Relationship changes, spending changes, exercise changes, habit changes…they can all be really difficult.
Or…they can be a challenge and still flow with ease at the same time. Sounds strange at first, I know. But from personal experience, I can say that this can be true. And this is why….
For me, I’m working on exercise changes and eating habit changes. It hasn’t been easy, I’ll admit, although I’m beginning to figure out why. I love my sweet, confectionary goodies and my carb-loaded pastas and breads
….and my caffeine-kick of morning coffee with all the treats and toys.
On top of that, carving the time to be physically active has also been a challenge. My kiddos extra-curricular activities are now in full swing and school has started as well, making my “will” to exercise at the end of an exhausting day feel much less than appealing.
I know, these excuses sound strangely familiar, don’t they?
So why am I feeling the way I am when I’m trying to make (i.e. force) these changes? Why is there soooooo much resistance to it? Ask yourself this and I bet you’ll be surprised. What are the feelings that are being engendered when we think about present health goals? What I’m finding is that my goals were based on the outside self. I wanted to lose weight. I wanted my clothes to fit better. I wanted to look more healthy than I currently did. Which really, in and of itself, those goals are all fine and well. But…they are goals that are focused on the OUTSIDE of me. And when I thought about where I currently stood in relation to those, I felt like crap.
Now I know it might make sense that these goals are the way they are, as if those feelings should be a motivator to work harder for this change. The problem being is that they DIDN’T motivate me at all. Not one tiny bit. They frustrated me. I wanted to work smarter, not harder. This might not make a whole bunch of sense right now but trust me…keep reading.
When we make our goals, we tend to be attached to the goal, thinking that I’ll “feel better when” whatever it is that we are trying to achieve has been procured. In this case, I’ve been convinced that I’ll feel better when I look healthier, my clothes fit better, and when I lost those extra pounds. But…what if we cut to WHY I want to shed those unwanted layers? How is it that I want to feel as I go about putting whatever energy it is necessary into action to allow these goals to manifest?
Ultimately, I want to FEEL more energized throughout the day.
I want to FEEL more empowered and strong in my body on a daily basis.
I want to FEEL more energetically connected and grounded on a more consistent basis.
I want to FEEL more clear and focused from the very beginning of my day to the very end.
All of them.
Not just WHEN I reached my goal. I want those WHILE I’m reaching for my goal.
That being said, those feelings were the last damn thing I was thinking about before slugging down my calorie-laden chai latte this morning. And I surely wasn’t thinking about how I wanted to feel when I plopped my happy ass on the couch the other night while shoveling deep-fried French fries and chicken bites slathered in teriyaki sauce into my mouth. My stomach is actually nauseous now even writing that, yet at the time, it never even occurred to me to pay attention to how I was FEELING when I sat down and ate those things.
Then of course, because it had been such a looooong day and I’d just put that pile of grease-filled ick into my body, I didn’t feel like getting on the treadmill or going outside to run. Well, duh! Of course I didn’t! Because I was spiraling down the hole of self sabotage. Not paying attention to my thoughts nor the feelings (or lack thereof) that they engendered. I was numbing out and just getting by. Making up one excuse after another. So, of course, my health goals were clear out of reach from that particular level of awareness, because I wasn’t allowing the basic feelings of my goal to drive my choices. I wasn’t even AWARE of the feelings behind my goals. I was on emotional auto pilot.
Make sense now?
So here’s the kicker…
What if we stopped for that few seconds before we actually chose what we were going to eat to ask ourselves – How am I going to feel when I eat this? Is this going to help me FEEL the way I ultimately want to feel? (Not to be confused with comfort eating, which satisfies an IMMEDIATE emotional gratification sensation, rather than a feeling-focus goal.) It is going to benefit my body so that I can be better equipped NOW to feel empowered and energized? After I’ve eaten, am I going to feel connected to my body and feel that I’m tending to its needs well?
When I choose not to exercise for the day, how is that going to affect how I feel RIGHT NOW? How about at the end of the day? Is it
ultimately going to make me feel; Connected, grounded, and clear? Or disconnected, flighty, and muddled?
Get back to your core. Get back to HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL in all things.
Not just in your career goals.
Not just in relationship goals.
Not just in your health goals.
All parts of your life. Make it a daily habit to check in with yourself -with how you are presently feeling and how the choices you are currently making have the potential to help you FEEL and if that is in alignment with where you’re wanting to head.
You’ll be glad you did because from my own personal experience, it’s much easier to allow yourself to feel better while walking the path to the goal than trying to just achieve an outside end goal and trudging along the whole damn way.
I’ll take goal-setting via feeling-based choices with light-heartedness and with more ease any day of the week.
How about you?