! First of all, if I'd started the game realizing it'd be a three YEAR journey I don't think I'd have been able to handle that huge time frame. Secondly, weight loss is very different from person to person. Research proves speedy weight loss is neither healthy nor lasting. So where traditional goal setting teaches to set dates at the incremental goal lines, & on other GAMES I do suggest that you set dates. When it comes to weight loss I do not suggest it.
But that GAME convo is for another season!