An eye-opening event
A few weeks ago, I was attending an event and one of the topics was about goal-setting. The speaker asked, “How many women in this room don’t like to set goals?” There were probably 30-ish women in the room and I’d say half of their hands went up. And I was shocked 😲 “You’re afraid to set goals?”
That just was the most foreign concept to me ever. I didn’t get it. I was like, “Why don’t you set goals?” Basically, many women don’t like to set goals because they’ve set goals in the past and they either didn’t hit them, or put too much pressure on themselves to achieve it. I get it, it’s the fear of success, and/or the fear of failure. Then some women set goals that they aren’t excited about.
I used to work in corporate and at one particular company we had a review every quarter and every quarter we were given goals by your manager. And let’s be honest, 90% of the goals I set was because I thought I should say the right thing. I wanted the bonus! 💰When you’re in a corporate job you can’t say, “I don’t give a rat’s keister about any of this. I just want you to pay me money on the 15th and the 31st of the month and just leave me alone.” 🤐
That would get you fired, just saying. 🤷
Those kinds of goals were what I was used to setting. I’d some goals in my life, the usual, you know — my husband and I, saved for our wedding, we saved for a house. But other than that, I literally bumped a lot through life for a really long time.
When I first started to get into health and fitness, the trainer that I worked with he said, “Let’s set some goals. Why are you here? I don’t want to waste your time, and I don’t want you to waste my time, why are you here?” And for a lot of people that can be very like, “Who the hell are you?” Or “yeah, you’re right, you don’t want to waste MY time.” For me I felt inspired, empowered, like, “Yeah, let’s do this, let’s come up with some goals.”
After hearing these women, I could totally see how scary it could be, especially if you’ve told yourself you’re going to lose 50 pounds in three days and you didn’t do it and you’re like, “Screw it. Pass the brownie.” I get that.
When I first became a Wellness Coach and I went through my coaching program, one of the cornerstones of the program was creating a Wellness Vision. And I don’t know why this idea of flew out of my head and why I haven’t talked about this before. The wellness vision takes the pressure off of the goal. Instead you to think about the vision as your ideal scenario, your ideal day. It’s brainstorming, it’s visualizing, “If I could have anything in the world, this is what I want.” And we’ve all played that game.
My parents used to live in New York, and my husband and I would drive back and forth between Boston and New York. And right where 95 and 91 came together there was always this giant billboard and it had the lottery numbers, and it would say, “Powerball is $X. million dollars”. For the next 20 or 30 minutes we would go back and forth saying (I’m making up the number) if it was $200 million that’s enough money go into work and just tell everyone what you think about them after the check clears. And then we would say, “What would we do? What’s the first thing?” We would just have this complete fantasy time of what we would do.
That’s how I want you to think about the Wellness Vision, because we’ve all played that game of “if money was no object, what would you do? If you had unlimited vacation time, where would you go?” But we never really do that when it comes to the container of real life. So that’s what the Wellness Vision is, it’s like in the container of real life what do you see your healthy lifestyle, what do you see for yourself? What does success look like for you? And let yourself go into adreamweaver state, let yourself just get crazy and dream big.
Finding your inspiration
I’ve talked about this multiple times – I journal, this is not something that’s going to be this five-minute exercise you are writing down what the heck you want from your health and your fitness. it might be a couple-day process. For me, I think best in the most random situations. I used to take public transportation a lot,… things would just come to me when I was on the T.
Now things come to me when I’m working out.
Niel Rodgers, he’s been a musician for zillions of years and he has written, produced, played on a multitude of songs that we’ve all heard. He’s written and produced with Madonna, Inxs, Duran Duran, Chic to name a few. And he says that where he gets inspiration – he lives in New York – he would ride the subway all night as he’s working through lyrics to a song or working through the music to a song. We all find inspiration in weird spots.
Take some time and ask yourself, “What is my ideal scenario when it comes to my health? What is my ideal scenario when it comes to my fitness? What do I want?”
