I want to be a little blunt with you today about your goals for your life. Do you want better health results? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to achieve more success in life? Do you want to grow your business? Do you want to get out of debt? Do you want anything to improve in your life? I may hurt your feelings a little and I’m actually okay with that. If you are not okay with that, then you probably should go and find some mind numbing positive hype that doesn’t ask you to take a look at your commitment level to succeed.
Wow! Talk about a bit harsh today, right?
I am totally feeling it and honestly, if there is something that you want badly enough in life, you better keep reading and take note. This is going to help you succeed in every single area of your LIFE! We are what we do consistently. Our habits will create our results…period. End of story.
I will share my past week and weekend with you in case you need an example. As you may have read in my previous few blog posts, I am currently in the midst of a NO SUGAR challenge that is 14 days long. Not 14 days of my choosing; but 14 days consecutively no matter freaking what!
I have committed to following this with my current clients in my challenge group. I have never been one to tell my clients what to do, while I’m sitting there doing the opposite. That’s called hypocrisy and I follow the same guidelines in my parenting skills. Whatever I ask of my kids, I am doing the same. I don’t tell them to watch less t.v. and then go sit on my ass and watch t.v. while they aren’t home. I don’t tell them to eat right and get exercise when they don’t also see me doing the same thing, day after day. I don’t preach anything that I don’t currently practice.
As far as this no sugar challenge goes, I am actively engaging in a challenge with my clients who are fighting to change their bad habits and behaviors and replace these with new and healthier steps in order to create the life and results they have set as goals for their lives. Nothing worth having comes easy. I know you’ve heard this before, but have you really heard it before?
No sugar for 14 days means nothing in my foods that is sugar or sugar alternatives. I’m even cutting my fruit portions back to 2 per day; instead of my regular 3 or 4. Now, I’ve had many people ask me quite frankly, “Kathy, why are you doing this? You already follow a healthy lifestyle plan.”
Well, sure I do. But who are you comparing that to? The average American who doesn’t care much about doing what it takes to reach their goals? Or the most elite athletes who are working hard, day in and day out in ways that we could hardly imagine? It all depends on who I’m being compared with that is key to this question.
For sake of this topic, I will tell you that I compare myself only to my best self. If I look at someone who is doing less than I am, then I will most likely give myself a “pass” and just feel good with where I am. What does this do for me? Maybe it makes me feel good about myself in the moment but it will only ultimately keep me in the same place that I am today. So if I’m okay with this fact, then there’s no harm done, right?
What if I compare myself, instead, to someone who is doing much more than I am today? I can either use this to hurt myself or help myself. If I use this to hurt myself, I’m most likely playing comparison games and saying things to myself like, “Why can’t I do that?” “Why are they so lucky?” “If only I had the time/patience/ money/confidence/etc that they do, then I’d be able to succeed in the same way.”
Now if I’m using this to help better my own skills and goals, then I’d say something like, “wow! what is it that they are doing that I’m NOT currently doing? and how can I change that?” or “How can I learn from their success and measure what I need to do to reach new heights in those areas too?”
See, these are both comparisons but most of us choose the first option to beat ourselves up and then disregard the person of success as lucky or having capabilities beyond our measures. These are both false and if you have ever done this (much like most of the human race…lol), then you can either change it up now or continue to feel defeated and stay exactly where you are until you change it up.
While I challenge myself to new levels of success, I am comparing myself to my past or current behaviors and measuring what someone more successful is doing and make the needed adjustments to these areas. Let me go back to my NO SUGAR challenge as a prime example.
This past weekend, marked 1 week down in the challenge. I asked my challengers to write up a contract stating that they would stick to this plan and create a reward that they will earn for themselves in sticking to this goal. They also needed to write up a punishment if they went off track. Now, not everyone in the group took this seriously. I already see the results of this first step in those that have stuck to their “word” and those that went “off a little bit here and a little bit there.” The latter group aren’t as serious about their goals. But it’s an easy “fix” indeed, by simply writing it down as a contract and having someone sign it as a witness.
Although I may not need to take this challenge as seriously as someone who hasn’t been on a health and fitness journey for many years like I have, it’s important to state that we are all human beings and struggle in similar areas. I may have more experience in some areas, and therefore, be better apt at handling the challenge but nonetheless, it’s still critical for me to assess my current state and measure it against my goals at this time to see where I need to improve.
Food and sweets have always been my struggles so this challenge is always a welcome wake up call. I had a wonderful week of sticking to my goals and hadn’t experienced much struggle because I’ve done this before and my body has become accustomed to healthier eating and a way of life. Where I struggled was in my weekend.
I found that I first noticed a slight craving for something sweet on Friday night. This is typically when I’d allow myself a TREAT with the family. Now there’s nothing wrong with allowing ourselves treats, in fact, I highly encourage everyone to do this along the journey…but the issue lies when our regular treats become habits that begin to compound over time. Although I allow myself 1-2 weekly treats, they only really count when I truly enjoy them and not when they become a mindless habit. My Friday night treats had become a mindless habit. Wake up call #1.
On Saturday, the same issue occurred again and I was more focused on staying to my goals. Since I was home most of the day; busy and eating from home, I didn’t struggle much more than the fleeting craving. The big WHAM-O challenge came on Sunday.
My daughter and I took a drive to visit with my aunt in Beverly Hills and we always have a blast being pampered by our aunt. She took me to hot yoga (my daughter despises yoga so opted to sit out and watch a movie instead) and it was such a wonderful NON sugar “treat” that I enjoyed more than I could imagine if not on this challenge. We then went to Whole Foods and bought fish and produce to create a fun “at home” lunch at her condo. All in all, the afternoon was so relaxing and we ate well and visited for hours. I passed up on the bread rolls, tartar sauce for the fish (it was amazing as it was), and stevia in my tea. No biggie, I thought.
But I knew what awaited me later.
My aunt had been bragging about this new “ice cream and yogurt” shop that opened up in her area recently. Freshly made ice creams and yogurts that were designed like a rose bouquet atop a waffle cone with the flavors of your choosing. Ya, I know that sounded like the treat of a lifetime, right?
So what’s a girl to do? I could have easily just enjoyed a scoop, a taste, or the whole store if I wanted to and not breathe a word of it to my challenge group. But ultimately, what would that say about me? How would I feel after the fact and where would my integrity be? Nonexistent for sure.
I took the high road and announced to my aunt what I was doing in this challenge and that I would enjoy the experience of visiting the shop and watching my daughter and aunt eating their cones, and I’d have a coffee instead. Now why on earth would someone in their right mind do this, you ask? Because I can and I choose to succeed over the temporary sugar fix that can be a temptation for most all of us these days. Peer pressure, or wanting to be a part of the group is a strong pull in veering us off course from what we say we want most. I may have slipped up if I didn’t know that there were other women staying strong through their weekend challenges and that this is only a temporary challenge. I don’t promote deprivation or diets as these are never successful long term and should always be avoided.
So there you have it. I stuck to my goals and I succeeded and you know what? It kind of sucked a little in the moment but even that was fleeting because my reasons for staying strong far outweighed that initial “sweet shock” to my body and the wanting of joining in with the crowd. I felt proud of my strength and determination and understand I am in control of my habits and decisions. I could plan to return again in a month and have a scoop of every flavor that I desire because that will also be my choice.
So I ask you today, what decisions are you making daily and are they in line with your current and long term goals? Stop being driven by other people and weakness in any given moment. If there’s something you want to achieve, you can have it but it’s going to take some time and sacrifice and feeling uncomfortable in certain moments.
Grow up and get it done…if you don’t then you don’t really want it. That’s the truth. Can you handle it?