That’s the question that I was discussing this week with Dr Alka Patel, on her Podcast – entitled
“The L.I.F.E.S.T.Y.L.E. First Podcast”
Alka is a GP, a Lifestyle Medicine Physician and Health Coach, who is passionate about helping people to live their longest, healthiest and happiest life.
On this podcast, we talked about goals. And specifically, about New Year’s Resolutions. And more specifically again – why most people give up on their resolutions. 80% of people have given up on their resolutions by the end of January.
It is so prevalent that there is actually an official “Quitters Day” – it’s the 19th of January.
People quit their resolution for 2 reasons. It isn’t something you really want. Or there is something emotional holding you back.
1. It’s Not Your Goal
If your goal is someone else’s – you aren’t going to stick at it. For example – you are trying to lose weight because you think you “should” or someone else thinks you should.
Your logical mind will tell you that you should give up smoking because it is bad for you, costs too much and makes you smell bad. But you don’t REALLY want to give up. Let me tell you know – you won’t make it.
Your logical mind will tell you that you “should” lose weight. Carrying too much weight is bad for your joints, your clothes are getting tighter and you might have to buy a bigger size which will cost you, you will look better. But you don’t really want to. You won’t.
2. Something is Unresolved
You can try all you want to lose weight, but if there is some unresolved emotion regarding this goal or any goal – you can try all you want but it won’t happen. Let me give you an example. Years ago my husband said to me – I think you should lose weight because your thighs rub together when you walk.
I was devastated. I cried on the way to where we were going, (a restaurant ironically), I cried at the restaurant, and I cried on the way home. When we got home, he said – I just wanted to motivate you. Well, he motivated me alright. I put on 3 stone just to show him how fat I could really get!
Now here’s the thing. First off, that was his goal for me, and not mine for myself – so it was never going to work. Secondly – he clearly didn’t know me as well as he thought, if he thought for a minute that was going to work. It had the exact opposite effect than he wanted.
Most importantly this remained unresolved for years. And therefore anytime my conscious brain thought about losing weight, my subconscious (and sometimes my conscious) would go back to the time I was made to feel so bad about myself. And my subconscious associated losing weight with feeling bad. So unsurprisingly – I didn’t successfully lose weight UNTIL I had resolved this feeling.
I have met several clients who want to lose weight – with their conscious minds. But they don’t. One of my clients was from a very poor family. And as a child, there was never enough to eat. There was never ‘food in’ just in case. The food in the fridge or the cupboard was tonight’s dinner – and that was it. Normally a meal for 2 or even 1, shared between 3.
Any guesses why she couldn’t lose weight?
She associated not being able to eat with pain, real pain, and sadness. For years as an adult, she overbought food because of the fear of not having enough. That feeling of wanting more and there being no more, was still – subconsciously – directing her actions. It needed to be resolved before that goal could be achieved.
So, for goals to work, the feeling must be there. Logic just doesn’t cut it.
You have to be able to feel that ‘Ready Brek Glow’ when you think about your ‘WHY’ your goals. Whatever your feeling is when you know your WHY, that is the feeling that should guide you towards your goals.
This feeling also helps you with simple life decisions. If you get the glow when you think about a decision then it is easy to say yes or to say no if you don’t have it.
If you would like to listen to this podcast and find out how to YOUR Ready Brek Glow and 3 steps to achieving your goals – you can listen to it here.