The Golden Zone
When I was at this event a few weeks ago this woman said, “I want the Golden Zone.” And she went on to describe what the Golden Zone was, and she said, “The Golden Zone is where I’m not constantly thinking is what I’m eating, is it good? Is it bad? I’m not freaked out if I miss a workout. I’ m not constantly thinking about food, I’m not constantly thinking about exercise. I just wake up and it’s just what I do.” Now, that’s a vision, that right there is a vision. Her vision, she calls it the Golden Zone; you can call it whatever the heck you want, you can call it Hamburger Land, I don’t care. But she calls it the Golden Zone, and that’s where she wants to go.
Those are the kind of thoughts that I want you to bring up – what’s keeping you stuck? Do you look at someone else and think, “Suzy, man. Suzy has A, B, C and D. God, if I could just have half of what Suzy has, my life would just be complete.” So, think about those things and just write them down. And don’t feel like it has to be in any particular order. And I do have a blueprint for you, so if you’re someone who’s like you need to have little structured thinking, I do have a blueprint, you can grab the template right here.
Stop spinning your wheels
So, that’s where you start, it’s like, “What is my ideal scenario? What do I want for my health and for my fitness?” Because the best thing I ever heard was, “If I aim at nothing, I’m always going to hit it.” And I see so many people spinning their wheels and it’s because there’s no clarity about what they want. One day they want to put on muscle, the next day they want a flat stomach, then two weeks later it’s all about having a booty you can bounce a quarter off of, and then it’s back to I just want to learn to have better self-care. So, you’re just moving through life kind of here, there, and everywhere and never really connecting and committing to a path. And when you don’t connect and commit to a path there’s no way you can make forward motion. And then when you don’t make forward motion, “This doesn’t work, this sucks” or “I suck. I’m not supposed to do this. I’m not worthy.”
Whatever your story you tell yourself, I want you to think about it as… this is old school, so some of you youngins might not know what I’m talking about. But back in the day before there was GPS you used to have to open up a map. 🗺️ AAA would send you this thing called a trip ticket, and literally it was probably about the size of a small notebook, I would call on the phone, and tell them I wanted to go from Boston to Florida. They would ask me a series of questions, did I wanted to drive straight through? Did I want to take the scenic route? They would ask about hotels I might want to stay at along the way, they would talk about the kind of food I like so they would highlight different restaurants that I could pull off of; the whole bit. And so, literally the trip ticket, like every hundred miles it would say, “Start on the Mass Pike and head to 84, and then head to 91.” And so, you would do all of these steps, and like would go through the trip ticket.
That’s what the Wellness Vision is, it’s your trip ticket for your health so that if you did get off the route you can come back to the trip ticket and be like, “Wait, where am I supposed to be?” And you could look at it, kind of nowadays with GPS, if you miss a turn the little voice is like, “Rerouting.” Instead of “Rerouting”, it’s like, “Where did I start? And I want to get back to here.” And maybe you do need to reroute, but if I don’t know where I started, how do I know where I want to go?
And I always want you to think about this – the clearer I am about where I want to go, the better chance I have of getting there, and also the better chance I have of making the micro adjustments to help me get there. And if you want, think about micro adjustments as I’m driving down the highway and there’s construction and maybe the whole road is closed, and you have to do a roundabout route because of construction. Or maybe the road is closed because there’s a huge accident and we’re all trying to figure out how to get around this accident. I want you to just think about those kinds of things because that’s life, there are bumps in the roads, there are accidents, there is always going to be detours, and figuring out the Wellness Vision your kind of pre-think out those things. You kind of say, “In the past these have been my obstacles.” Maybe your obstacles are vacations, maybe your obstacles are certain people, maybe your obstacles are certain foods, maybe your obstacles are times in the day, and you just kind of pre-think what your known obstacles are so that you can kind of say, “Susan, whenever she calls me we always go out for a drink, and it’s never one drink, it’s always easily a bottle of wine that turns into food that turns into this, this, this, and this.” So maybe it’s you calling up Susan and you set up parameters about, “Hey, I would love to meet you for a drink, but it can’t turn to a night of debauchery.” You have this pre-emptive conversation so that you just don’t let the night go along and you wake up the next morning kicking yourself like, “Ugh, I did it again.” 😩
Plan for Ebb and Flow
Or maybe it’s like you’re going on vacation, so you look for places that might have a gym, you look for places that might have healthier options, so that you’re not feeling like, “Oh my God, I’m still on my diet on my vacation.” Instead you’re like, “I can still have a fun vacation and still honor my health.” Do you see what I’m saying? Finding that ebb and that flow between staying on the vision, but then also having that flexibility in your life, because I really hate when people are missing birthday parties or they’re so focused on getting up before everyone gets up on vacation so they can go to the gym and get that out of day. No, no, no. I don’t want that for you. I lived that life, and it’s not a fun life, and I want to save you from that.
