With Christmas fresh in our memories, and potentially hanging around our hips in the form of a few extra pounds, I felt this was the perfect opportunity to talk about perceptions and associations.
I had a great opportunity to reflect on both this holiday season, as I had many changes currently in effect. This was my first Christmas eating a pescatarian diet, and for those who do not know what this means, it means I am eating a vegetarian diet with the option to eat seafood. This choice was based on many things, and might be a good blog for the future. On top of my current diet changes, I am also in a different place in my life in terms of goals.
I am currently writing my first book (yay!) set to be completed in the next couple of months, I am launching my own website to facilitate the sale of my books, more blogs, and my own identity outside of DML Fitness. I am still promoting DML Fitness, but my website will include more variety in terms of all topics of life, and not solely focused on fitness. I am also competing in my first ever fitness (bikini) competition in June 2014. For those of you who know me, I am not training simply to compete. If I put my attention to something, my only focus is to WIN. Ricky Bobby said “If you aren’t first, you’re last”. That’s hilarious and outrageous, but sometimes I can’t help but feel that way too. Haha!
So to say I am busy right now would be an understatement. I am demanding more of myself physically, mentally and spiritually than ever before, and this is where I really started to notice the different associations in my life that can often hinder my performance in all aspects of my life. I know many people reading this may not have similar interests to me personally, but I do feel these basic principles can be carried into all facets of life and our goals throughout the journey.
The thing about associations is that they rarely have much to do with the current situation, and have everything to do about our interpretation of the situation. A certain circumstance could happen to three different people, and they could all feel and react completely differently to the same event. Going to the gym could be an easy example. Some people hate the gym with all their passion and vow to never go there under any circumstance. For me personally, I friggin LOVE the gym and look forward to going almost daily. My husband and I went and played squash this morning, and before we even left the gym I was already looking forward to lifting some weights tonight! Then there are people who maybe “tolerate“ the gym and go because they have to but there’s no passion for it. Three very different perceptions of going to the gym. Are any “wrong”? No, it’s just how that person views the experience. And it’s recognizing these associations where we can start to tweak them to work to our advantage!
Christmas season is a time for family gatherings, gift giving, and who can forget — indulgence. How often to people turn down that second slice of pie after taking down a turkey dinner fit for a King? It’s so easy to say yes, because indulgence has been forged into our minds for years and years. “Have a piece of chocolate - it’s Christmas!” that’s the advice I got from my grandmother just yesterday. The fact that it is Christmas means I am permitted to indulge and do things I normally wouldn’t consider. But why? If I have serious goals that eating badly is going to hinder, why would a holiday make any difference to this fact?
Or I can refer to my association with the holidays to relaxation and avoiding work. Mike has been coaching me for my bikini competition, and has taken more of a “life coach” role, where he is pushing me to work on all three aspects of my life: physical, mental & spiritual strength. So he wanted to work with my on an inspiration board (future topic), and I felt so frustrated because I felt like I wasn’t supposed to have to “work” on Christmas day! It’s a friggin holiday!!!
What I then realized was my negative association to the word “work”. To me work was a sacrifice to my free time, it was effort I didn’t want to put in, and was not what I SHOULD have to do on my day off. What I also missed was the potential for excellence attached to that work. If I linked work to accomplishing my goals, winning my competition, completing my book, and having an amazing website I probably would have much less reservations to do the work, do you agree?
By changing my perception of the current situation from a negative to a positive I was able to truly enjoy the task of creating my inspiration board, and I felt so amazing afterwards. A goal was achieved and that brought positive reinforcement from within, and from my awesome trainer/husband.
I have amazingly high goals set for myself, and I have people who I am using for my inspiration. Well, if you look at anyone that has something significant that you want, they probably worked their asses off harder than you or anyone around them to achieve it. So for me to want something very badly, but not be willing to put in the effort in working for it, can you see how this is similar to being on a hamster wheel. I am never going to get closer to my goals without doing something out of my ordinary day. It’s something I currently do not have, so it is something I currently am not working hard enough on to achieve.
I have now accepted that the time I used to spend on Facebook will now be replaced with writing blogs, researching ways to get better results, and completing my book. At first I felt this was preposterous, because when do I “get to enjoy my time?” Well if I look at the things I want more than anything and link that to work then work is something I can find joy in. I will enjoy my time being productive because it will result in what I truly want the most. How much do I accomplish while browsing random websites? Not much, it’s simply a distraction from my day. If I used that ‘distraction time’ as production time, imagine what could be accomplished!
If your new goal is to lose some added holiday weight, but you’re looking at a diet as a painful process full of awful sacrifice, then that is exactly what it is going to feel like. You will labour to stick with it, and will resent it every step of the way. But.. If you find your dream body you’re seeking online (a visual inspiration), print it out, stick it up somewhere you see it daily, and tell yourself “this diet ad exercise program is going to get me THIS body of my dreams” well now the work is a bit more appealing isn’t it? There’s a carrot at the end of the stick and you have something to strive for. The situation won’t be any easier physically, but mentally you will have a drive to thrive in your task. Every “temptation” will become an opportunity to get yourself closer to achieving that goal.
Asking a little more of yourself will simply be a tool to get you to that finish line, and closer to your victory! It’s all within your grasp, it’s just changing these associations and perceptions from negatives to positives. It’s that simple. Forget the New Years Resolutions, because they are bullshit half the time any ways. Make your goals now, and follow through today! Results will come when they are earned, and not a moment sooner, so take that first step with conviction that you are not accepting failure as an option and accomplish your dreams!
If I can do it, you can do it! You just need to believe you can do it!
Whether you believe you can accomplish your goals, or whether you believe you can’t — You’re RIGHT! Think about it!
Thanks for reading!!!
(Archived Jan 4, 2014)