Welcome to Your Best Weight
You've Already Passed Your First Test!
I bet you didn't know that you have already taken an important step in your health, just by saying "YES" to this online wellness course. Most people who are invited to a program like this hit the delete key before they even read the offering. In fact, if 20% of the people invited agree to try a program in the wellness space, it's considered a huge success. You've joined Your Best Weight, and that already puts you in the top 80%! Congratulations!
Dreams, Goals, and Habits
There is one thing the personal coaching world is very firm about: being specific. Dreams are things that would be amazing if they came true, but are very unlikely unless they are planned for very carefully. They are what I think about when I want to check out of my current reality. "Someday, I'll have a sailboat and go sailing whenever I want."
Goals are more specific, but still cannot be reached without a plan. They should have a time-bound element and be attainable in that period of time. To set a good goal, someone should be able to look at your goal objectively and say whether you reached it or not. "Next January, I am going to rent a large sailboat and sail from the Florida keys to Jamaica." If on February 1 next year, you have not rented a sailboat or been from Florida to Jamaica, you have not met your goal. Remember to be smart with your goals: S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, and Time-Bound.1 This means that your goals have to be achievable and measurable. (Saying you want to be living on Mars in one year is probably not a SMART goal!)
Habits are the little things that can help you reach your dreams and goals. The right habits can help you soar and surpass your dreams, the wrong habits can keep you from the finish line. In our example, you could form the habit of sailing every day for 2 hours to get yourself prepared to sail from Florida to Jamaica, or you could form the habit of swimming every day for 1 hour to prepare your body for the journey. There are a million little habits you could adopt to help reach your goals.
So what about you? If your dream is to be thinner, your goal is to have lost 20 pounds by January of next year, then what habits could help you get there? Maybe being in the habit of hydrating only with water, or eating only "real food" can push you toward your goal. Maybe you want to sleep better at night. Instead of your usual habit of watching TV before bed, you could read a book in a low-light room, or you could do some stretching and breathing. (More about forming these habits in the weeks to come!) Whatever your goal, habits are the helpers that can get you there!
Habits: Made Not Broken
As you think about going through this online program, I challenge you to take a few moments and ask yourself what you really hope to gain from Your Best Weight. Is it just more information? If so, you will get plenty of that, but I would encourage you to dig deep! Pick at least one area of your life you would specifically like to improve (a goal), then pick at least one habit that you think will help get you there. Remember, you can't "break" a habit, but you can replace it with something better. Experts agree that it takes about one month to form a new habit. If you drink soda every day, you can change that habit by replacing it with water, green tea, or black coffee. If you eat sugared cereal every morning for breakfast, you could replace it with a smoothie.
Habits accumulate into results over time. When I ate unhealthy food, didn't exercise, and drank sodas every day, disease accumulated. When I started caring for my body, I began to gather greater and greater health. Those small habits added up to big results (good or bad) over time.
Homework: Share Your Thoughts!
This week, your only homework is to share one goal/habit you want to replace. You can give as much detail as you want to, but it can be as simple as stating the old habit and the new. Examples: I drink 2 sodas a day, by the end of this month I will drink only water. I stay up late every night watching Jimmy Fallon, this month I will DVR it, and watch it on the weekend so I can go to bed by 10 pm every night. Let's share our habits and goals in the Discussion Forum, it will help us guide the discussion and tailor this program to fit your needs!