Goal Setting: How to Set & Achieve Realistic Goals out of Self-Love
“The more something threatens your identity, the more you’re going to try to avoid it.”
-Manson’s Law of Avoidance
I wanted to talk today about why we find ourselves KNOWING that something’s not good for us and not doing anything about it.
With the New Year coming around the corner, there’s always SO much pressure to completely alter your entire existence in about 48 hours. If you don’t have a brand-new gym membership followed by a crash-diet, new house, boyfriend, car and financial plan, you’re simply not doing the New Year right!
But, what happens when we know that some of the changes we should be making in our lives never come to full completion?
Do I think you need to join a crazy gym regiment and crash diet?
However, what if something as wonderful as ‘wanting to work on your self-confidence’ this coming 2020 was your New Year, New You?
Would you make it happen?
Would you read up on self-confidence, do the exercises provided, possibly see a coach or therapist?
Maybe you know your significant other does NOT help with your body confidence and overall self-esteem, would you kick them to the curb?
Would you do all these things ... probably not and even if you did, would they stick? That’s what I want to talk about today, why bettering ourselves is sometimes seemingly impossible even when we know how badly we desire to do so.
The real issue with self-betterment begins with your intention behind doing so.
Are you trying to change your waistline to snag that cute boy at the checkout line?
Do you think that going vegan on January 1st will make you not look ugly in the mirror anymore?
Maybe you think that if you spend 2020 chasing money ferociously, you’ll finally feel secure and satisfied with who you are and your career status?
Or you want to spend more time with family because you are a shitty son or daughter and that’s what good sons or daughters do.
All of these goals are created by a common theme: you self-loathing and self-deprecating.
When you create a goal from a place of, “I’m the worst and no one loves me, so I have to change this thing about myself and then people will like me.”
The math ain’t adding up, sista! In fact, the opposite emotions will become stronger. The more you hate and think negatively towards yourself and try to bully yourself into making some drastic change come the New Year or really any day of the year, the less chance you have of even completing the change and the SERIOUSLY less chance you have of feeling good if you do.
“Self-hatred does not bring about self-love or self-acceptance.”
So, first things first, rewrite your intention.
Maybe you want to lose weight because you know that being overweight isn’t good for your body and you love yourself too much to do harm to it?
Maybe you want to try going vegan because you want to lower your intake of animal products and try to focus more on plant-based choices?
Maybe you want to make more money, so you can pay off some of your debt or be able to go on that vacation y0u’ve always wanted to go on, so you are willing to work hard and prove yourself because you know you can do it?
Maybe you want to spend more time with family because you love them and can leave your own ego at the door?
You have to find the right parameters for your change.
What is your intention and value behind them all? Because if you’re seeking self-confidence, but forcing yourself to go to the gym every day by yelling at the mirror and crying about how terrible you think you look, the math ain’t gonna add up, my love.
The next step is, “Where did these bad habits or beliefs come from in the first place?”
We tend to try to distract ourselves from the true pain we’re experiencing in the moment.
What is the place you are trying to fill?
What are the emotions you currently lack and are trying to experience?
What do you believe this goal will bring you?
Check your math.
I lack self-confidence, so I’m going to crash-diet.
Doesn’t add up.
I lack self-confidence, so I’m going to begin taking better care of my body out of love & self-respect. It takes time, but I’m willing to spend time caring for myself because I'm worth it.
Adds up nicely.
Where did the habit of binging come from or emotionally eating then? Did it come from you feeling sorry for yourself? Did it come from you heavily restricting your calories? Did it come from some silly diet from a magazine that you now believe is the only way to eat to look like a model? Models don’t look like models, remember that.
Where did your bad habit or belief come from? Do you want to give up smoking, but your bad habit began as a coping mechanism for dealing with a toxic relationship?
You have to fix the cause before the effect.
You have to fix the toxic relationship, or at least become aware of it and address it, before trying to change your coping mechanism.
