May 09, 2018

Reaching for the stars

By: Lucas Jensen

We’ve all been there, you’re doing so good on your new diet, 2 weeks and not one single cheat meal! This week is going to be a little different though, you’ve got a friends birthday tonight, your mothers day this weekend and you know there will be lots of temptations. So how do stick to your commitment when there are all these tempting situations flying your way? Will you be able to stay strong over and over again, or will you crumble under the pressure? Trying to figure out what is going to finally make you stick with your plan to eat healthier, keep hitting the gym, or whatever it is that has you forever making new years resolutions but never following through can be a daunting task. So how can you make it easier on yourself? Well in the next couple paragraphs we will dive into some methods that have been proven to help in being strong and STAYING strong when it comes to matters of willpower! Lets start at the beginning with the best way to start off when your trying to reach your goals! No Matter what your end goal is, the best place to start is with a plan, a roadmap to lead you to your end destination. I know you're probably thinking, “Well obviously I need a plan!” but think about it for a second. When is the last time you took your resolution or goal and wrote it down on a piece of paper as if it where a physical destination, then wrote out where you are right now and actually looked at what it was going to take to get there? One of our problems is that we set goal as if they were dreams but they are so much more! At least they should be if you ever intend on actually accomplishing them. Here’s what I want you to do, grab a sheet of paper and set it down in front of you with the long edges at the top and bottom of the page. On the right side write down your end goal and be specific! On the left side write down where you are in the department right now and again, be specific! Good, now see the space in between? The next couple paragraphs are going to show you how to fill that currently blank space with a road map to get from where you are now, to where you want to be! We have established that one of the biggest reasons we don’t accomplish our goals is that we don’t have a plan to actually accomplish them. When we don’t have a plan, there are several thing that can stop us from reaching our goals. One of them is that we just forget to actually act on our intentions, we say we want to lose weight but we don’t eat healthier, and we don’t exercise. Another is we fail to identify or seize opportunities to move closer to our goal, we walk by the water cooler on our way to the pop machine and don’t even realize it. Lastly, we have second thoughts last second, we pull into the gym parking lot and oh no we forgot our headphones, guess there’s no point in going in now! What we want to do to stop this is identify obstacles or situations that will prevent us from reaching our goals and how to avoid these situations before they ever happen. So on your map, at the top, right in between where you are and where you want to be write down 3 statements that will keep you on track. For the examples we used here they would be as follows: 1. IF I’m packing my lunch, THEN I will include 2 veggies and 1 piece of fruit 2. IF I’m walking by the water cooler, THEN I will stop to fill up my bottle or drink 2 cups if I don’t have it with me 3. IF I forget my headphones, THEN I will still go inside the gym and for at least 20 minutes These Statements should reflect things you know will happen often, that you will now use as a reminder to reach for your long term goals instead of focusing on the short term enjoyment you might get from continuing your current habits. The purpose of this is to turn these positive intentions into your new habits to assist in reaching your goals or keeping your resolutions! If you liked this Blog let us know with a quick comment on our FB page! We would love to have your feed back! Also Stay tuned for part 2 where we will cover what to do once you’ve started down the path to your goals but temptation seems to be popping up everywhere you look. We will also shine a light on great way to practice using your will power without risking giving into those temptations! Credit to the basis behind these principals is due to Andy Luttrell, follow Andy @So_phych on twitter for more in depth lectures on Social Psychology!