This post is ahead of schedule to make the deadline for ProBlogger’s Killer Title Contest !
When you’re wavering on the precipice of change , decision is power. But unfortunately, it’s sometimes just not enough. You have to be absolutely convinced that these changes will make your life better, or for some people, that the immediate or future pain is not worth continuing your old ways.
If you prefer to focus on the positive benefits when conquering bad habits and addictions , I believe that the cure to indecision is your vision. Your vision is your life in the future. Whatever you can imagine, whatever you want – don’t let your current reality dictate your future!
But a vision of your future is often too daunting and can lead to procrastination. It’s easy to throw up roadblocks for yourself when you’re confused as to where to start and how to get there. The experts suggest chunking it up into manageable pieces. By setting smaller, more immediately attainable goals, you’ve given yourself a break and some breathing room. And the ability to work towards your vision one step at a time.
The Mother Lode Goal
To make it even easier, Jill Koenig from goalguru.com suggests to create a list of 10 goals you’d like to accomplish by the end of this year (yes, there’s only 4 months left, that’s ok). Then take that list and identify the “Mother Lode Goal,” which is the goal out of your list that “will positively impact your life in a big way…achieving or progressing with this goal will make some of all of your other goals much easier or faster to attain.”
Why? Because this goal will be our priority goal. It is the one to concentrate on, the one we will commit to giving more time, more attention and more energy to. You’ll automatically see a huge difference in your life because once you make that decision to work towards that one goal, all your daily decisions are based on whether or not they will get you closer to your goal… and to your vision.
The side-effect of this life strategy is a more self-assured and confident you. You will be resolute in your decisions, big or small, and you’ll make those decisions quickly and easily.
Health is My Mother Lode Goal
I firmly believe that health is the secret to happiness . Living a healthy lifestyle gives me energy and vitality, clarity and optimism, and basically the strength and motivation to keep trying despite failure and life’s challenges.
We all have our fears and insecurities, created by internal stressors grounded in unresolved emotional issues from childhood – which, by the way, we tend to avoid like the plague because it’s highly uncomfortable to even pretend to deal with all that. Not to mention those nasty external stresses which are out of our control and tend to activate those fears and insecurities.
I’m angry with myself because I made a firm decision many years ago to start leading a healthier lifestyle. I chose to stop smoking almost a year ago (4th time) because it did not support my vision. I won’t go into details but here’s a little glimpse into my future: I picture myself retired, young, enjoying breakfast with my Honey on my beach-house balcony overlooking the ocean. Nice, huh? 🙂
A Different Approach this Time
When I first started out, part of my secret to making healthy living easy was consistent small steps, little changes. But things are different now, I’ve only been smoking again for about a month, still exercising, drinking in moderation and eating fairly healthy. I’m not doing too badly…except for the smoking.
So I’m going to try something new this time. Jill Koenig suggests,
“If your goals are stagnant, or when you get stuck, create momentum. Get it moving again. Take massive action. Do as much as you can as fast as you can. And then keep it going. Your most important job right now is to create momentum on your highest priority Goal starting today.”
Momentum is Ms. Koenig’s secret weapon to success:
“Momentum does not fall into your lap by accident. It is an energy, a movement, a life force that you consciously create. After you get it going, it becomes a powerful force unto itself. No matter how difficult or challenging something is, it gets easier after you take an action, then another action, and then another. With each subsequent action, progress follows, energy increases, and in time, what was once difficult becomes almost effortless. That’s what momentum can do for you.”
I created momentum before with small actions, now I want to try creating momentum with BIG actions.
How to Climb Back on the Wagon
So I got my vision etched firmly in my mind, my goals outlined and I’ve identified my Mother Load Goal . Now, to make things easier for myself, I want to set up a routine that I believe will help me achieve that one goal. Also known as, the action plan or in my circumstances, my specially designed health plan (the first link is the concise version of my health plan from a year and a half ago, the other is more detailed).
The first 3 days will be the hardest because I’ll be detoxing and I’m aware that there will be unpleasant side-effects. I’ve decided to stop smoking tomorrow since it’s the long weekend and I will be able to just take it easy for four days while my body goes through the detox . Plus, that’ll give me more time to prepare for Decision Day (Sept. 1st ) by clarifying and defining my health plan.
This health plan will incorporate many methods that have worked in the past for me and new ones to try out. I’ve gotten some of these ideas from the detox resource list article I just reviewed and others, like the tips and tricks in a stop smoking pamphlet and a brown rice detox diet book from my ND.
Basically, starting September and for the next month, I have a weekly fitness plan, an elimination diet to follow, a stress-management plan and to tie it all together, a smoke free plan! It sounds a bit much but it’s not really. Most of these activities I had already been doing in my healthy lifestyle, at least until a month ago.
This is how I plan to climb back on the wagon:
I’ll review my vision often until it’s clearly ingrained once again. I’ll work on whatever unconscious, self-defeating beliefs I have and that are suddenly surfacing, either in response to my recent behaviour or for some other mysterious reason. I’ll also relax over the weekend as I rid my body of the toxins and cope with the cravings. I will focus on dealing with my stress in positive ways, and on healthy behaviour so I can regain strength in body, mind and soul.
What do you think of this method, Readers? Is it too ambitious?
Does anyone have climbing back on the wagon stories to share? Any tips and tricks?