Ep. 11: Setting the Goal to Drink Less
In this episode:
- Why resolutions don’t always work
- What you need to do differently for 2019
- Assessment tool to build awareness when you don’t stick to your plan
Hello hello hello
What is going on ladies?
Actually, let me take a moment – I know I always say ladies here, but I’ve had a couple of guys reach out to let me know they are listening, so I want to be all inclusive and give a shout out to anyone who is investing the time to listen and perhaps learn a new shift in thinking.
Here’s the thing ya’all.. our mental health is SO important, and yet it is something we don’t really invest much time or money into. Think of everything we spend money on – and then when it comes to evolving our brains we are like – yeah, I’ll get to that. Really – kudos to everyone who is doing this work. I think it is so important to the world and it starts with your own brain. Trust me – DOING the work is when you will see the biggest change.
Ok – so let’s dive into todays topic – your goals and why you might not be sticking to them. I chose this topic b/c we are about two weeks into the New Year and by now some resolutions may have gone to the wayside. Not to worry – nothing has gone wrong and everything has not gone to hell in a handbasket just yet.lol.
So, here’s what typically happens. We get so excited at the start of the New Year. New dreams, new possibilities and then .. well, we think life just happens to us and we make the same resolution year after year.
The resolutions are more like aspirations – like you are wishing for them to happen.
It seems so good in the beginning – especially when we are talking to our friends, and they are doing the same. So maybe you decided your resolution was to drink less – or even the ever famous lose some weight.
And you hope this year will be different.
But it’s not, and you wonder why.
Here’s the thing – and I know because I used to do this – I would actually make a list of resolutions – in fact one year I recall we got a notebook out! Hahaha
Pay off debt
Take more vacations
Get finances all in order
And so on…
and so on…
It seemed like I made the same resolutions year after year – but never truly set any goals around them.
That is where the difference is – they were wishes without true goals set in place.
So if you made a resolution this year and you are already starting to second guess it – not to worry – there is still time to get it straight .. there is always time to do this work.
I want to first encourage you to look at why you were making your resolution in the first place. Usually there is some sort of good feeling around it. And a lot of times it feels really good because you have people around you talking about the same stuff so everyone is excited to do this – everyone is swept up in the current of this is going to be great, and there is so much social support to begin.
But then we get to what my coach calls – the river of misery.lol. This is like the messy middle – its where all the stuff comes up in between where you are now, and where you want to be. It’s the uncomfortable part of getting to your goal.
And a lot of us don’t like to be uncomfortable. By uncomfortable I mean it gets hard, you have to make decisions about maybe saying no to something because you have made a commitment to yourself, or maybe you feel some anxiety because you are doing something new, or maybe you have to not reach for the glass of wine or extra cookie to take the edge off. Those are some of the things I’m talking about, when I talk about discomfort here.
But discomfort my friend is the currency you pay to creating the life you imagine.
The other thing is – by now most of the friends who were so excited with you at the beginning, and all the social support – well they too have dipped a toe into the same river – and decided to turn back.
Don’t do that this year. Stay with me here.If you are struggling with keeping your resolutions – as most people do about now, I want to offer a few suggestions.
First – let’s look at your resolution and tweak it as necessary.
Is it specific? So, what I mean is – don’t just say drink less, or save money, or get fit. What specifically is it you want? You want to drink 2 glasses a night. You want to lose 10 pounds by what date, you want to save how much money.
Now – why do you want to do that. And if you are doing this it’s important to take the time to write it down. Really think of your why. This is what you need to remember when you are swimming in the river of misery. Sounds fun right? lol.. It actually is – because when you get to the other side you see how much you’ve grown.
So are you deciding to drink less to feel more productive each day, are you losing 10 pounds, so you can feel amazing in a hot little bikini, are you saving money to go on vacation with the family.
Really have a why behind it.
And also, be sure to have a deadline and an implementation plan.
By now you are like – wth – lol… I just like to say l resolve to … and move on. Lol.. But doing that doesn’t change you my friend. True change is in this work.
