This newest topic will focus on becoming a goal setter! One of mine is to consistently post topics that will create conversations and fully integrate you into the culture of the Habits of Health! 😉 This marks my return. Hope you like it!
Here is an excerpt from an article from OPTAVIA’s very own Behavioral Therapist Nick Frye!
Psychological Barriers to Action – and How to Deal with Them
People who adhere to their weight loss and maintenance regimens achieve and sustain weight loss; pretty simple, right? If you stick to the plan, it works! However, many people struggle to do this. Is it lack of knowledge or lack of motivation or a lack of willpower? The most common psychological barriers are summarized by the acronym FEAR:
F = Fusion with Unhelpful Thoughts. Sometimes we’re so caught up in our thoughts that we aren’t even AWARE of them or that they dictate our behavior. We are allowing our thoughts to tell us what to do. When a person sets out to make a change, it’s normal for their mind to generate “unhelpful” thoughts like: I’m too busy, I can’t do it, I’ll fail, It’s too hard, and so on.. It’s a common misconception that our thoughts control our behaviors. They certainly influence our behaviors, but ultimately we have a choice. Becoming ‘fused’ with unhelpful thoughts throws us off-track.
E = Excessive Goals. If a person’s goals exceed their resources, they’ll either give up or fail. Necessary resources could include a person’s skills, ability, social support, time, money, and physical health. Setting goals that are too difficult or impossible will only result in frustration and abandonment.
A = Avoidance of Discomfort. The pursuit of goals that pull us out of the “comfort zone” almost always generates significant anxiety. This discomfort is inevitable when it comes to lifestyle changes. If we are unwilling to make room for that discomfort, then we will not take action.
R = Remoteness from Values. If a person loses touch with their values that underlie their goals – if it doesn’t seem meaningful or important to them – then they will lose motivation. Values can provide a deep motivation that helps to sustain the practice of new skills, or the pursuit of challenging goals, even when it’s difficult, tedious or anxiety-provoking.
So, how do we address these barriers? Well, the antidote to FEAR is DARE:
D = Defusion from Unhelpful Thoughts. The mind is a reason-giving machine, and as soon as we think about doing something that pulls us out of our comfort zone, it cranks out all the reasons why we can’t or shouldn’t do it. If we wait until the day when our mind stops “reason-giving” before we do the things that really matter in life… we’ll never get started. So, if fusion with reason-giving is a major barrier to action, then naturally we target it with defusion. This means separating or distancing ourselves from unhelpful thoughts, letting them come and go instead of being caught up in them. Defusion means noticing thoughts rather than being caught up in thoughts; and letting thoughts come and go rather than holding on to them. One of the simplest ways of separating from thoughts is to write them down. This helps a person to take a step back and see the thoughts for what they are: a string of words. Nothing more, nothing less.
A = Acceptance of Discomfort. This means making room for painful thoughts and feelings so we can do what matters. Asking, “Am I willing to feel some discomfort, in order to do what matters most to me?” If a person is unwilling to make room for the inevitable discomfort, they need to either connect with their values or set easier goals.
R = Realistic Goals. If your goals exceed your resources, you can:
1. Create a new goal to acquire those resources
2. Accept the limitations of your reality and change the goal to adapt in the best way possible.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. If a goal seems too big, make it smaller. If walking for 30 minutes is too much, cut it back to ten. Ask yourself: “On a scale from zero to ten, where ten is ‘I’ll definitely do this no matter what’ how likely are you to actually do this?” If you score less than seven, best change the goal to something smaller and easier.
E = Embracing Values. If you are lacking motivation, reflect on why you’re doing this.
The desire is to move forward….always and in all ways! Would love your thoughts if something here resonates with you. I am keen to share this topic!