I Think I Can – I Think I Can – I… Oh… Pt III

This is it – the final part of the trilogy.

In Part I we looked at setting the right goals for the right reasons.

In Part II we looked at thinking long-term, and how to look at a banana skin as a slip, not a terminal failure.

In this article we’ll look at three practical tips we can take to make our goals happen.

The first tip is this: You will see greater success if you find someone (or even better, multiple someone’s) to help. Research has time and again shown that people who join a weight-loss group will lose more weight and keep it off compared to those who go it alone. Why? Because when you are achieving things with other people they tend to encourage and congratulate you, as well as creating an environment of accountability.

Secondly, and this may sound contrary to what the previous posts have implied, have a plan. Not just a “I’m not going to eat chips again” SMART goal plan, but a proper one. Accept that you won’t always succeed. You will hear people say cheesy “corp-speak” things like “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” (which is an oxymoron, because failing to plan is exactly that, having no plan), but you should have a plan to fail. Not an epic, eternally impacting, never coming back from it fail, but a “Whoops, where did all the ice cream go?” kind of fail.

Finally, when creating this plan it’s important to keep track of your wins. If you go 10 days without eating chips and then one day you can’t resist those mouth-watering and highly delicious salt n’ vinegar kettle chips, you haven’t failed. You missed a day. Actually, you didn’t even miss a day, you missed an hour, and as we discussed in the last article it’s no biggie in the greater scheme of life. Go back to your “win-list” and see how well you did. You made it ten days? You can go another 10 starting tomorrow. It’s not the end of the world, and you’re not a bad person. You just like chips. Me too.

This is where your mental spotter (see here for more on mental spotters) comes into play – “You missed a day, but great comeback with 10 days of achieving your goals goal! You must feel good about that?”

Here are the three takeaways for today:

1 – Find someone with similar goals and share your success and failure with them. You’re not alone. The more positive reinforcement you get, the more likely you are to keep going. Make sure your mental spotter is someone who will praise your achievements and encourage you when you fail. Having someone who only encourages with a “Hey, you gained 10lbs this week, but you gave it a shot” won’t help.

2 – Have your failure plan in place. Slipping up once in a while isn’t the end of the world. Put everything in perspective, get up, dust off, and off you go again. It’s done. Move on and set a new personal best.

3 – Get yourself a spotter. All those posts on social media where people are meeting their goals all the time, never struggling, and achieving their dreams. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Those annoying crossfitters, there’s a reason they post their workouts. It’s about being accountable to others, seeking encouragement, and having a record of their success.

Not one of us on this planet is able to easily achieve all we ever dreamed of without hard work, failure, missed goals, self-doubt, and most importantly, the support of someone we trust. I’ll go a step further – I have never once met anyone who has ever achieved anything of note without the support of someone who believed in them. We all need a spotter from time to time, so if you can be that person for someone today, do it.

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