Lagging On Commitment to Goals?
Five Tips to Help You Stay Focused
objective observer of yourself. Habits are only patterns
of behavior. They're not good or bad. If you were an
experienced birdwatcher you'd want to identify
particular birds, know about their habitat, plumage, and
shapes. You would not be looking through binoculars and
thinking, "Oh no! Those swallows aren't migrating in a
perfect V!" A bird is a bird, a pattern is a pattern.
Let go of judging yourself. You need to know a pattern
before you can change it.
Instead of trying to stop being something you don't want
to be (whew! think of all the wasted energy THAT takes),
get to know your pattern: How often does it show up?
What triggers it? What does it look like? How long does
it last? Then what? You'll know you've got it when you
can teach someone else exactly how you do it.
the patterned behavior shows up, stay WITH it. Let's say
you have a fiery temper and you promised yourself you'd
keep it in check. The next time it gets triggered,
notice where in your body you feel the anger and
exaggerate that physical sensation ("It's like I'm about
to fly apart"). Continue exaggerating the physical
sensation until you know the label you've given it is an
exact fit ("No, it's like my guts are being torn apart
by rabid dogs!"). By the way, by this time, your anger's
lessened and you don't have to act on it.
you've gotten a grip on your pattern, do it consciously
but with one small change. Humor helps. Gail, for
example, ate fast while standing and tried to lose 10
lbs. by telling herself to "SLOOOW down!" That didn't
work. When challenged to eat fast consciously but with a
small change, she "clocked her mileage," increasing her
speed from 55 mph to 65 mph and then back down to 25
mph. To her surprise she lost 3 lbs. in two weeks
without any conscious effort to diet.
quite natural to resist change. Unfortunately we tend to
beat ourselves up when we don't follow through. All that
energy you've wasted criticizing yourself just feeds the
old pattern. Instead, if you find yourself
procrastinating, feeling anxious, losing hope, or being
distracted from your goal, recognize these as signs
you've challenged a deeply embedded pattern, which means
you're on the right path. Go through the first four
steps again, and remember: If something you've tried
hasn't worked, do something different!
New Year's Resolutions
More ideas like these in my
Out of the Box