Embarking on a health program is a commitment that requires dedication, determination, and a clear vision of one’s goals. This year, in January I began my own health journey with a comprehensive plan which includes six meals a day, consuming 64 plus ounces of water daily, and the support of a coach. With a specific goal in mind and a well-structured plan in place, I set out to achieve my objective before the end of September. While the road has not been easy, the lessons learned include the importance of making certain choices, developing perseverance, and making sacrifices to reach the finish line.
Undoubtedly, the path to achieving our goals is often accompanied by challenges and setbacks. There were times when I felt tempted to give up, especially when progress seemed slower than anticipated. However, learning to appreciate that progress is progress, regardless of its speed. Each step forward was a testament to my determination and commitment, even when faced with obstacles. By embracing a mindset of perseverance, I was able to bounce back from setbacks and stay focused on the end goal.
Are you on a path towards achieving your goals? Do you ever feel discouraged because progress seems slow? By consciously choosing to prioritize our goals and making decisions that align with them, we set ourselves on the path to success. One tool taught by this health program is the idea of “STOP. CHALLENGE. CHOOSE.” (habitsofhealth.com).
When facing setbacks, before you give up, STOP. This is a time to pause and reflect. Evaluate your reasons for wanting to quit. Then CHALLENGE: Challenge your negative thoughts and seek alternative perspectives. Achieving our goals often requires sacrifice-a willingness to let go of certain comforts, habits, or distractions that hinder our progress. Sacrifice is not a punishment but a steppingstone towards a brighter future. Evaluate what you can give up or adjust to make room for your goals. Then CHOOSE: It is easy to let setbacks derail us, but it is in these moments our choices matter most.
For example, I want a piece of chocolate cake. For those of you that know me, you know I have a weakness for anything chocolate, but especially chocolate baked goods. They are extremely hard to resist. What I want to grab a piece, I STOP, I CHALLENGE myself with the thought that it will set my goal back another four days and then I CHOOSE to not have the cake.
What are you working on now that this process will work for you? Do you have a big project at work? Is your child graduating in the spring and you have certain goals around that? Do you want to grow as a leader in Toastmasters? Whatever your goal is, this process could work for you. I encourage you to use this when you have a goal you want to achieve.