Do you lie? I do.
What are the biggest whoppers you’ve told?
Here are some of mine:
- I’m going to stop eating sugar and flour forever
- I’m going to get up at 5am and start my day from now on
- I’m going to write in my journal every day
- Every day I’m going to exercise for 30 minutes
- No more caffeine
If you’re like me and many other people you lie to yourself more often than you tell “white lies” to anyone else. And unlike the innocent lies we tell to save the feelings of others, these lies do real and lasting damage. Yep! the more we lie to ourselves, the less confidence we have in ourselves – bet you didn’t know that did you? Me neither!
But it makes sense doesn’t it?
The last time you told yourself you were going to lose weight, what was the next thought? For me, there’s a little voice in the back of my head that starts laughing. Sometimes it’s a whisper that’s drowned out by my enthusiasm and excitement about my latest resolution, other times it’s bold and in my face. It says things like, “right, how many times have you said that?” “You can’t do that!” “how long will this last?” “you never stick to things”
Usually I manage to shout down this voice, dismiss it, move along successfully for a while. But in the past, I have given up, given in, and stopped doing the things I’ve said I was going to do. And this is where the damage happens, I’ve created more evidence that I don’t keep my word. This gives that little voice more strength and each time I lie to myself it gets harder and harder until I don’t even want to try any more.
So what’s the answer? Easy!
Stop committing to goals you can’t keep.
Some of you are probably confused? Aren’t I all about living life on purpose and reaching for big dreams? YES! But what I’ve learned is that you have to start small. If you want to write in your journal everyday, start by committing to do it once a week. Commit to writing on a certain day and time that you know you generally have the time and then DO IT! Don’t miss a day – no excuses! When you’ve done that consistently for a few months and fought through the hard times add another day. Rinse and Repeat.
You can do this with anything. Want to make dietary changes? Commit to it for 4 days. At the end of four days you can reevaluate – do you want to continue? The brilliance of four days is that you can do anything for four days. And when you move through the moment when you want to stop, you strengthen your ability to keep your word to yourself. This improves your confidence and creates evidence that you do things you say you are going to do. Powerful right?
So my latest resolution is to blog for 30 days… I woke up this morning and thought, “what have I gotten myself into?!?” I’m at a Full-time Family Rally with 40 other families and we’re BUSY this week – but you know what? If it wasn’t this it would be something else. There is always a reason not to do the things we’ve committed to do – whether that commitment is to ourselves or someone else. We need to treat our commitments to ourselves the same way we treat the ones to others – show up, do the work, but don’t overcommit. Know your limits and over time, those limits will expand. This is how we can conquer even the biggest goals!