It sounds pretty good, right? Desserts and only desserts, all the time. Forget protein, veggies, fruits and nuts. Let’s live on just desserts! Well, that’s exactly how we get to our goals. That’s our practice, isn’t it? We are treating ourselves to sweet thoughts and outrageously joy-filled lives through choices made from awareness. No matter what we put on our plates, we are focusing our energy on the sweetness of relationships, the joy to be found in work, service, and play, and the deliciously decadent life of health, financial abundance, and every other good thing we can think of.
Think of some of your favorite restaurants. What music is playing as you eat. Are they rocking the latest popular music? Is there soft jazz playing in the background? Is there a live band or a singer entertaining you as you eat? An Italian restaurant might have Dean Martin or Italian ballads playing in the background. Mexican restaurants often have a trio of singers who go from table to table taking requests. A beachside restaurant might play the Beach Boys music, or surf-type songs.
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.
We have talked about near-term and long-term goals this month. What happens when we are getting close to achieving that goal. It was at a weight loss group when I first heard about the idea of fear of success. I remember the leader talking about people who were in the program and just couldn’t lose the last 5 pounds. They couldn’t get to the goal because they were afraid of what that would mean in their life.
When I first started writing “The Main Meal: The New Perspective on Weight Loss,” I truly thought I was writing a how-to book about a different way to lose weight. I thought I would present step by step instructions for how to lose weight by being kind to yourself. What I found through the years, was the book was never about losing weight, but about learning to be kind to myself and feeling like I deserved that kindness. My end goal for the book changed.
Let’s explore timeless goals a little more. When is a timeless goal good, and when is it permission to do nothing? Does an open-ended time frame for weight loss feel overwhelming to you? Do you thrive on having a due date, or rebel against it?
In one of the chapters of my book, “The Main Meal: The New Perspective on Weight Loss,” I explained that I had to learn to get away from setting a goal to lose X number of pounds by a certain date. In order to get away from continually setting myself up for failure, I chose to set no time limits at all for when I would lose weight.
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