Small Victories Lead to Big Ones
I one time told myself I was going to stop eating peanut butter. Cold turkey. Just cut it out completely. And if you could smell my peanut butter breath right now you would know how that turned out.
When we make big, bold goals for ourselves, and we don't follow through, we begin to build a resume overtime of feeling like a failure. I mean, we are all going to "fail" from time to time. That's human nature. But it's when we create the same difficult goals for ourselves, and we consistently cannot keep to those commitments, that it becomes very damaging to our psyche. We start to think that we are FAILURES. "I can't lose weight. I have no will power. I have tried everything and failed. I give up. I do it for awhile and then I always fall off the wagon." These types of statements and feelings about ourselves are what sometimes keep us from being able to move forward.
Instead, we should "shrink the change" or "shrink the goal". Make it more attainable. Something you feel you can actually stick to at this time. For instance, "I want to lose 10 pounds in a month" can look more like "I will start drinking half my body weight in ounces of water each day." Or "I will stop getting dessert everyday in the cafeteria after I eat lunch." What this is doing, is it is shrinking the desired goal down into more SMART goals. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Bound)
Work on just that ONE GOAL for now. Make sure it's something you can actually commit to. (For me, saying I'd never eat peanut butter again was unrealistic---I LOVE peanut butter). So, I could instead say, "I will only eat 1 tablespoon of PB per day. Now this would be progress for me since I totally abuse peanut butter and eat sometimes 3 tablespoons per day! I have a problem!
What this does, is it begins to now build a resume of SUCCESSES and you begin to trust and believe in yourself, instead of having doubt. These smaller goals are just as important as the overreaching larger goals you may have for yourself. Believing in yourself, and trusting yourself, is a huge part of forward progress. Without that, you stay stagnant, sitting in your discouragement and your lack of confidence that change is possible.