“Wisdom comes from reflection.”
― Deborah Day, BE HAPPY NOW!
Well another 6 week session has ended for my Mommy's Wellness Workouts and I find it a very emotional time for me. I have been teaching this program for over two years and always find it rewarding to see the amazing goals my participants set and achieve during each session. This was no acception and it was a very significant time for my business as well. At the end of our final class, I asked each of my participants to reflect on their personal experiences and share a word or phrase that described what they felt or accomplished over the session. I began with transformational, and was followed by survival, empowering, plateau breaking, in control, jean fitting, super fun, inspiring, just to name a few. We finished STRONG with almost all of our original participants completing the last week of classes despite a nasty stomach flu bug. Now it's time to take the lessons I have learned from this experience and make more improvements for 2013.
The week before the Mommy Wellness Challenge started there was a meet ‘n’ greet to introduce ourselves and get measurements and registration finalized. I spent the first 10 minutes wondering if I was doing the right thing.
I was there to change my life entirely. My number one goal was to exercise to support my weight loss goal – a significant 200lbs. As soon as I said it out loud I felt like crying. This was partly because I was so ashamed of what I had gradually become and partly because it was such a mountain of a goal that would take me 2 years to achieve. It was the equivalent of losing more weight than the majority of these women weighed individually. I wondered what everyone’s story of me would be.
As I stood waiting I watched as a woman approach from the parking lot. It was just like a scene from a movie as she bounded across the field in her beautiful clothes, with her hair perfectly groomed and I immediately assumed we’d have nothing in common. I made a mental note to avoid her in case of awkward silences. By definition, I had judged her to be a super-fit, super-mom, who was there to show off how good she looked in athletic apparel. I had created a single story of her and the story was of beautiful young mom, who didn’t really need to exercise because she was already perfect.
I considered no alternative story. I had done the very thing I hoped other people would not do to me. Maybe she wanted to build strength? Maybe she really just enjoyed exercise? (Which I wasn’t sure was possible) or maybe she wanted to meet people and get to know other moms? I fell into the error of judging based on a single story and not the complete picture.
Before I had a chance to finish mentally acknowledging the differences between us, she came up and spoke to me… and she was really friendly. Several times throughout the 6 weeks we were partners in class and she was so encouraging and I always looked forward to seeing her in our workouts.
I discovered this quote by Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Adichie “The single story creates stereotypes,” Adichie says, “and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
It reminded me that sometimes our attitude is the biggest thing that needs to change.
Some of us will be bigger. Some of us more fit than others. Some of us will struggle through every exercise and some will want to give up. We all have something in common. Every mom that starts the challenge is fueled by a determination to make a positive change in their health, and in my case, my attitude to life itself.
Having spent almost 12 weeks exercising with a group of fantastic women at Fit By Design. I am just under 25% of my goal already. I have lost 50 inches from around my body, and just under 50lbs. Every day I am grateful that found the courage to register and commit to better health! I am so grateful for all the wonderful moms I have met during this time, who have all shown me such support and the woman that makes it all possible - Sabrina, who makes every workout challenging and fun!
At the beginning of November I sat down to write out my personal & business goals for the four weeks ahead. I knew full well that when I attended my conference in the middle of the month that it would be easy to stick with the ones I set out ,after being infused with wisdom, strategies, and NEW MOVES! Well as I have mentioned in previous posts, this conference was indeed a GAME CHANGER for me, but I have been working hard to stick to my goals in order to be successful with the implementation of new systems in the coming months.
Today I am writing to talk about goal setting, but more specifically, checking in with your goals in order to stay accountable and making a PLAN. Now I know it's great to write out your goals, set up a plan to ensure you will follow through and then recognize your achievements at the end of your given time frame. Unfortunately, what I see, is so many individuals get FIRED up, WRITE out their GOALS and think that's the end of it. But wait, what abut a PLAN to ensure that you will have all the tools, support and resources you will need to ACHIEVE them? Fast forward one month, six weeks or even a year and you catch a glimpse of those GOALS and rather than feeling FIRED UP you feel let down or disappointed in yourself, which are both crappy!
Instead let's ensure that goal setting be a positive and empowering experience. KISS..Keep It Simple & Strategic. If you over analyze or have too many goals you may feel overwhelmed. So work on 3-5 goals per month and work back over each week to make a plan to achieve them by the end of the month.
Most importantly, WRITE them...I know how old fashion, POST them somewhere you see them every day and enlist your friends & family as your accountability partners. Each day take a look at your goals and determine if your plan is working, if not make some modifications. Ask your friends or family to check in with you once/week to ensure that you are on track. Once you have achieved them, acknowledge your achievements and sit down to set out your future goals. Work on this process for at least 6 months to gain the benefits.
I am pleased to say that my #1 business goal was to ignite my workouts with NEW MOVES and new tools, which I am 100% confident that I accomplished this goal...feed back from my clients confirms this. And my #1 personal goal was to MAKE TIME to practise yoga at least 2 days/week, another gold star here.
"When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” - Confucius