Janice was in tears and her voice was shaking. She was back at the popular weight loss meeting, for the third January in a row. Embarrassed, she told the group how, two years ago, she lost twenty pounds in the first part of the year but gained most of it back in the second half.
She said she joined again last year, but, with frustration dripping on every word, she confessed, “When the new program started last year, and they said I could eat anything I wanted, I was more hopeful.” But it wasn’t that easy and she admitted, “I had a hard time getting used to the new way and I wasn’t losing as fast as before. So I dropped out after a couple months. Now I’m six pounds more than this time last year.”
The group understood, especially the nine women and men who, like Janice, were back. Each one hoping that (maybe this time) they would finally accomplish their New Year’s goal to lose weight. Will they do it this time? The odds aren’t in their favor.
Losing weight and getting fit annually tops the list of “most common” New Year’s Resolutions, along with paying off debt and saving money. Yet only about 8% of the people who SAY it actually DO it. That means that for every 100 people who make those promises, 92 of them fail. Will you be one of them?
What is it about losing weight – or any other resolution – that makes success so elusive?
There’s a little-understood but simple secret to success that almost everyone ignores. The secret is in learning how to conquer your comfort zone.
Here’s the thing: Your comfort zone is that “inside” place you’re familiar with, where you know what you’re dealing with and know how to handle it. When you leave your comfort zone, even for something better, it’s uncomfortable. You can’t ‘have the luxury of auto-pilot in the new place. As s result, you have to think about what you’re doing. It’s an effort…work.
When you make new choices, not only does it take time to think about them, but maybe those choices don’t push that emotional satisfaction button in your head right away. So you feel a variety of emotions: scared, unsatisfied, agitated, etc. Here are some examples:
- Dieting: Instead of just grabbing something you like from the fridge, or off a fast food menu, you have to stop and think about what what you can have and make different choices.
- Money: You can’t just pull out your credit card to pay for that dress or dinner or show tickets. You have to think about your budget and maybe say “no” to that thing you want or want to do.
- Growing your business: If doing the same old same old is getting you business but not growth. You have to step out of your comfort zone to step up.
Here’s the kicker: Until you develop a comfort level with your new behaviors, a part of you yearns to go back to that familiar space. For a while the effort seems like more pain than gain. And that’s why you quit.
Dealing with your comfort zone is probably your biggest obstacle you’ll face when you have a new goal. It’s also the one that most people ignore – which is why only 8 out of every 100 people stick to their resolutions.
The good news is that it’s one of the things that’s totally in your control.
The Victory Stretch
Facing obstacles is how you get the opportunity to victory. Victory is the stretch you make out of your comfort zone into that greater, more fabulous expression of who you really are. That’s what you want – to be all of your best self. Right? So do it. Start by conquering your comfort zone using these three tips:
1. Recognize the Resistance. You’re going to experience some negative feelings as you move out of your comfort zone. In the past, how did you act just before you quit? Were there things you said, like, “This isn’t working.” or “Why bother?” and “I can’t do this.”
Do you have a pattern? You probably do. What is it?
Your pattern of resistance could show up as sadness, stress, tiredness, anger, disgust, passive-aggressiveness, or something else. It can be a combination of things. Write them down so you heighten your awareness.
2 . Prepare for the Challenge. When you start working on your new goal, and your resistance pattern starts showing up, what will you do? Knowing in advance what your triggers are and how you will handle your discomfort will create a new comfort zone for you. That will boost your chances of pushing forward and being victorious. Here are a few ways to spit in the face of resistance:
- Set up a “yes set”. Seeing results is motivating, BUT it takes a while to see them. In between, you need to give yourself some motivations, like:
- YES! I exercised three times this week. That’s better than last week
- YES! I set up auto-deposit from my paycheck to savings and I didn’t even notice the difference
- YES! I networked with six new people this month – double what I did all last quarter.
- Remember your “why”. Make a list of all the positive outcomes that will result from achieving your goal. Read them each morning, and whenever your resistance shows up.
- Acknowledge yours feelings. Talk to them like the friends they are. “I know you’re here to help me stay in my comfort zone. I appreciate that you want to make me feel safe and secure. But I really want to [whatever the new thing is]. I’d rather that you help me get comfortable with that and, if you can’t, go away.” Sounds a little airy-fairy, but give it a try.
3. Get Support. Find a class, mastermind group, coach, or accountability partner. It will help you in your quest. Having one makes a huge difference. When you make a commitment to someone else, and know that are rooting for you, they create a type of comfort zone. As a result, you are more likely to deal with your resistance effectively.
OFFER: If you are looking for help and support in achieving a new goal, you’ll want to be a part of the EMPOWERING and BEST #midlifemakeover. Join me for the Savvy Sizzle Workshop, starting in the new year, just in time for your comfort zone melt down.
Learn more at Annmarie Kelly’s Savvy Sizzle Master Class
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