So – back to deadlines and plans…
If you just say something like get fit or take a vacation this year there is no set timeframe for you to take action, which leaves wiggle room for your brain to get confused and not do anything at all.
A deadline holds you accountable.
An implementation plan will give your brain something to focus on. This is what you do with your pre-frontal cortex – the more evolved and thoughtful part of your brain when your toddler brain says, “I don’t know what I feel like doing”.. you already have a plan. If you haven’t already listened to episode 4 using the Drink Plan I suggest you go back and take a listen.. a drink plan would be a good example of am implementation plan. Or if you are losing weight – a food protocol – same idea.
So, ave a specific goal, make it measurable, with a deadline and know your why.
Most importantly, I want to encourage you to go into this with a fresh start. So often we tell ourselves we’ve never been able to do it, so we likely won’t succeed this time either.
Don’t do that to yourself.
What is the upside of thinking that?
You can also choose to think this year can be different.
And I’m not talking some think it, manifest it, and be Pollyanna positive so it happens.
But pay attention to how you feel when you tell yourself you’ve never been able to vs this year could be different.
With the first thought it’s almost like you are already feeling defeated and why bother.
With the second thought you might feel a little more curious to figure it out this time around.
I do want to point out it is totally normal for our brain to be searching for the negative. It’s how we are conditioned.
The brain is designed to look for the negative in order to protect us – which was super important when we lived in caves and needed protection from things like saber tooth tigers. but we don’t really need that kind of protection these days in our air-conditioned beautiful homes. I mean seriously – we now have cars that have cameras and bells and whistles. I mean – for crying out loud – we have cars that drive themselves people.
We have evolved into a different time and now taking our mental health to the next level involves doing some thinking on purpose.
I have one more important tool I want to share with you today.
Often times setbacks and failures convince us we can’t be successful. And that’s not true. You only fail when you quit. Otherwise you are either winning or learning.
So, let’s say you make a drink plan, or set a food protocol.
And one day you don’t follow it.
At this point so many people say – see – I knew I couldn’t’ do it – I will never be able to drink less, or – I will never be able to lose this weight.
Here’s what I want to offer – in this moment there is math, and there is drama.
The drama is all the catastrophizing and telling yourself how terrible you are.
The math is – the facts of what happened.
At this point I encourage my clients – and you – to take a little time to look at what really happened.
Write it down, learn, and move on.
This tool will help you assess what went well, what didn’t work, and what you will do differently next time.
You likely do something like this in your career all the time – but we rarely think of our personal goals in the same way.
So interesting how your tricky brain likes to work right?
This is how you use the tool – I’m going to use drinking less as the example, but you can insert food, or if you are trying to cut back on FB, or porn. whatever ..lol.. – just seeing if you are still listening.
OK – First ask yourself how much did you drink that wasn’t on plan.
What was the circumstance that triggered it? (Remember – a Circumstance is just a fact). So, an example of a circumstance may be my friend arrived at the restaurant.
What was the thought that caused you the desire or urge to have more?
Perhaps the thought is – oh this will be fun.
Did you try to resist, or did I just react to having more wine?
Let’s say you just reacted and ordered another
Did you allow the urge at all? What worked and what didn’t?
Let’s say no – you just ordered not even thinking about it
What will I do next time?
Next time you will take this possibility into consideration and have a plan of what to do if it does – like maybe order a club soda before the next wine.
This allows you the chance bring more awareness to the neural pathway you have created for over desire. It gives your higher brain a chance to step back, assess the situation, and bring awareness so the next time this happens you have started a new pathway as you decondition your current pattern.
What happens is you may not notice it the first time until after it happens.
Then you start to build awareness and the next step is you start to notice as it is happening.
And then you start to think about it ahead of time and have a solid plan.
It’s so much fun to be doing this and see how you can reprogram your brain my friends.
It truly is about living in more mindful weighs to create the life you imagine.
Ok – that’s what I have for you today. Let’s circle back next week, but for now – make it a great day – take care!