This New Year's: Change The Conversation, Change Your Life
Warning: This isn't about your business, or the latest marketing strategy. No, it is about you. Especially if -- like me -- you've ever struggled with a huge goal.
Every year, on January 1st, I head out to the beach early at sunrise, and I set goals for myself in every area of my life. I set one major goal for running my business and for parenting my two young girls, and also for my marriage, my faith and my physical health. Over the course of the year, I focus intense energy and attention on achieving those goals.
An aggressive physical goal for this year.
A few years ago when my first major book was published, and after traveling on tour, shaking too many hands and sleeping too little, I ended up in the hospital, on and off, for two months. During that time I packed on extra pounds -- weight that has hung on me like a constant reminder of those terrible, dark days that followed one of the best times in my life.
Back then, I literally went from celebrating my best-seller success in a penthouse suite overlooking the Statue of Liberty to being in a hospital a few days later.
Enough was enough.
So on the first day of 2017, I set a goal for myself to lose 50 pounds before the next New Year’s Day sunrise. I'm right on track to crush this goal. This alone is gratifying, as is wearing jeans in a smaller size than when I first had my kids. Almost more satisfying than the pizza I gave up (almost, but that's not the point) is something greater that impacts the way we all feel about ourselves.
I believe in accountably as a way to achieve my goals. As part of my weight-loss journey, I joined an online weight loss group for the program I am following. The group is terrific for getting and giving daily encouragement, recipe ideas and questions about protocol, and so on.
But what I have also noticed, now that my eyes are open to it, is the incredible amount of self-hate out there. Honest. Real. Unfiltered self-hatred. Men and women actually base their self-worth on whether or not they followed the eating program that day.
And it’s not restricted to weight-loss members. I also see this same destructive behavior in all kinds of groups. There is self-hate about whether people crushed their business goals or hired the wrong person, self-hate about making the wrong relationship choice or financial decision.
I know; because I used to have these same conversations with myself. But I realized that conversation had to change before I could change. And before you can create lasting change in any area of your life, your internal conversation has to change as well.
Here's the thing: We must stop beating ourselves up or thinking about ourselves as good or bad. Negative self-talk, self-loathing, self-judgment, all are precisely the same habits of thought that caused us to gain weight, to enter/stay-in bad relationships, to go into debt, to find ourselves in bankruptcy, to (insert issue here) and so on, in the first place.
A way out.
Instead, remind yourself daily that you are an incredible person with amazing gifts, and when you want to turn on the "crush weight loss" button, you can follow your protocol for weight loss. When you want to enjoy a bite or sip of something not on protocol, you don't.
You are in control, and none of it makes you good or bad. Your self-worth does not have to be based on whether you ate a piece of chocolate. Because every single day regardless of what you eat or don't eat, you are still incredibly amazing, unstoppable, and you freaking rock!
Whether you hired the right person, aced a speech you gave last week, said yes to the person you’ve had a crush on for years, or whatever challenge was in front of you, you are undeniably remarkable and powerful. And you freaking rock!
I love you, your Creator loves you, and you've got to love yourself. Because you are incredible, driven, and in control. And you freaking rock!
You get to decide what happens next. Now go and make it happen. Because you can, and you will. And it is going to be astounding.