The other thing about wellness vision is set your priorities. You’re not falling for those shiny objects, you’re not seeing, “Oh, Sally is doing Keto and Susie is doing Whole 30 and so-and-so is doing Paleo.” You’re like, “This is my vision, and does Keto fit into what my vision is, what my priorities are? Does Whole 30 fit into my vision, what my priorities are? And it always kind of helps ground you, kind of put your feet on solid ground, versus like you always feel like you’re scrambling a bit for that. And the key for it is that you have to write it down. That is the one thing that I think a lot of people miss. When I write it down it’s something that activates in my brain, that my brain starts to register this as truth. And there’s a famous study from Harvard about goals.
Prior to graduation, it was determined that:
- 84% of the entire class had set no goals at all
- 13% of the class had set written goals but had no concrete plans
- 3% of the class had both written goals and concrete plans
Well, you’ve likely somewhat guessed it. 10 years later, the 13% of the class that had set written goals but had not created plans, were making twice as much money as the 84% of the class that had set no goals at all.
However, the apparent kicker is that the 3% of the class that had both written goals and a plan, were making ten times as much as the rest of the 97% of the class.
The study goes to show the power of just writing things down really helps to just kind of get your brain just activated and start to tick off like, “Yeah, let’s do this, let’s make this happen.” So, take the time, sit down, write out what your ideal vision is, and then also take the time to just see it. See it in your mind and make a movie of it. I know I really stink about that and I need to get better at it, that’s one of the things I’m working on.
There is a woman, her name is Lisa Nichols, and she is a motivational speaker. She’s awesome, so Google her and watch one of her videos, she’s a rock star. And one of the things she talked about was she always wanted to meet Oprah. Lisa was one of the authors of The Secret, and if you don’t know what The Secret is The Secret is a book about the law of attraction. She was one of the people who participated in the book, The Secret, and the movie, The Secret. And of course, Oprah was like, “The Secret, this is an awesome book, you must come on my show.” So, for years Lisa would see herself being interviewed by Oprah, she’s like, “I could smell the leather from the couch, I could feel what it was like to shake her hand, we’re gonna be besties”, the whole nine yards. Oprah’s people knocked on the door and say, “Hey, we want you to come on The Oprah Show.” And she’s there, and she’s like the whole experience was exactly how she envisioned it. She said, “The only thing that was missing,” because there were, I think seven or eight of them being interview at the same time, “we couldn’t sit on the leather couch, so we’re sitting in director’s chairs.” But she’s like everything else was just as she had imagined it in her mind.
So, I want you to really get that clear on your Golden Zone (if that’s what you call it), “Okay, I just wake up at 5:00 a.m. and I just go to the gym, and I come home for the gym and I just automatically make a protein shake I don’t think anything different, I don’t think, ‘Oh, where are the blueberry pancakes?’ I don’t think, ‘Where is the bacon and eggs?’ I’m like, ‘Bring on that protein shake because I know that’s going to nourish my body.’ And then in the evening I have a bedtime, I am never dragging booty all through the day because I don’t know how to take myself to bed.” So, it’s like those kinds of things, like just close your eyes and just see it happening.
There are six steps to creating a Wellness Vision, and the first step is clear, you’ve got to get clarity, where do you want to go? If you were punching it into the GPS, where are you going? Because if you punch in here – I’m here on Mass Ave in Cambridge. Mass Ave goes for four towns, so Mass Ave could lead me anywhere; it could be 20 miles that way, 10 miles that way. So, where do you want to go? And be clear, and don’t be afraid, just have faith that you can do this. And just be super clear about what you want.
