Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Goals and affirmative messages

OK – I’m a firm believer in making goals and lists. I have small goals to get this, that, and the other done over the weekend or to pay all of my bills on time (this isn’t working out so well, lately). I have had very big goals like getting a couple of degrees, putting on an arts festival, getting a promotion. I know what it takes to achieve these goals, and I usually complete them in a reasonable amount of time. I plan, I study, I research, I ask for help, and – in the end – I’m successful. Mark another goal off of the list. Check!

However, there is one goal where I have always, always struggled, and that is losing weight. I try not to make it public (posting here is a big deal for me). I don’t ask for help. I beat myself up over minor set-backs (which turns them into major set-backs). I don’t recognize the positives for the seemingly overwhelming negatives. I know how to do it (expend more calories than consumed), but it never seems to work.
I’m trying something new. Well, something new to me when it comes to this. Small, achievable, relevant tasks that will comprise the whole. Duh. This is how I accomplish everything else, but I have a hard time applying this to the situation at hand.

One of the tasks is to create affirmative messages or a mantra to repeat, listen to, and live. The theory is that once a person hears/says it enough, that s/he will begin to believe it. You know – create a positive life by visualizing it – “be the change you want to see in the world” and that kind of feel-good, warm and fuzzy stuff.

The trouble is that I don’t do warm and fuzzy. I struggle with doing feel-good things for myself. It’s not that I don’t believe in them, it’s that they are hard for me. I don’t typically want to focus on myself (that’s another post for another time?), and I don’t really think that much good will come from me sitting around repeating positive messages to myself. Shouldn’t I really rather be folding some laundry or putting up some pickles or finishing up that project that I didn’t get to while I was at work or playing Candyl*and with the boys? I have a strange need to be busy doing something more than I feel the need to reflect on my feelings and pat myself on the back.

BUT, since my goal has eluded me once again, I’m going to give it a shot.

I have a list of messages that have been tacked to my cubicle wall for years. I copied them from somewhere. I printed them. I glance at them once in a while. I do nothing about them or with them. (But, hey. At least they are on my cubicle wall…)

So, last week, while taking a walk at lunch, I recorded them into my phone. (Gawd. This sounds so ridiculous to me. If someone else were typing this, fine. But me?) I put them in my phone so that I can listen to them twice a day – while driving to and from my carpool location in the morning and the evening. (This is crazy.) I’ve been listening to them as I take a walk at work on break or lunch, too. I’ve even gone so far as to pause the recording and talk to myself about what it means and what I can/should do about it.

So, part of my problem is that I’m not public about this stuff. Well, sort of. I did just participate in a weight loss challenge with a group of coworkers. We didn’t win. We didn’t even come close. I took a quiz on an on-line site asking me if I was actually READY to lose weight. Of course I am. What a stupid question. Turns out, not so much. Because I refuse to enlist help from my family, because I make excuses to have unhealthy food in our house, because I don’t have small goals identified to help me reach my larger goal – all of these things make me UN-ready to lose weight. Who would have thought?

So, here I go. A free-write of these messages that I’ve recorded to myself, and my thoughts about each one. Will this help? Maybe. Will it hurt? No. (How was that for a positive affirmation? Maybe? I’m not even positively committal about that!) I’m also writing these in a way that assumes that they have already happened (another trick that therapists ask you to use). This is very hard for me, and is causing re-write after re-write below. I don’t yet believe some of these statements. I guess that is the whole point.

ANYTHING THAT I FOCUS ON, I WILL GET – Focus = it is a part of my day, a way of life. I will include others in this decision so that they know/understand why I am making certain decisions or choices. I am successful in other areas of my life because of this approach. My extra energy is spent thinking, researching, and incorporating ways to focus on my goal.

THE SMALLEST THINGS WILL MAKE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE – I easily achieve small goals. The end of each day is a culmination of small goals. I focus on the small things and the large things are taken care of in the process. Small things = daily walks, 30 minutes (minimum) of exercise, eating five raw fruits/veggies each day, not eating after 7pm, eating all of my fruits/veggies before allowing myself a sugary snack, say I love you, hug more, yell less, be present.

I HAVE CLEARLY DECIDED WHAT I WANT, AND NO CHALLENGE OR OBSTACLE CAN KEEP ME FROM IT – I am a healthy weight. I am energetic. I am comfortable in my own skin. I am not ashamed of how I look. I exude confidence. I am loved, and I generously and freely give love in return. I am romantic. I am at peace. I am beautiful.

I AM REPLACING OLD, UNHEALTHY PATTERNS (INSTEAD OF JUST ELIMINATING THEM), AND CAN MAKE ANY PERMANENT CHANGES THAT I WISH – I eat fruit as a snack instead of sugary foods. I have changed my life to include health, activity, love, commitment, and kindness for others as well as myself. I do not speak poorly of myself. I find the beauty in myself and others.

I AM THE SOURCE OF ALL MY EMOTIONS, AND AT ANY MOMENT, I CAN CREATE ANY EMOTION THAT I WISH – I react to situations and others from a place of understanding, not anger; collaboration, not competition; love, not fear. I change uncomfortable or tense situations by finding positives, creating outcomes, and acting from a place of kinship for myself and for those around me. Hey! I don’t have to be grumpy/frustrated/angry/frazzled all of the time? Sign me up!

THE ONLY WAY I CAN FAIL IS IF I QUIT – I do not quit. I pursue my goals with dogged persistence. I work hard. I accomplish my goals.
MY BODY IS THE PICTURE TO MY SOUL – I am loved by myself and others. I am proud of myself and my achievements. I am beautiful. I am at peace. I am smart. I am forgiving of myself and others. I am respected by myself and others.

