9. How to Get What You Want in 2021
Welcome to episode 9 of the Mindful Weight Loss podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in wherever you are and Happy New Year!
Today I want to talk about how to get what you want in 2021.
Each day is new, but there is something magical about the new year - a palpable feeling like we're stepping over a threshold into something new. And so I really encourage you to take some time for yourself in the near future to think about what you want in 2021. Set aside some time and take out a pen and pencil or get your laptop going and make a list of what you want to experience in this next year. And don't limit yourself to what is practical. What would make your heart sing? What would bring you joy, peace, or another emotion you want to feel?
If a lot of things don't flow to you, push yourself to write down 5 or 10 things, and when you think you're done, push yourself to write down a few more. Close your eyes and connect to your heart and just ask yourself, what do I desire? And if things are flowing for you, keep on going, write down as many things as you want and spend as much time as you want on this. Empty yourself out and enjoy the feeling of your desire. Desire is wonderful. It creates so many beautiful, wonderful things.
And now once you have your list, I want you to look it over each item you wrote down and ask yourself what emotion you will feel when you have this experience. If you said you want to lose 20 pounds, write down what it will feel like to be 20 pounds thinner. Will you feel proud, confident, worthy? What is the emotional experience of achieving that goal. Because really, that's why we have goals. We think achieving the goal will make us feel good. That's why we want it.
And now continue this with every item on your list. And take at least a minute with each item and check in with your heart and your gut. This isn't about logical outcomes so don't rely on your brain for this. Make this a full-body emotional experience. more than one is ok
And once you are done, I want you to notice if there are emotions that are repeated. If so circle those, and then identify and circle maybe 3 items where the emotion and the desire is really intense. Like you can really feel it in your gut that you want this experience, that it's waiting for you in your future and you can almost really touch, hear and smell the experience already.
Now I want you to look at your circled items and note the emotions that you believe you will get from having those experiences. I wrote maybe 25 to 30 things and the dominant emotions that I found and the emotions from those three top goals boil down to a list of really just a few dominant emotions.
I want to feel secure, confident, connected, joyful and excited.
Now, I definitely recommend that you keep this list and pursue those goals that you laid out, particularly the ones that really spoke to you. But I'm about to tell you to do something a little bit different.
Once you have identified those dominant emotions you want to feel in 2021, I want you to brainstorm how you can bring those desired feelings into your life more often in the new year that have nothing to do with achieving your goals. How can you experience those feelings before you reach those big goals? And how can you do it often, every day if possible.
Like for me, excited is one of my emotions, and that comes from some bigger goals like expanding my business, remodeling our house and going to out restaurants again and socializing with friends, and those are things I'm not going to accomplish right away. And that's fine but many of us create a problem out of that in that we hold our desired emotions hostage in exchange for accomplishing the goal. Instead of understanding that the desire creates the good feelings, we think the physical experience or the end result does.
But I can tell you that is not the way our brains work. Dopamine is really the anticipation and desire neurochemical and it's designed for progress and growth. It's designed to motivate you to find a way to get to that thing you want that is beyond your reach and beyond your control. It creates cravings and desires and helps you plan and strategize your way to your goal, but once it gets what it wants, it could care less and it's onto the next thing.
That's why planning the vacation is often just as much fun if not more fun than actually taking the vacation. It's why when you're a kid at Christmas you obsess about that amazing toy you want for months and then once you get it you play with it a few times and then you're over it.
The desire is actually the fun, exciting part. And it's supposed to be. It's how you get motivated to do anything. But we have somehow turned that on its head. And instead of enjoying our way to our goals, we strain and sacrifice and make ourselves feel bad for having not yet achieved them. We tell ourselves that we are incomplete without those things, that we are lacking.
I'm sure many of you do this with your weight. I know I did. You want weigh less because you think it will bring you happiness, freedom and confidence, but then you hold your weight over your head and say, but I'm not at my goal weight now so I don't deserve to feel happiness, freedom and confidence. And so you withhold those feelings from yourself and then you eat because you are emotionally empty and you don't know how else to fill yourself.
And you blame your weight or other circumstances for this, but truly you are the only thing standing in the way of those feelings you desire. And as you practice this lack, you hold yourself back from your goal. Think about it if you don't believe you are worthy of those desired emotions. If you believe you haven't earned them, that you shouldn't have them, if you resist them in any way, why the heck would you then give yourself the physical experience that will give you those feelings? You won't. When you resist the emotions you associate with the goal or experience, you resist the goal or experience.
And so, we need to practice allowing those feelings we want. If you believe weight loss will bring you happiness, freedom and confidence then you need to allow those feelings into your life and practice them on a daily basis. You have to practice becoming that happy, free, confident person before you become that person.
So look at the emotions you want to experience in 2021 and ask yourself how you can feel some of those emotions today? How could you feel that emotion right now? You want to feel love? Maybe it's as simple as petting your dog, giving your kids big hugs or taking a moment to thank your higher power for your existence. You want to feel confidence? Maybe it's as simple as making that phone call, sending that email or posting that offer on social media and truly realizing that there was no reason to be afraid of doing that.
There are so many ways to get what you want out of this life and when you stop cutting yourself off from them, when you open yourself up to them, you won't need food to fill the void anymore. So stop holding your weight over your head. Doing that is keeping you overweight. Make no mistake about it, you can feel good and you deserve to feel good. So go do it. Go feel good.