Last week I posed the question to those following me on
Facebook and TheHopeLine: Where do you
want to go, and what are the key habits that will get you there?
A lot of people talked about losing weight. That seems to
be on just about everyone’s New Year’s resolution list. Even if they don’t
generally have weight issues, after Thanksgiving and Christmas — who doesn’t’
need to loose a few pounds.
Having a clear and concrete reason for why you want to change something in your life will help you be successful.
One thing that I noticed in some of the comments was that
losing weight was only a “means to an end.” In other words, the real goal was
something else, and losing weight was what they need to do to get there.
wrote: my 2011 resolution is for me to join the marines and
im gonna lose this weight and then im going to take the entrance exam...then im
going to swear in....the only thing standing in my way is the weight i have to
wrote: My goal is
to lose 50 pounds, I have been struggling with my weight for a very LONG TIME.
And im sick of being different from everybody else. So for the year of 2011 I
wanna lose my weight and feel better about myself inside and out. But i think
its going to be hard because all the other times if i wasnt seeing results i
would give up. I hope I can finally do it.
So, joining the Marines and feeling better about one’s self — those are the
real reason why Jamie and Kendra want to lose weight.
Having a clear and concrete reason for why you want to change something in
your life will help you be successful. Jamie
very clearly wants to become a Marine. If
we were to press Jamie further (Jamie,
feel free to comment here), we would find lots of feelings about why loosing
weight is good. It is sure to be a self
image boost. But the clear and concrete
goal of becoming a Marine is what will motivate Jamie to work at it.
If you want to change an old habit or accomplish a new goal find a clear and concrete reason to succeed, find someone who will join you in the effort, do it for yourself, and don’t become a slave to other people’s approval.
In Kendra's case, improving the way she feels about herself is her main
motivation. All of us want to feel better about ourselves for one reason or
another. And no doubt, some people have
lost weight with that motivation alone, but is chasing those good feelings
alone enough to keep her losing weight when some unexpected stress comes?
What Jamie has done, and what Kendra can do as well, is to lock onto a reason
for wanting to lose weight that is more concrete than feelings alone.
Without knowing the kind of things that motivate Kendra, it’s hard to
suggest a specific concrete reason that will help her focus on accomplishing
her weight loss goal. However, whatever
your reason, there are a couple of additional things all can do that will help
keep us motivated to accomplish our resolution goals.
1. Don’t do it alone.
I wrote about this in
last week’s blog. You’ve got to enlist
someone to believe in you, be honest with you, and encourage you, and ideally
pursue the goal with you. Accountability
is a very motivating thing. Even professional athletes pair up to work out together
in the off season. They need friends to
hold them accountable and so do you and I.
2. Do it for yourself, not for what others
Being motivated by what
others think or by trying to prove something to others (family, friends,
enemies, anyone) can be a very powerful but addictive motivator. It just keeps you hooked on other people’s
If you want to change an old
habit or accomplish a new goal find a clear and concrete reason to succeed, find
someone who will join you in the effort, do it for yourself, and don’t become a
slave to other people’s approval.
Next Week: I want to talk about some attitudes that will
definitely change your life and probably already have. So, here the big
question: Being optimistic or being depressed, being gracious or being critical
— what is your greatest attitude struggle and how has that attitude affected
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174. Habits: New Years Resolutions