EVERYTIME I FAIL, I AM ONE STEP FARTHER FROM MY GOALS – life doesn’t move backwards, and neither do I. I achieve what I set out to do because I move towards my goals in all areas of my life. Forward motion. I move the ball forward to the goal line. I move forward because it is productive, and I am certainly productive. I am positive. I achieve my goals.

EVERY TIME I TRY, AND FAIL, I LEARN SOMETHING – I am a realist. I accept some small missteps because I learn from them. I do not fail because I follow a plan for success. I incorporate lessons learned into all areas of my life.

I USE FAILURE AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO MODIFY MY APPROACH – I learn from mistakes, and I alter my path to accommodate necessary changes based on these lessons. I change. I accept change. I achieve new heights because I am willing to change to suit the conditions.

SUCCESS IS PROCESSIONAL – IT RESULTS FROM A SERIES OF SMALL DISCIPLINES – Small disciplines. Small disciplines . Like taking an extra 15 minute walk each day. I eat three vegetables each day. I eat two fruits each day. I remain calm. I track calories. I limit myself to one cookie or treat. I enjoy challenging myself. I tell myself that I am beautiful and worthwhile. I care where my food comes from and how it is produced.

MY BELIEFS ABOUT MYSELF AND WHAT I AM CAPABLE OF WILL DETERMINE MY RESULTS – I am capable of amazing things. Really, I am. I finished my masters degree while working full-time with twin toddlers and training for two marathons. I’m a freakin’ rock star. (And, I did have some help.) I believe myself to be capable because I am. I am smart, witty, loved, and beautiful, inside and out. My results will be as amazing as I am.

I KNOW THAT I CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING IF I HAVE A STRATEGY – I am living my strategy of working out 30 minutes every day, counting calories, adding new types of exercise, not eating after 7pm, working out an extra 30 minutes the day after a set-back, asking for help, talking, and planning.

I ALWYS SET MY STANDARDS HIGH AND ACCOMPLISH RESULTS BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS – I have always had high expectations for myself. I continue to do so today because accomplishing the goal is that much more rewarding if it has been a difficult stretch to achieve it. I have high standards for my health, honesty, follow-through, physical challenges, mental challenges, and financial independence.

MY FAITH IN MYSELF WILL REMOVE ANY LIMITATIONS – I know that I can do anything that I set my mind to, so limitations are irrelevant. I believe that I am capable of great things, and I know that great things don’t have to change the world for everyone, just for those that I care about. I’m fine with this. When I set a goal, I achieve it because I simply know that I will. I believe in myself and my abilities. I am awesome.

I KNOW THAT MY SELF WORTH DOES NOT DEPEND ON BEING PERFECT OR PLEASING EVERYBODY – I please myself when I accomplish a goal. When I am pleased, those around me are happy, but it is a by-product of my happiness. I do not measure my happiness or self worth on the response from others. I am great enough on my own; I do not rely on validation from those around me.

I AM COMMITTED TO LEARNING FROM MY MISTAKES INSTEAD OF AGONIZING OVER THEM – I learn from my mistakes. I do not re-hash them over and over. I address the mistakes and reply on my plan to avoid the same mistake in the future. I do not dwell on mistakes because they are in the past, and I cannot change them. I accept the mistakes, make a new plan, and commit to avoiding them in the future.

I TAKE IMPECCABLE CARE OF MY BODY AND HEALTH EACH DAY – I eat healthy food. I eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and fiber. I drink water every day. I work out for 30 minutes or more each day. I think about what I put into my body. I spend time breathing and calming my nerves and emotions when necessary. I release stress in a constructive manner.

I HAVE THE COURAGE AND AWARENESS TO CONTROL WHATEVER HAPPENS IN MY LIFE – I pay attention to the things that happen around me. I control situations by being prepared with a plan or two. I change situations to accommodate my goals. I am courageous because when I experience a difficult situation, I address my true feelings about what I am going through and why it bothers me. I journal those feelings; I learn from those feelings; I grow emotionally and physically. I have the courage to grow.

I AM A POSITIVE EXAMPLE AND ROLE MODEL OF HEALTH AND FITNESS – I am a positive role model for my children. Through me, they have learned the importance of healthy foods, appropriate portion sizes, and the joy of exercise. I am a positive role model for my friends and coworkers, my family and spouse. I live the life that I espouse. I practice what I preach. I do not say one thing and do another. I believe in myself. I am a positive role model for myself.

I STRIVE TO LIVE EACH DAY TO ITS FULLEST, SQUEEZING ALL THE JOY I CAN OUT OF EACH MOMENT – A happy life is a full life. I live happily. I live purposely. I find joy from physical activity. I include my family members in finding joy in each day. I believe in finding life in the small places because life happens in beautiful bits and pieces, in tiny smiles, in the giggles and the stories, in the hugs and love notes. Not only do I find joy in these moments, but I create them for myself, my family, and my friends.

I MEET EVERY SITUATION KNOWING THAT I AM ITS MASTER – because I use courage and awareness to control my reaction to any situation. I can change situations and my reactions to these situations to meet my physical and emotional needs. I can master any situation because I have a plan. If the plan doesn’t work, I always have a back-up plan. I make the correct choices because I am prepared.

I ALWAYS ENCOURAGE THE POSITIVE EMOTIONS AS DOMINATING FORCES IN MY LIFE AND ELIMINATE THE NEGATIVE EMOTIONS – I speak highly of myself and to myself. I believe in myself. When I am faced with negative emotions, I confront them, and then monitor my reaction to them ensuring that I am feeding the fuels of positivity. Emotions spread like wildfire, and I choose to have a firestorm of positive beliefs, actions, feelings, and reactions.

No comments: