So with that said, listening to me talk about goal setting may be the complete opposite of what you want to hear, but I invite you to stay with me. So many of you think setting goals has to be hard, and that the whole point of it is to push us to new heights and challenge us. But what if you approached it from a completely different angle?
Listen in this week as I propose the benefits of setting fun goals that you can’t wait to get started on. I’m showing you why the words you choose to use in goal setting are absolutely everything, and how to reframe your goals so that they light you up, instead of bringing up those all too familiar feelings of dread and anxiety.
This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown, episode 62.
Welcome to Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown. If you’re a successful woman who is ready to stop struggling with your weight, you’re in the right place. You’ll learn everything you need to know to lose weight for the last time in bitesize pieces. Here’s your host, Master Certified coach, Natalie Brown.
Hello everybody. I know I’ve said it before but I just want to share again that I read every review that comes in. And my mind is blown and my heart explodes with joy and gratitude as you share with me what you are learning, loving, and changing through listening.
It’s seriously such a gift to me. So thank you to those of you who have taken a minute out of your day to share, not just for my benefit but for everyone who is looking for weight loss help. Your reviews help them find me and they make my day.
Also, I noticed we are at 199 ratings, so who wants to tip us into the 200s? Let’s do it. Just for fun. I also wanted to share some of Lisa’s words with you. Her review is titled, “Perfect timing.”
She tells a little bit of her story, that she started her weight loss journey in December. She had lost eight pounds by the end of January. So fun, Lisa. And then, nothing. No weight loss in February. Can you guess what her brain told her about this?
What am I doing wrong? Maybe this isn’t going to work, what’s wrong with me? You know, all the usual shady thoughts our brain throws up when the scale slows down or stops. She even went to her doctor two times in two weeks to try to find the problem and fix it. Can you relate?
Guess what her doctor told her. Just keep doing what you are doing. It will work. Lisa goes on to say, “I forget sometimes that this isn’t a sprint but a marathon if I truly want the weight to be gone for good. Thank you, Natalie for the reminder that this is a journey and a process at the same time and to stop and be proud of what is happening right now. I’m becoming a more patient person as I learn more about myself.”
So this is my favorite part. Not the eight-pound weight loss. Even though I’m proud of and happy for you for that success Lisa, but the learning more about yourself part. The learning to be more patient. The giving yourself some grace and compassion. The slowing down to be proud of you right now. To notice what is working and what is going well, what is changing, what you are learning.
That is so powerful. Even more powerful than the scale. And did you all hear Lisa’s doctor confirmed the scale slowing down isn’t a national emergency. Just keep doing what you are doing. It will work.
Think about it from your body’s perspective. Its main objective is homeostasis. Maintaining. Maintaining temperature, hydration levels, oxygenation, energy, all of it. All the time.
So when we start losing weight, alarm bells in the homeostasis department start going off. In essence, your body thinks there’s a leak that needs to be patched. So it’s scrambling to fix it and stop the leak. When we plateau, our body feels triumphant. It’s triumphant at stopping that leak.
It doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to keep losing. It just means we need some adjusting, some shifting, some ongoing problem solving when it comes to what we’re eating or maybe when we’re eating or how much. That’s all. Doesn’t mean we’ll never be successful.
And it doesn’t have to lead us to quit. Just keep going. I did a whole episode on homeostasis, episode 24. So I won’t elaborate any more. I just wanted to pause and address this real quick since I see it coming up over and over with my clients.
You are not broken if your weight slows down. Just keep going. You’ll get there. Okay, on to today’s topic. I almost titled this “fun goals,” but I opted for this title instead because I think the people who need this topic the most would scroll past it if it had goal in the title. Because a lot of us have some serious goal PTSD.
We’ve had the experience of setting a goal and going after it with pure force until we’ve achieved it. And it felt terrible and exhausting. And it didn’t in the end give us the magic feeling we thought it would. And others of us have had goal PTSD from perpetually setting goals and never achieving them and therefore making it mean we are broken, useless, lazy, whatever else, and therefore never want to set goals because it feels terrible and like a set up to feel failure.
No wonder we’re avoiding the topic of goals. If you’re in this boat, the never wanting to set goals, the avoiding goals, the word goal is a dirty word boat, give me a few minutes to share another take on the topic and see what you think.
We usually set goals thinking they have to be hard. That the point of a goal is to push us to new heights, to challenge us, to show us what we’re made of. Now, I’m not ever going to say they can’t be that. Of course, I’m all about growing and showing yourself what you’re capable of.
But goals don’t have to be hard and all about growth. They can also be about inspiration and happiness and personal satisfaction. I think making space for things we want to do and know we will do also allows us to feel success along the way, which as I talked about in episode 46, the micro resolutions podcast, is an important part of our ability to keep going and create real change.
By focusing on what we want to do and will do, we can start to see that setting and achieving goals can be fun again and possible. Have you ever noticed we are often creating goals around what we don’t want to do anymore instead of what we do want to do?
Like I’m going to stop drinking soda, I’m going to not spend money on eating out this month, I’m not eating flour and sugar for the next six months, no more overeating/beating myself up/eating off plan/eating at night. No more whatever.
Even the idea that we are going to lose weight focuses on what we want to get rid of. So reframing our goals to feature what we want instead can be a powerful shift in and of itself. Rather than I’m going to stop drinking soda, I’m going to prioritize drinking water.
Rather than I’m not going to spend money on eating out, I’m going to plan and prepare food at home. I’m not eating sugar and flour for the next six months becomes I’m going to build my meals around what my body needs or I’m going to focus on protein, fat, and veggies.
I’m trying to lose weight becomes I’m learning to listen to what my body needs, I’m building the skill of choosing what I want most over what I want in the morning, I’m learning to take care of myself with food.
You may be like, yeah, yeah, yeah, changing the words doesn’t change anything, but I beg to differ. I think changing the words changes everything. Because it changes the feeling fuel, it changes the emotion we use to take action.
Try on some of these goal sentences. Try on both versions. Notice how they feel. Notice how the emotion is different and how the different emotions might have you showing up differently, with more peace, more acceptance, more patience.
Look at the goals you have now. Reframe them into want to goals. What you want to do or change, instead of what you don’t want. There’s another application of the idea of want to goals I want to mention. For many of us, our goals are have to’s.
I have to lose weight to lower my cholesterol, I have to stop eating so much sugar so I can be healthy, I have to stop drinking caffeine to improve my sleep, I have to give up Diet Coke. How awesome do those feeling?
If you have some have to’s happening, ask yourself first, is that true? Do you have to? Why? What happens if you don’t? I think getting to the truth, which is spoiler, you don’t have to do anything, allows you the space to decide if you don’t have to, if there is no requirement, do you want to?
For many of us, the answer to this is yes. We want a healthy heart and body and to live a long life. And for some of us, that means limiting some things. But it feels totally different to do it as a want to than a have to.
One thing I’ve been implementing for myself to help me overcome my goal PTSD is a focus on setting goals that I know I will do, not because they are going to push me to become a new version of myself necessarily, but because they’re fun and things I love to do but always seem to set aside for more noble, challenging, push myself pursuits.
The unintended consequence/bonus of this may be surprising. We’ll talk about that in a moment. But first, some examples. So I love listening to music and I love singing at the top of my lungs in the car to music. But I was finding that at every opportunity, I was choosing to listen to a podcast or an audiobook or a TED talk or a YouTube video about a topic that I wanted to learn about in order to help my clients or even myself in some way.
So I set a will do goal to listen to some music every day. Now, you may be thinking, seems unnecessary to set a goal to do something that you think is fun. You may be like, duh, don’t the fun things come easy? But how often are you actually doing those things you think are fun?
For me, it’s hardly ever. On rare occasions that were few and far between. But I think music makes everything more fun. So sometimes my music goal looks like listening to music while I get ready instead of listening to a podcast or catching up on a coaching call I missed.
Sometimes it’s in the car with the singing at the top of my lungs. Sometimes it’s listening to my favorite piano chill playlist while I write my podcast. Listening to music used to be like walking to me. It was like, if I was going to spend time moving my body, it had to be burning hardcore calories.
If I was going to listen to something, it had to be something “worthwhile” that helped my clients or taught me something new. Now I’m like, I get to listen to music for no other reason than to enjoy myself and have fun.
Moving my body is another will do goal that has been really fun. I know I’ve talked about this before but it used to be that exercise was for weight loss purposes only. So there was no moving my body for fun or pleasure. There was only calorie-burning punishment moving, which was no fun at all and is the reason I was a biannual exerciser for many years.
When I shifted to moving my body every day for fun, for strength, for feeling alive, it changed my desire to exercise. I wanted to move. And I don’t have requirements or rules. Sometimes moving looks like a Pilates class. Sometimes it looks like a Peloton ride. Sometimes it looks like a walk, listening to music of course, and sometimes it just looks like stretching for 10 minutes.
Anything I want to counts as moving. And I go with whatever feels fun. Notice both of these things have a broad, flexible definition. Part of what gets us into the un-fun goal trap is us thinking it has to look a certain way to count. That a little is not enough. That it has to be all or nothing.
When I say music and moving every day, and the purpose is fun, I get to flow with what feels like fun that day. And guess who’s incorporating music and movement every dan and feeling like a goal-crushing boss as a result? I’m also reading novels instead of just informational and self-help books because I love to read.
And I’ve not been reading because of my belief that reading books for fun doesn’t count. I also love to laugh and I’ve been working to incorporate that into my day as well. Watching random Jimmy Fallon sketches or funny accounts I love on Insta or just comedy specials or funny shows, movies, whatever. Finding some laughter in my day just for fun.
Fun goals accomplished consistently count as goals. They create a feeling of success. And that feeling of success bleeds into other less traditionally fun areas.
The facts are I am setting a goal of doing or accomplishing something I wasn’t previously doing or accomplishing. And I am doing and accomplishing it consistently. I’m showing myself that I am a person who can do things consistently. I’m creating evidence that I take care of me. I’m showing myself that I am a priority, that what I want matters, that I do what I say I’m going to do.
The thing we say we’re going to do or want to accomplish doesn’t have to be painful and hard for it to count. The power is in the principle. I set goals, I follow through, I show up for me.
If this is true, then we can replace these will do goals with any goal and create the same result. If you have experienced goal PTSD, try this out. Reframe your don’t want’s and have to’s to want to’s, and find some fun will do goals to create the feeling of success in your day to day.
Soon you’ll be leveraging that success into all sorts of goals, including your weight loss. And you’ll be taking awesome care of you and having tons of fun in the process. Sound good?
Have an excellent week, my loves. If you feel like leaving me a review or being the 200th rating, I’d love that. If you do review the podcast and you want a fun gift as a thank you, head to itbeginswithathought.com/review and let me know and I’ll see you soon.
Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown. If you want to learn more about how to lose weight for the last time, come on over to itbeginswithathought.com. We’ll see you here next week.