Dieting Goals - 2 Keys To Success

Do you suffer from G.A.S?
That's "Goal Avoidance Syndrome."
I got an email yesterday from Lois.
Lois has G.A.S.
Lois, said she's had the same 3 main health and weight loss goals for over a decade and, she said, "I haven't accomplished any of them."
"I keep trying," she wrote. "I haven't given up on them. And sometimes I make some progress, but it's never enough. It seems like I'm always starting over from scratch."
It's easy to infer that Lois has G.A.S. She's finding ways to avoid her goals.
It's partly because goals are easy to say. Easy to think about. Easy to hope for.
But they're also trickier than we're usually lead to believe.
There are countless articles, books, websites, seminars, conferences, gurus, coaches, and trainers that claim they'll help you accomplish your goals. There's even a bunch of goal setting software out there now for your computer and smart phone.
In spite of all the knowledge, training, tricks, and techniques that are available, G.A.S. is still a huge problem for most of us.
I'm going to assume that you've already heard the old "S.M.A.R.T." goal setting technique. It seems to be all over the place. It says your goals should follow the S.M.A.R.T formula:
No disagreement from me.
And then most goal setting techniques you hear about these day are big on positive affirmation.
No disagreement from me.
But it seems to me there are really 2 fundamental issues that are too often ignored or overlooked. They are your goal setting foundation. You have to address these things first and foremost before any of the plethora of goal setting "techniques" are going to do you any good.
  1. Motivation.
  2. Habit Retraining.
First, if you're not truly motivated to make and achieve a goal, you won't. I don't care what techniques you use. If you don't have strong motivation or if you somehow lose your motivation in the process, all the techniques in the world won't make up for it.
To find your true motivation, after your use the S.M.A.R.T. technique to write down a goal, go back and ask yourself "why?"
For example, "I will weigh 118 pounds by the first of August."
That's Specific, Measurable, we'll assume Achievable and Realistic for you, and it's obviously Time Targeted.
Now ask yourself, "why do I want to weigh 118 by the first of August?"
Let's say your answer is, "I want to look great for my cousin's wedding."
That's fine, but superficial. So ask yourself again, "why?"
And whatever the answer is, ask "why" again.
And then again, and again.
Do this over and over.
Challenge yourself to really dig down deep to discover your real motivation. Find out if you actually have a real motivation.
If not, you might want to rethink that goal because it will be very hard to achieve it no matter how hard you try without being strongly motivated to do so.
Motivated from your depths, by the way. Not just casually motivated.
Habit Retraining
Second, even if you are strongly and deeply motivated, you have habits that have led you to the place in your life that you're in right now. That have brought you to the weight you're at and the state of health you're in.
As you try to do things differently and improve your life, those habits are going to sabotage your efforts unless and until you get control of them and change them.
It's the habits we have that make it hard to accomplish goals and that give us G.A.S.
It's often just so much easier to stick with your old habits, give up on, and avoid your goals.
Again, you'll find plenty of theories and instructions about changing habits.
Most of the time I don't see them working for people. Sometimes yes, but mostly no.
But here's one system that invariably works for those willing to take a few minutes a day to literally retrain their brains.
The only way to effectively change your habits is to literally retrain your brain to follow new and better habits. And that means getting all 4 of the key parts of your brain on the same page - aiming towards the new goal or goals.
The system is a simple and quite fun and fascinating 3-step process:
  1. Write down your goal(s).
  2. Write out your goal(s).
  3. Reinforce your goal(s).
We already covered writing down your goal using the S.M.A.R.T. system.
Writing it out literally means writing it out - in long hand with pen or pencil on paper - at least 10 times (but the more the better), every day, without fail. And, as you're writing it out, say it out loud to yourself.
Writing out your goal as you say it aloud repeatedly connects all 4 of the main parts of your brain and helps get them on the same page to help you achieve your goal and overcome old habits.
You can easily reinforce your goal by making 2 columns on a piece of paper. On one side you write down anything - big or small - that you did that day that was positive in moving you towards your goal. On the other side you write down anything you did that day that was negative and would hinder, slow you down, or stop you from achieving your goal.
After making the 2 columns, go back and read each positive item that you wrote down out loud and tell yourself you like that behavior, give your self positive reinforcement for it, and commit to continue doing it.
Then, also out loud, read each negative and tell yourself you don't like that behavior and will stop doing it.
It turns out you have to be very specific and literal with your brain.
By doing this simple brain exercise every day (it only takes a few minutes) you are getting those 4 key parts of your brain to continue the positives and eliminate the negatives. Automatically. Subconsciously.
The remarkable thing about this is that you'll probably have a list with only a few positives and many negatives when you first start.
But after only a day or two you'll notice the positive side grows and the negative side shrinks. You may be startled by this phenomenon. Why? Because you won't feel as if you've really done anything consciously or put any will power or self-discipline or effort into it. It just happens as you retrain your brain to automatically retrain your habits with this simple technique.
So if you're suffering from G.A.S. make sure you're clear and strong on your goal Motivation, and use the 3-Step Brain Retraining system to eliminate the G.A.S. and achieve your goals more easily and successfully than ever before.
Article by Dexter Godbey
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