My greatest issue is sugar, in the form of chocolate, and every single year since I became a mum (31 years ago) I have had the same goal ‘This year I will reduce my sugar/chocolate addiction’.
I think I have to come to the conclusion, considering it is still on my New Year list, that this is not a goal I want enough.
As a business owner, I have stretched my determination muscle and I have resisted many temptations. I can put much of my wisdom down to pain and wrong decisions in the past. My life has shown that I have the ability to focus, adapt, come through challenges, drive through ideas and achieve new habits for my business and health goals.
So what is it that stops this one goal being achieved? Do you have a repeating goal like this?
A number of years ago a great friend and extraordinary Business Coach taught me that achieving a goal is made from these three things.
- Knowing that you really want it and ensuring that the desire is strong enough to make it happen
- Gaining the knowledge, skills and connections that will help you to achieve it
- and this is the big one – having the will to make it happen
It is the will to make something happen that is where I see myself failing to achieve some goals.
So 31 years later, I still have chocolate on my list.
- Is my desire to deprive myself of this small joy with my coffee each morning enough? Can I see the benefit of going towards a no chocolate life enough? No, it isn’t, I eat dark chocolate, I ration the amount and I kind of convince myself that cacao is good for me and as a woman, ‘I NEED IT’. It is a futile goal as I can convince myself by day 3 that there is not enough of a benefit for the sacrifice..
- Have I got enough knowledge to give up? Well, not really, I have listened to so many ‘Sugar is bad’ books and some hypnosis meditations, even this year I bought the 8-Week Sugar Diet (which is a brilliant book) and was so enthused that I talked about it endlessly to Thomas and then still went to the cupboard for my chocolate.
- Finally, the willpower to make it happen – clearly, I have failed at one and two and so that has no chance.
Recently however, Tj Power, our son and neuroscientist, shared that we can grow our willpower muscle, and how this has a brilliant impact on our dopamine levels. Every time we deny ourselves something that is unhealthy or, put it another way, every time we grow the habit of something that would be good for us, our dopamine levels increase. The sense of achievement and joy if I flex this muscle lasts a lot longer than the chocolate moment.
I have now applied this to my work goals. (I have let go of the chocolate bashing). With my work goals I ask myself, how much do I want to achieve this and why? Then I ask myself what knowledge I need, and thankfully, within BIP100 we have a wealth of knowledge from within the Experts who have joined the community. So now it is down to my ‘will make it happen’, and I do like the thought of noticing my dopamine buzz, recognising that feeling.
I took these words from Google, “Whenever the brain anticipates a reward, it releases dopamine to stimulate us to take the necessary actions to obtain that reward. In other words, without dopamine, we wouldn’t feel motivated to improve ourselves, build a better life, or pursue certain goals”.
I hope you feel good about the year ahead. I love being in touch with you through my Ponderings each week, they are a habit that makes me feel really great, from the thoughts I ponder, to my writing, to the replies and the deeper connections I create as a result. I am now 32 weeks into this habit and once the habit is formed, there is no need for willpower.
So, this year, how do you really want to motivate yourself? What actions will you take to feel good about yourself? What habits would you like to create?
Have the best year and thank you for being part of my joy.
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