The following blog is derived from one part of Ben Bergeron’s thoughts and words from The Chasing Excellence Podcast, specifically episode #21 regarding his WHOOPIE acronym for goal setting. Listen to that podcast, if you can!
We all have goals to be better in the future, in some way, than we are right now. It’s that desire for self-improvement that brought us all to this gym in the first place.
The fact that we haven’t achieved some of those goals might mean there is something that’s holding us back.
For some of us, more often than we’d like to admit, it’s US that holds us back. We practice the bad habit of self-sabotaging in an effort to stay within the bubble of ‘comfort’ when facing goals that will require us to pass through a ‘decidedly uncomfortable’ part on the way to the goal. So, at the first sign of progress, we STOP because we can forsee the uncomfortable part coming up. It flashes like “DANGER” sign in front of us and blinds us in our pursuit of the end goal. When in reality, if we just looked past that part, we’d see our goal on the other end.
For others, it’s a matter of priorities. We intentionally place other things in our life ahead of our goal. And we leave it there. Some call it “excuses” (“I have no time!”), but I prefer to label is something more positive. So I say that we prioritize our time in a way that doesn’t allow for us to work on our goals. We intentionally set up our lives to make it difficult to fit the goal in.
One simple way to make significant progress without disruption, is to flip the dialogue and tell ourselves, AND OTHERS, and tell ourselves “I’m the type of person who…” and then finish that sentence that with a habit that will push you closer to your goal.
“I’m the type of person who gets up early in the morning and goes for a walk/jog/run, every morning. I like to get it out of the way early to free up more time later in the day.”
“I’m the type of person who only eats at mealtime, and doesn’t snack. I’m losing weight”
“I’m the type of person who uses 15min per day to work on my pull up drills. I have a doorframe pull up bar at home so I don’t have excuses on non-gym days.”
“I’m the type of person who gets in bed before 10pm every night. I get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.”
As corny as it might seem, when you SAY you do something, you begin to convince yourself of that fact, and your habits change.
The accountability of saying this to other people, is a huge motivator for making change too. You wouldn’t tell your friends that you don’t snack, but then show up to every gathering with a plate of cookies. You wouldn’t just stand in the front of the gym talking to people before or after class if you told your coach that you are the type of person who will work on your skills and drills to finally get you that pull up.
I challenge you to choose a goal. And then make it a point to say “I’m the type of person who…” or a similar sentence, when talking to the important people in your life. And watch how your habits follow suit.
And, watch out for those false “DANGER” signs. Your body and brain don’t want to be uncomfortable. But in order to be healthy in the long term, you’ll need to push them past the pain in order to see the light.
Enjoy your progress and new habits!