The past couple of months I haven’t been feeling my very best, which is something that I often like to pride myself on. In the past, I have had a solid base of determination, motivation and will power when it came to accomplishing the health goals that I set for myself. Recently however, I have been struggling. Earlier this week I decided to sit down and have to heart-to-heart with myself to get to the bottom of it.
Before you can solve a problem, you must realize the problem – that’s the saying, right? Something like that. I knew that if I was ever going to solve my issues, I needed to figure out what exactly was making me feel less than my best, why it happens, and how I can prevent it. Everyone has a different form of an outlet and for me, it’s my journal. Writing is what I like to do when I am stressed or have a problem. I asked myself “what is happening that is causing me to feel icky?”. A simple, informal question. I think that sometimes people get caught up in making their journal or their writing as professional as they can, but I have learned that the easiest way to talk to yourself is as a friend. I feel icky, so I wrote icky.
Once you have broken it down and pin-pointed what that problem is, the next step is to brainstorm ideas of how to fix it. This can really be anything – for example I like to set goals at the beginning of the week. Sundays are notoriously my favorite day of the week. I view it as an opportunity to set myself up for success in the week ahead. I write down some goals that I would like to acheive by the end of the week. I think it is important to keep a couple of your goals short term to keep from getting overwhelmed and to keep you focused. If you have a broad goal such as “I want to feel better by the end of the month”, the chances of it becoming true are slim to none, I hate to break it to you. SMART goals, didn’t middle school teach you anything!?! 😉 Setting specific and measurable goals like “I will drink 5 glasses a water each day” or “I will eat ice cream one time this week” are much more likely to have be effective. Be constant with reminders that you give yourself. Create notes in your phone to look at when you are struggling or lean on someone you trust to hold you accountable and support you to achieve what you care a lot about.
Always, always, always think about the AFTER feeling. I don’t mean how you’ll feel after eating that piece of cake – I am a large advocate for sweets and everyone deserves to treat themselves sometimes – I mean how you’ll feel after you have taken a step backwards in your journey toward your goal. How you’ll feel when you have let yourself down (maybe for the second, third, fourth time). That may sound harsh toward yourself, but personally I need to give myself a little tough love every once in a while. When you truly want to achieve something, you must hold yourself accountable. Yet in the same breath I will tell you to not beat yourself up for the occaisional slip up. Every situation is different and you will have to make the decision for yourself (such as if you’ve slipped up for the first time in weeks as opposed to doing it week after week). Mistakes will happen, you just have to decide within yourself how to deal with it and stay on track.
Along with that, remember the amazing after feeling when the week is over, you review your goals and you achieved them!!! Use this elated, proud moment as motivation for the next week. You can be successful in anything that you put your mind to and health goals are no exception, no matter how big or small they may be. The personal example I have used here is health, but these things can be used for goals of any kind – school, sports, or career to name a few.
After proof-reading this post, I realize that it may come across as a tad pushy or hardass. I’ll have to admit that this is because I am very frustrated with myself. I have been trying to set and achieve specific personal health goals for a couple of weeks now, and I feel like I have to reset every week after failing the week before. It’s time to give myself a little tough love like I mentioned and become more focused and motivated. Yesterday, I leaned on my boyfriend to hold me accountable because I know that he will. He will remind me of what I want and to think of the overall goal, not what I want in the moment.