Dear Strong Woman,
Keep your foot on the gas.
We are at the apex of 2018. My Strong Man and I have been reflecting on the past six months, and it truly is amazing what you can create in your life once you decide it’s happening. It’s been a bit brutal and gritty, and while I sit here having actually put on weight, I am lighter. Lighter in spirit. In stress. That cloud nine thing people talk about? Yes. THAT.
But we’re just getting started.
That’s the tricky thing with momentum – it craves movement. I’m feeling pretty and proud about some recent accomplishments, and yet there is danger in thinking I can take it easy now.
You’ve done it. You finally hit your weight loss goal, so you think you’ve earned the right to ease up on the discipline, only to find yourself struggling to button those skinny jeans that fit you like a glove just a week before. You make a promise to yourself to read for 15 minutes a day, and it goes great for a week or so, until that one time you tell yourself you’ll do it later, and later becomes six months. Or if you’re like me, you write consistently for weeks, finally write something worthy of sharing on the blog, and then don’t come back to it until four days later. (Ahem…current situation. Also, true story…all of those examples are me.)
You guys – don’t fall into that trap.
If you’ve hit a goal, or even a milestone towards that goal, take it as a sign that you are on the right track and keep going. The amount of energy needed to restart the train is exponentially greater than that necessary to keep it moving. Don’t stop and ask yourself if you feel like doing it – because we all know that answer – and do it anyway. Do it long enough, and it’s no longer about the little things you’re doing to make it so…
It’s about who you’ve become.
Energy is everything. Thoughts become things. Emotion amplifies those things. Action brings those things to life. So in the name of action, here are a few actionable things you can do to help you continue (or even jumpstart) your momentum towards your 2018 goals.
- Keep your goals at stretch distance. You’ve heard of S.M.A.R.T goals, right? I can get behind them, almost. The A stands for Attainable, and I truly think it’s a cop out. If something is attainable, do you really have to work that hard to get it? Nah. Set your goals just outside of reach. Nothing great happens from comfort zones, and if you really want some significant change, you have to be comfortable with getting uncomfortable. Why do you think so many give up on their weight loss New Year’s resolutions by the end of January? Set a goal that is just out of reach so that you have to keep growing to keep going. Hint: If it scares you, you’re on the right track.
- Track everything. Data doesn’t lie. We can’t be surprised at the number on the scale if we document the number of breadsticks we ate at The Olive Garden last night. True story…? We’ve started tracking our spending. No, it’s not some new age thing, but it’s also not something everyone does. After ten days, we realized we’d spent $40 alone on ice cream. Seeing that was both shocking and sobering, and it had an impact. Do you think we think twice about indulging in that delicious goodness now? Not just from a health standpoint, but from a financial one? You bet.
- Expect imperfection. Just accept it now – you will not be perfect. There will be days that won’t go as planned. You’ll miss a deadline, or something will take you twice as long as you thought, or you’ll come down with a nasty cold in the middle of summer. In other words, life happens. But that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. If your plan was to go from A to Z this year, and your currently only at F, that’s still better than being back at A, right? Baby steps are still steps, babe. Slow progress is better than no progress at all.
- Protect your energy. Surround yourself with people who are going to motivate you and inspire you. This may mean eradicating your media intake. It may also mean spending less time with people who drain your energy. It could even mean having some tough conversations, and fighting through some unchartered waters. If you find yourself wondering if you can afford to cut some things out of your life, I encourage you to instead ask… When it comes to your dreams, can you afford not to? I’ll share a quote with you from one of my favorite growth gurus (Cara Alwill Leyba) that has been my mantra for a few years now: “You will evolve. Not everyone will. Evolve Anyway.”That’s the thing about new beginnings…they sometimes require other things to end.
In closing, know that you only fail if you stop trying. Furthermore, if you do all of the above and then some and still don’t get to where you want to be by 11:59pm on December 31st, it’s okay. Dreams don’t have expiration dates.