A lot of friends tell me that I’m great with setting and achieving goals. Overall, I’d have to agree. But truth be told, there is one goal that has eluded me for as far back as I can remember. It is the goal to reach — and stay at — a lower weight.
I’m not majorly obese, but I could definitely stand to lose about 10-20 pounds. Yet, no matter how close I get, I seem to revert back to my old behaviors. I start out all motivated and driven, but a few PMS cravings and anxious feelings later and I’m back in the kitchen making bad choices.
Fortunately, I have found a little mind game that has helped me a lot recently. This game involves imaging that I’ve already hit my goal and I’m simply working to sustain it.
Let’s face it, working toward a goal takes a lot of energy. But once you achieve it, all you have to do is maintain. It lets you take your foot off the gas peddle a bit, which also reduces the pressure that you’re putting on yourself.
This makes it easier to do the things you need to do. It also makes it possible to give yourself a little bit of grace if you stumble. This grace can keep a small lapse in decision-making from turning into a full-blown relapse where you clean out the entire fridge.
Plus, imagining that you’ve already hit your goal eliminates the need to feel bad about yourself or call yourself names because you’ve failed. Instead, your brain is told that you’ve already reached your goal, so it can be nicer to you. I can’t tell you how much this has helped my spirits. I’m still not 100% perfect with my diet and exercise, but I am definitely much better.
Try this yourself if there’s a goal you want to reach but it has been eluding you. Simply close your eyes for a few minutes and imagine that its already yours. Then, as you go about your day, make decisions consistent with how you’d make them if you’d already achieved your goal.
Keep doing this and, in due time, you will. No imagination necessary.
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