As we start out this new year, it’s always fun and exciting to think about all the things we hope to accomplish…
- Projects we want to tackle
- Goals we hope to achieve
- Habits we’d like to have
- Adventures we’d like to take
But even more important than making a list of what you want to do, is setting yourself up to actually accomplish those things. This isn’t about having a more willpower, or even having an elaborate plan of action. I bet you can recall many times when those kind of strategies have failed, huh?
The best step you can take towards making your dreams a reality in 2019 is to imagine the future in vivid details– and to be self-aware, honest, and compassionate with yourself while you do it.
Only when we look at our fears head-on can we beat them once and for all and make lasting, positive change.
The followings two-step process will help you supercharge your goals and turn them into reality using this quick exercise adapted from The Power of Story, by Jim Loehr. This exercise might feel a little strange at first, but do it anyway and it really will be worth it!
Your Old Story
Grab a pen and paper and take a few minutes to tell your “Old Story”. That is, the story about where you’re at right now and how you feel about it. Consider writing about your job, your family, your friendships, your health and your overall happiness.
You can think about what’s working for you… and what isn’t. This is a great place to include your gratitude, but also, if there are areas of your life that aren’t moving you towards happiness and success, consider writing about why they’re not working.
That part can be scary AF.
When it comes to working out, nearly everyone struggles to get started. Getting past the logistics (like where to go and when and what to do when you get there) usually turns out to be the easy part. Often the hard part of getting into the habit of working out is really in overcoming the self-doubt, the fear, and the shame taught to you by a society that tells you you’re not enough.
In case you don’t hear this very often, let me just put it out there: you are enough.
Scary as it is, writing down these fears is so important. The key to making a habit change that sticks is in being clear on your story– the story you might not even realize you’re telling yourself until you try to write it down.
I’m talking about the story you have about how you CAN’T workout because you don’t know which exercises to do… or because your knee hurts when you do lunges… or because it feels like as soon as you walk into the gym people will know you don’t belong there… or because you just don’t have the time or energy to do it.
These are all real concerns, and they can FEEL like self-care, like they protect us from pain and embarrassment.
But when we let truly solvable problems get in the way of what we want to do, those stories also protect us from happiness and success.
Once you see that story written down, you might actually think, “This is it?! THIS is the only reason I’m not moving forward?”
Could you see a physical therapist or exercise specialist about your knee? Resolve to try out a body positive gym like Bold & Badass, so you can workout shame-free? Could you enlist your partner’s support in getting to bed earlier so you can get better rest and have more energy?
If there’s something you want to do, well, someone’s going to do it. Why not YOU?
Your New Story
Now for the fun part!
Write yourself a letter, dated Dec. 31, 2019 and tell yourself your “New Story” in the present tense as if it were already true. Write about how you will have grown and changed while attempting to reach your goals this year. Imagine both the work it will take to complete the goal, and how incredible you’ll feel when you reach it.
Describe the changes you had to make to get there, and what made things work out this time even though you might have failed in past attempts. Your past does not determine your future, and as you beat the obstacles to reach your goals you will believe it that much more.
What would that kind of rock-solid confidence make possible for you?!
Think about how amazing you’ll feel as you move toward your goals and the life you want to life. Really let yourself feel it all: proud, happy, grateful, amazed, fulfilled – all of it!
Finally, put your letter somewhere you can read it on a regular basis (even daily!) so that you remind yourself of what each accomplishment means for you. This is a sort of destination postcard: an imagined view of your future that’s so vivid you almost feel like you have already achieved it.
Why it works
Studies show that emotions are the secret sauce to making your dreams a reality. It turns out that you can’t just say you want to do something. Your goals need to be deeply imbued with emotion to work!
That does NOT mean that you should use shame to motivate yourself. On the contrary: shame makes our world feels smaller, and our dreams farther away.
But positive emotions like self-compassion, gratitude, and a healthy sense of pride can help our goals more achievable by preventing emotional set-backs and by making them feel more real, which makes us more likely to act in our own best interest.
Could you use a little extra support and encouragement in reaching your goals? Need help trouble-shooting the exercises that work for your body? Bold & Badass Fitness can help!
At the end of January we’ll be starting the Core Strength Challenge, a two-month fitness challenge that is all about lifting you up and giving you the skills to be ready for whatever life throws at you. This challenge comes with unlimited bootcamps, guidance and support in letting go of shame and replacing it with self-compassion, at-your-own-pace programming for an extra boost, and two challenge “test” days to explore our fundamental core movement and see how far you can get with it.
The Core Strength Challenge is currently on pre-sale– the absolute best deal we offer–so you can save an extra $100 off and get two extra weeks of workouts for FREE from now until January 9th… unless it sells out first. To learn more and reserve your spot, sign up here: https://transactions.sendowl.com/products/77954669/8F889E62/view.