In the previous blog, Setting the Table, we set goals for ourselves and we gave each of them a weight or a priority. So now we have an idea of where we want to go and how much effort we want to give to each aspect of our lives. The next question is, how much time do we give to our goals? What’s the best time to work on them? Do some of them get a portion of each day? Do others get a portion of each week? This is how we usually think about working toward a goal. But I have a different idea. How about every waking moment? In case that seems too daunting, here’s another idea that goes along with it. We can’t get this wrong.
It might sound obvious, but it’s hard to reach a goal without being really clear about what we want to achieve. We have a size or weight goal, which is good. It gives us a specific and measurable target to work toward. In addition to changing our size or weight, we also have goals of health, freedom of movement, relationships, careers, volunteer activity, art, music, theatre, and on and on. Some of those goals might be harder to measure. How can we be more specific about what we want to achieve? How do we know how much effort to put into each of these aspects of our lives? What is the perfect balance for each of us? And what tools, what mental, emotional, and social skills do we want to develop or polish to be able to achieve that life balance? We want to set ourselves up for success in reaching our goals, so let’s set that table and get ready for the Main Meal of our lives.
When I was a child, I used to go to a community pool in the summer. Every hour, the lifeguards would blow their whistles and everyone had to get out of the pool for a 10 minute rest period. They did it to test the water and add chemicals, but they also did it to prevent exhaustion, for our safety.
When you hit a plateau, or when you have gained a little bit of weight, when you are feeling discouraged, what is your first thought about how to get back on track? Maybe you think about getting back to using your calorie tracker. Maybe you make up a new grocery list so you have the ‘good’ foods in the house when you need them. Maybe you resolve to watch your food portions more closely. Or maybe you decide it’s time to get back to the exercise plan you made for yourself. Do you decide that you can add just one more day of exercise to your schedule? These are the most common responses I hear when I ask this question in coaching.
There are any number of products on the market from vitamins to drinks to pills designed to boost our energy and help us be more productive. If we’re paying attention to our body feedback, we also recognize that some foods give us more energy than others and leave us feeling supercharged. Regardless of whether it’s a manufactured supplement or a natural food combination, we all need a little help now and then to feel less sluggish and more alive.
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