What’s your motivation?
What is your motivation? Have the courage to say, the balls to be like, “I’m planting the stake in the ground, and this is who I want to become. I’m done dilly dallying over here, I’m planting my stake, and this is where I want to land, where I want to end up, this is how I want to feel about myself, my body, my life.” And then it comes into what is going to motivate?
We all have those days. Like right now it’s snowing outside. Imagine if this was 5:00 a.m., you knew it was going to snow; are you going to get up? Are you going to get up and shovel out your car, go to the gym? Maybe you have to shovel out your car again and then come back home, because it’s been plenty of mornings that I’ve done that. But you have to be in that mindset of, “You know what? I’m not going to roll over because it’s snowing. I’m not going to come up with a multitude of excuses why I can’t because of the snow.” So, you have to have that connection, that motivation inside.
Draw your line in the sand
And then the next piece is what are the challenges? I talked about this earlier. You need to sit down and say, “You know what? Stuff is going to happen. It’s going to.” A snow day is going to happen, a flat tire, boss dumps work on your lap, all of that stuff is going to happen. Kids get sick, you get sick, the whole bit. I want you to just literally sit down and write out those scenarios; what if any of that happens. And we know those things that always happen.
When I was in corporate, I had this boss who made The Devil Wears Prada look like Mary Poppins, she was straight up the devil. Anyway, she would always just come up with these last-minute projects for me to do. It would be like 5:00pm, she would swing buy and say, “Girl, I need this for first thing in the morning.” And she’s like, “You’re a peach.” And I’d be like, “No, I’m more like an angry elf.” She would always do that to me, and so finally I was like, “I’m done.” I was always the last person at work, and I just was starting to get resentful, and so I said, “I gotta to do something for myself.” And I found this kickboxing class two nights a week, and I said, “I’m going to tell her that two nights a week I’m taking this class. Any other night I can say late, but Mondays and Wednesdays I have to leave at 5:30 come hell or high water.” And I went in and I told her, and I said, “Look P, for my sanity I really got to start to exercise, and on Mondays and Wednesday I got to leave at 5:00pm so that I can go to this class.” At first she was just like, “What?” And then eventually she realized that I liked the class and I was less bitchy to her and to other people when I went to this class. So, figure out what your obstacles are and how you are going to get around those particular obstacles.
Consistency not complacency
And at the end of the day it’s all about, “How do I create the consistency?” It’s like, “I need to create these great habits, and the great habits will create the results, and the results will ultimately create the consistency.” And at the end of the day that’s what we want. We want to be able to have these repeatable events; we want to be able to say, “When I take these three actions. I know this is what’s going to happen.” I think about it like an experiment or a recipe, if I put together three different things, I know I’m going to get a great cake, or if I put these things together, I’m going to make amazing taco.
You decide what motivates you more.
But it’s like that blueprint, it’s like, “What do I want? What do I want to become? What are the habits, routines that I need to start to create? What are my obstacles? Who is going to motivate me? Do I have a support group?” Because you need the support, because there’s times when the voices in your head starts talking to you louder than anything, and you just need someone who can be real with you, someone who can kind of grab you by the feet and just bring you back down earth when you start to spin out of control. So, think about those kinds of things.
And the vision, at the end of the day, is your path. I write it down, and I look at it every morning as part of my morning ritual. I flip through it, I read it. I spend a few minutes closing my eyes and just seeing what my Golden Zone is. And then that’s how I kind of embody it into my day.
And then I typically ask myself the question, “How can I live my best life today? How can I live my ideal vision today?” And usually something flows out of me that I’m like, “Oh wow, I’ve never thought about it like that.” And maybe that will happen for you, I don’t know. But I just always want to throw those kinds of things out there. I know for some people that might seem a little airy-fairy, and five years ago I would have been like, “Yeah, not so much for me.” But it has really kind of changed my life to be able to sit down and create those things.
What is your Golden Zone, leave me a comment below.