Tuesday, January 1, 2013

a new kind of resolve

Resolve - to make a firm decision to do something.

The average person makes a New Year's resolution and breaks it by February. The resolve may have been there in the beginning, but the commitment was not.

Let's face it...lasting change is hard. Gym memberships sell like crazy those days leading up to January 1st. It's tough to find a parking spot. There's no room on the treadmill.

What happens in February? Better parking. Free treadmill.

Making a commitment is easy. Staying committed is hard.

I'm asking you today not just to make a list of resolutions, but to determine in your will to stay committed to your goals, even when it's hard.

One of my goals for 2013 is to finish a devotional book that I've been writing for awhile. Do you know what one of my 2012 goals was? The same thing!

I am so mad at myself for not achieving my goal when I had a year to do it. Yet, I know from my coaching experience the best way to tackle this is not to wallow in my feelings (although I'm tempted), but to examine the situation and make a new plan.

What held me back from finishing last year? Honest brainstorm: not scheduling writing time specific to this project, taking on other work that took up my time, lacking discipline to write and rewrite, no accountability partner, fear that my finished work will not be good enough.

To achieve my goal, I need a new plan. I go through my brainstorm to see what I need.

1. A writing schedule specific to my goal. This means something else needs to be off my schedule.
2. No other special work projects than what I've already committed to until this thing is done!
3. Toughen up. More discipline. Stick to my writing time and eliminate distractions.
4. An accountability partner.
5. Face my fear. My job is to do my best. I pray my words will encourage and help people get healthy. But my work will never be perfect because I'm not perfect. And that's okay. My best is good enough.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us."

When we resolve to live above average, challenging ourselves to create and achieve, we experience the fullness of what lies within us.

I will be working on my devotional this year.  What will you be working on?
More exercise, better relationships, managing anxiety, loving more? Whatever it is. You know how to start.

Write an honest brainstorm of what holds you back.
Make a plan to overcome these obstacles. 
Resolve to it happen.

Here's to a new kind of resolve in the new year! I'll let you know when I finish my devotional.

~ Cheri



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

goal setting 101

Immediately after I gave birth to our first child, my husband bantered, “Good job Honey, only 3 more to go!”

We always planned to have 4 children. Why did his comment make me want to run back to my office and revise our family plan?

To be fair, I married my husband because I find his humor amusing. I am a literal, serious person and find his ability to come up with these funny, off-the-cuff one-liners, intriguing most times. This was not one of those times. Perhaps it was the absence of an epidural, or the excruciating pain of childbirth. For various reasons, I was not enamored by his humor.  

And this relates to goal setting, how? 

Goal setting 101: Our ability to achieve goals is related to what we tell ourselves along the journey.

Should I be thinking about the next three babies I must carry to term and push out to complete my family immediately after delivering the first? Absolutely, positively, no. If we’re talking success in the process of goal achievement, this was not the time to consider the road ahead. This was the time to embrace sweet victory.  I was ¼ of the way to my goal. Let’s snuggle this precious little baby & rejoice! 

This might be a strange, albeit personal, illustration to my point but, I want you to know this principle applies to all facets of life goals. Whether it’s completing your degree, losing weight, or planning your family, the basics of achieving goals are the same.

Our plans need to be broken down into stepping stones that lead to the overall goal, and we need to be intentional as to how we will celebrate victories, deal with setbacks, and persistently motivate ourselves along the way. 

My question to you - Are you in the practice of using this kind of process as you set goals for yourself? Or are you often stuck in the rut of starting plans that end in poor execution and feelings of defeat?  

When you have a vision for who you want to become or what you want to achieve, you should take the time to write it down and figure out the steps necessary to attain it.  

This is a life skill. You can learn to do it. It is a discipline that becomes easier and more instinctive as you practice it. 

Goals can seem overwhelming, especially as you get farther into the discipline needed to achieve them. The biggest mistake I’ve seen clients make before coaching is not spending enough time crafting their plan, considering both strategy and motivation.

My husband’s comment was discouraging to me. Mostly because it was true. He didn't mean it to be that way. But, after the months of pregnancy and pushing myself (pardon the pun) to think that I was only beginning to fulfill the vision we had for our family, seemed overwhelming. Had I let those thoughts dissuade me I might have taken my eyes of the prize and missed out on the awesome family I have today. 

So happy to think that I will never have to go through labor again but, the work of pregnancies and childbirths was well worth the blessings I received everyday in my children.

You will feel the same way as you work hard and reflect on the goals and plans you fulfill.

The place to start is considering your vision and brainstorming a plan. No shame in revising as you go along.  But, writing it out is the best place to start.

Your assignment this next week is to make an appointment with yourself. Grab a notebook and paper. Envision what you want to work on and get down a plan. Include points to celebrate and keep yourself motivated.

Do you know when my kids were babies and toddlers many days my goal was simply not to lose my temper? Keeping my patience was the main thing I worked on and I’m telling you, it required a vision for who I wanted to be as a mom and a good plan as to how I could execute. Did I lose it sometimes? Yes. And then, it was back to the drawing board. 

Challenge yourself to grow but, give yourself some grace. None of us are perfect. We’re trying to do the best we can. Be open to learn new ways of doing things and changing what doesn't work. You will see progress over time instead of feeling stuck in your ways.  It starts with a plan.

Let me know when your appointment is. I'd love to hear what you come up with.   

Be encouraged to share this article with a friend you think would benefit from reading. 
More about setting goals can be found in my book, Weight Whys: Thoughts & Beliefs for a Healthy Life.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Conquering fear! - inspiring emotional health

I have a confession to make. I have been procrastinating starting my blog out of fear. While it's true I have been busy with end of semester, the kids' school & sports, and all the other good stuff that comes along with a full life, I have also felt in my heart this nagging fear of starting this internet dialogue to get my message out.

It may sound silly but, while I am passionate about helping people live healthy lives, I also am nervous about people reading it. It feels vulnerable to me, expressing my thoughts & feelings into the realm of cyberspace. What if someone disagrees with me, posts a negative comment, misunderstands what I write...all this can be crippling. What if I misspell a word?

Here I sit, battling my fears. Yet, only I have the power to answer the question. Who will win today? Me or my fear.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do something everyday that scares you."  I love that kind of spirit. The fighter spirit. The one that says "this is hard and uncomfortable, but I will find the strength to do it anyway".

I'm posting my blog today, inviting people who I know (and don't know) to read it, and opening my heart to share my thoughts with you. I will choose not to allow fear to win today.

How about you? What are you afraid of? Where is fear winning in your life? The only time healthy, positive change can happen is when we are willing to step into the ring and battle.

One reason for my blog is to stand beside you as you battle. It's not easy to change. You may not always feel like you're "winning". But, you can find the courage to keep fighting when there are people surrounding you, encouraging you to press on when you feel defeated.

Write down one change you will work on that feels scary. Maybe it's trusting more in your relationships, or resisting the urge to snack when you're lonely.  Whatever it is, write it down. Start working on it. The first step to victory is to step in the ring.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Start simple.

Start simple today. Make it your goal to have a serving of fruit or vegetables with every meal - breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Write it in your calendar, if you think that would help you stay on track. This will help you create the momentum you need to make other healthy choices today as well! Let me know how it goes - I would love to hear from you.