Because that’s how you continue with old habits.
Believing that you don’t have to care for the roots of the weed, but just keep spraying the weed away with all sorts of chemicals to distract it from its dying roots.
Figure out where the habit or belief that isn’t serving you came from, how you want to alter that root and then we can begin to alter your habits that arose from it.
So, how do you alter those habits?
Be super uncomfortable!
Like INSANELY uncomfortable!
‘Growing pains’ are called pains for a reason. It hurts. You’re going to cry. If it doesn’t hurt and you don’t cry, you probably aren’t challenging that old, un-serving identity of yours. Because you’ve found comfort in something that isn’t good for you.
And we all do that!
We all find comfort in thought patterns, coping mechanisms, physical distractions, physical attractions, etc. to ignore the issues we need to face. Even when we know some of those things are not good for us, they’re familiar.
Your bad habits and negative self-beliefs have become familiar.
How often do you criticize your waistline in the mirror in the morning?
How often do you beat yourself for being stupid in class?
How often do you feel guilty for being anxious at a board meeting?
You’ve found solace in bullying yourself.
And you have then taken physical actions to continue that abuse.
I would emotionally eat because I felt so ugly and sad about myself.
I knew that binging on chocolate and candy at 10 PM would not help me in the slightest, however, I didn’t like myself, so why would I help her?
I knew that.
But, why then, did I not do anything to change it?
Because we tend to avoid things that challenge our identity. Even when we know our identity isn’t serving us.
So, you have to challenge back.
You have to be INSANELY uncomfortable.
You have to want to change for the right reasons and realistic expectations.
I want to stop emotional eating because I love my body the way it is now and I want to take care of it the best that I can. I know it will take time and I am okay with that.
Okay, so we have the right reason and realistic expectations.
Now, we enter with discomfort.
We know it will hurt and be hard, but we know and are READY to experience that shift.
That is the core reason why 90% of people fail self-improvement.
They know they want to be better; they may even want it for the right reasons, but we believe that improving ourselves should and will feel amazing.
It does not and it won’t.
But, the end result, is beyond our comprehension on how incredible and accomplished we will feel! How freeing it is to leave an old, un-serving identity behind!
I picture it like shoving a boulder up a mountain.
The journey SUCKS! It’s hard and we thought this would be so easy and happy and *yay we love self-improvement!* But in reality, it’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. You’ll want to fail because it seems easier to continue living in this identity with the habits and beliefs you probably have set in stone that experience the painful growth you know you need.
And I won’t lie to you, it is easier! But is easy always better?
Is easy what you want out of life? Is easy what your struggle wants to keep you in for life?
Yes, it is.
Self-improvement is a struggle otherwise everyone would be doing it, but in a world where seemingly everyone is ‘doing it,’ but few are accomplishing it, something has to be missing.
It’s that. It’s the painful part. We’ve fostered our bad habits and beliefs and coping mechanisms to ESCAPE the pain, so why would we welcome it back in?
Because pushing a boulder up a mountain is PAINFUL and also very much so worth it when you reach the top, but if you fear facing the pain, you won’t ever even see the tip of the mountain and what lies for you on the other side of that boulder.
Set goals of out love
Make them realistic and sustainable
Make sure your math is balanced
Understand that nothing on the outside will bring you inner joy, it’s the other way around, so support yourself through the process
Self-betterment and self-improvement suck and are uncomfortable; which is why we need to do them more often
The more often you experience the pain of growth, the less drastic it becomes and the more likely you are to truly complete your goals in the first place.
Embrace the discomfort because it means you are challenging your old identity that is not serving you-the one you want to leave behind.
Keep going and continue to change not only your habits, but your inner beliefs of who you are and what you are capable of/want in this lifetime; mindset is key.
Congratulate yourself! You just pushed a freaking boulder all the way to the top of an insanely tall and sometimes scary mountain