What difference do you want to make in 2020?

I cannot believe another decade has gone! They do say as you get older time goes by faster. This morning I was looking at pictures of my boys, they are now wonderful young men, where did the time go?

That brings me to what difference I want to make in 2020. My kids are getting older, therefore I am getting older. As you will remember last month I discovered that I am pre-diabetic. This being down to a poor diet and lifestyle. Therefore in 2020 I need to lose a significant amount of weight to reverse this condition.

Now I could wait until New Year and set myself a goal of losing weight. If I did this I would fail. I would for 2 reasons. Firstly if I am waiting for an occasion to start my goal, I am saying this goal is not as important as leading my current life. It suggests that this change will be denying me of something I love (eating crisps and drinking beer mainly). If I start with the premise that this change in lifestyle will be a chore it will ultimately end in failure. It removes choice from the equation.

Secondly setting a goal of losing weight is an away from goal. Away from goals are often doomed to failure. Let me give you an example. When I was a smoker I was always making attempts to give up smoking. So my goal was always to give up smoking, to leave smoking behind. See the problem is when you set an away from goal , once you have moved away it is very difficult to keep the momentum up to continue not to smoke. Smoking forms a habit that you have re-frame and develop new more compelling habits so if all you do is give up as I did, the desire to continue not smoking weakened until the desire to have a cigarette was stronger. I eventually gave up smoking by setting myself a towards to goal. I wanted to improve my health to increase my chances of being healthy enough in old age to play an active part in my future grandchildren’s lives. This kept me motivated to be a non smoker. I was not giving anything up I was choosing to be healthy.

So if there is something in your life that you would like to make different, what is stopping you from starting to make a difference now? If there are barriers how could you possibly remove those barriers? How important is it to you that you make this change? When can you start? Is it today, this week or next week? What are your reasons for making the change? Are they away from or towards reasons? I you create a future with this change in it, you are much more likely to achieve this change.

I have decided like last time that I would choose to have a healthier life, this includes eating less, eating healthier and exercising. The side effect of this is that I will lose weight. But losing weight is not the driving force, increasing my chances of having a healthier older age is the driving force, the driving force for changing my lifestyle. I am not denying myself anything, I am enabling a positive future for myself. That simple reframe makes all the difference.

So if you have something in your life that requires attention, don’t resolve to give it attention at some future time, attend to it now. Be very clear what you want, is what you want worth the investment, so will it create something better than you have now.

Making a difference for next year starts this year. It sounds easy, but it is never as straightforward as it seems. If it doesn’t work out first time, look at what didn’t work, make an adjustment and start again. The key is to remain motivated and keep checking in with what you want to achieve.

I was in a shop the other week when I was hungry. Big mistake! The desire to buy some pop and something full of fat was really strong. I nearly broke, the reason I didn’t was that I paused and gave myself a choice. I can have the chocolate bar and can of fizzy pop if I wanted or I could hold onto my hunger until I got home and have my main meal and keep on track for my future. This does take practice as it is a habit, and don’t get me wrong I do still enjoy a beer and a few salty snacks, but less of them and less often. The desire to have a healthy old age is more important and more compelling than giving in. The important message is not to deny yourself anything, but to choose and alternative that keeps you on track with your goals.

To summarise if it is worth changing, then it is worth changing now, so why wait, and be clear on your reasons and desire to make a change.

If your change is big and you want support, drop me a line and we can discuss I how can help.



Published by Matt Smith Personal and Professional Coach

Performance and Life Coach

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