“I want more energy, I want to lose weight, I want to be strong”
These are all great & attainable goals for many of us. If you feel any of the above goals resonate with you, I want you to ask yourself these questions:
- What expectations are attached to these goals?
- What does more energy look like to you?
- What does weight loss look like to you?
- What does strong look like to you?
Here’s the expectations we often place on these goals:
“I should be able to go go go, I should be skinny & lean, I should be toned but not bulky”
Our philosophies consist of our ideas, beliefs and values. The problem is, the ideas, beliefs and values we place on being “fit” aren’t original. They rarely come from a place of deep contemplation or understanding of what we actually want and need. Did you notice the above questions stated “look like”? They should have stated “feel like”. Fitness is not a “look”, it is a feeling, state of being. But this mix up is not our fault; we are conditioned day in and day out. Everywhere you look you’ll see examples of what we should think fitness should “look like” – magazine ads, billboards, commercials, websites, Facebook, Instagram and more. That doesn’t even touch Aunt Crazy Pants who always reminded us about our weight gain! Marketing is cunning, your insecurities make someone else rich, and “loved ones” can do some serious damage to our self-esteem. What we’re left with is a convoluted perception of fitness. All the exercise and food isn’t going to change that. It’s time to let unhealthy attachments go.
How do we let unhealthy attachments go? First, we have to figure out what they are:
What unhealthy connections can you make with a goal you want? Where did you get this idea? Where did you see it or hear it? This can be a difficult process. Try to tackle one idea at a time. Once you unveil one or two, they usually come flooding in. Here is an exercise you can give a try.
- Write down one goal you would like to achieve.
- Write a detailed description of what you have always thought that goal looks like.
- Review your description and ask these questions.
- Where does my description originate from? (who, what, where why, when)
- Do I have any unhealthy attachments with this goal? (is it realistic, is it based out of fear, refer to the unhealthy attachment list)
- Do I need to modify this goal? Can I remove an unhealthy attachment?
- Now, go back and write how this goal would FEEL. Write out in detail, how your day would feel beginning to end if you reached this goal.
- Say farewell to your unhealthy attachments. You can write them down and burn them, say them out loud and release them; however you would like, take the time to let them go. This might take time, so be patient with yourself. Tape daily affirmations to your mirror, if you’re on IG, remove any accounts that reflect your old ideas, share your thoughts with a close friend . Remind yourself often, no one gets to tell you what your body should look like.
You’ll most likely find your new goals are best described as feelings. The original goals we “picture” often translate to:
“I want to feel rested, I want to feel confident, I want to move free of pain”
In the end, we will be better off when we set goals that reflect our own lifestyle, wants and needs. Your values, ideas and beliefs are who you are. Stay true to them and your goals will fall into place better than ever.