Keeping your Resolution Challenge [Day 6]

Like it or not, we humans are fickle critters. We think of our rewards as being our motivation — and yes, that works for long-term motivation, but in the mean time, we’ve got a short attention span. Frankly, that’s just how we mere humans are hardwired to be a little more short-sighted and easily distracted by something shiny. We can thank our endorphin for that.

It’s time to fortify our short-term reserves.

This is often the hardest part of what I walk clients through because it requires raw honesty without judgement. So grab your visual with motivations, excuses and retorts and grab a cuppa rosie. We’re going to explore what could be your best assets — or your greatest stumbling points.

eat4Start with asking yourself these questions:

  1. When do I normally get emotional?
  2. What are my emotional triggers?
  3. What are my physical triggers?
  4. What part of the puzzle piece am I missing?

When I said answer the questions with raw honesty and judgement, I meant it. It’s necessary to analyse the bits of our life that would make us fail so we can shore up when they strike, thus making it easier to obtain our goals. This could be things like having a great day at work and wanting to celebrate the small things. It could be that “ominous and mysterious time of the month” — don’t pull any punches here, it happens to both sexes. It could be the weekly visit from your mother. Analyse what in your life triggers changes, but more importantly how you react.

Once you think you have all the answers, call your best friend and ask them for their honest, no-holds barred assessment and add it to the list to make sure you have all of it. Armed with this judgement free knowledge, you can build in more of your battle plan and reward yourself for each little hurdle.

For example, stress sets me on a strange binge where I want Pringles and anything else crispy, salty, and fatty. I can guarantee I’m going to feel stress with our monthly visits to Travis’s family to help on the farm and reconnect — not because they are overly stressful, but the lack of money that comes along with driving, the inevitable outing to wherever their whims take us, and the lack of ability to make money to compensate while we are out is a huge stressor for both me and my fiancé.

I know that this is going to happen so I can prepare like this:

  • Get things done and set up ahead of time.
  • Automate as much work as possible.
  • Since I’m craving crispy, salty, and fatty eat home-made cucumber chips for lunch to take care of the salt and crisp. If the craving continues, indulge in Grandma’s down home cookin’.
  • Try to have more in savings “just in case”.
  • Practise honesty with the family by stating that we can’t afford things often (they have very selective memories), and suggest a lower cost option for the activities. Preferably something with exercise.
  • Focus on the fact that we’re also helping out the family farm, and this is good.
  • Start each morning at the farm with yoga.

diy-quote-wall-art_17737-0This is the sort of thing that you’ll need to be able to do with each of the factors in your life, for it will help you get past those awkward and annoying moments in time when your emotions take over and you forget your goals. You’ll be instilling a few new habits — hopefully good ones in the long run.

The best part is, you get to reward yourself at the end of the moment for a job well done. The best way to do this is to make sure that it’s something that aligns with your goals and helps your motivation along. Perhaps this is putting money in a pot for an adventure vacation. Maybe it’s a class you’ve always wanted to take. Maybe it’s a book and permission to curl up on the couch reading the rest of the weekend in blissful quiet.

Another key to your rewards should be to make sure it’s small parts of a bigger reward or add to it every time you do a job well done. You don’t want to go bigger and better each time, and the same rewards get dull after a few repetitions. For example, you don’t want to reward yourself with a new something every time you’ve successfully navigated your mother’s attempts at setting you on dates — you’d likely have a closet full of crap you don’t need and a sad bank account. So, instead think of things like a class you could work for, a play date with friends, or something else you could work towards every time you’re successful in changing your stressed out ways.

Resolution Challenge Day6SM

Before you know it, you’ll have obtained your goal, collected a few more habits, and new knowledge, stronger friendships, and inner serenity. Crow about your accomplishments in the comments so we can cheer you on for the rest of the year. You’ve got the tools, now go take over your niche of the world.