I’ve been fascinated by our ability to change for most of my life. In fact, back in the 1980’s I won a science fair award (geek alert!) and the prize was a trip to the Toronto Science Center. I came back with a prized possession – a book of psychology “tests” that claimed to assess what you were like and how you changed over time.
I’ve learned a lot since then. ?
One thing I know now, something that took a lot of hard knocks to learn, is that successful change rarely happens when you just dive in.
Successful, lasting change – especially when it comes to your relationship with food – happens when you set the right foundation before you jump into all the things you’re going to do differently.
That’s why we spend the first week in the Missing Peace program setting up a winning foundation. This includes key steps like getting clear on what success looks like and feels like for you, making sure you’ve created a path that doesn’t rely on perfection (which isn’t possible), and setting up key milestones along the way (so you can see your progress and stay motivated).
My six-month one-on-one coaching program begins with a Mapping and Strategy Session. When you start a puzzle, you probably don’t just dump the puzzle out of the box and begin jamming random pieces together. If you’re like most people, you start by turning the pieces right side up. Then maybe you sort them by colors or by pieces that seem similar. Maybe you collect the edge or the corner pieces. As you do this, a strategy, or a place to begin probably starts to emerge.
In a Mapping and Strategy Session we are essentially identifying and then creating a plan for the pieces we know you’re going to be working with as you move forward. Do you have a busy work schedule, a challenging relationship, or major changes happening? We need to include these in your road map for success.
You want to begin with a plan that’s designed for you, so it’s important to spend the time up front to understand exactly what you need to do your best. We sift through your goals and make sure they’re crystal clear (and that they’re goals that really light you up). We assess your strengths and your natural style of succeeding (so you don’t end up feeling like you’re banging your head against the wall, trying to work a plan that’s never going to fit you). We take a look at the balance in your life and make sure we understand as much as we can about your Hidden Hungers and the reasons you’re overeating.
Another piece we tackle, which I strongly suggest you also examine, is what you know about why you haven’t been successful yet. Successful change happens when we have our eyes wide open – when we acknowledge where things can go really wrong and, from the very beginning, start learning from them and planning for what to do if that challenge arises (it probably will).
When I begin working with a client, we also talk about hope. Hope is an extremely vulnerable thing, and if you’ve been battered around on the overeating hamster wheel for a while, hope can feel precious and fragile.
When you’re creating a foundation for change, you want to plan for how to care for and protect your hope, including having allies who can support you and rekindle it when you feel like the flame might be sputtering.
Your goal is a destination. It may be a very BIG destination. Spending time building your foundation and mapping your strategy prepares you for the journey. The truth is, the way you design the journey has a lot to do with whether you ever arrive where you’re wanting to go. Even more important, the way you design your journey often determines whether what you achieve will last.
As we start to look to 2020 and the hopes and dreams for what we can achieve in the coming year, I want you to know I am wishing you big, bold, juicy success. Don’t trip yourself up by diving into the New Year blindly and setting yourself for another frustrating trip around that hamster wheel.
Start now. Pull out your journal and spend some time assessing the foundation you’ll be building on. What do you need to be your most successful next year? What do you know works best for you (and what do you know about what doesn’t)? Who will be your support system and how will you measure your progress?
Spending this time now, preparing the way to create your best year, will pay off better than any New Year’s resolution that you declare on January 1.
Want some help with this? If you’re interested in my six and nine-month coaching programs, now is a fantastic time to reserve a spot. We can get everything set up for you in 2020, schedule your Mapping and Strategy Session this month or in the New Year, and put everything in place before you wake up on January 1. I have a few spots available. Just go here to learn more.