Change starts with “t”
We promised you could be your own healthy lifestyle coach. Hopefully the motivation so far has got you out of denial, out of negativity, through some tough love with your brain ticking over and thinking about change. Over the next 5 “motivation Mondays” we’ll share coaching tips and techniques so you can be self-efficacious and work out your own plan for lifestyle change.
It’ll work because it will be YOUR plan: from you, by you and for you. All you have to do is stick to the rules and don’t cheat yourself.
“t-GROW” is one recipe for life coaching. For producing effective change. It’s easy to remember, simple to follow and you can follow it with us. We begin with “t”.
“t” is for topic
If you’re thinking about life change you need to concentrate on a defined topic. You will get pulled in all sorts of different directions if you aren’t specific or if you wander off topic or into other areas. For example, you might feel like you need to change and “Do better”
Or “Be healthier” Or “Get thinner”
Let’s take “do better”. Better than what? Better at what? This is so unspecific it’s just a tool to beat yourself up with – you’ll only ever feel insufficient against a non-goal like “better” – just watch W1A!!
So the first question to ask of your topic is “is it specific”? What about “be healthier”? That’s a bit better, at least it has a specific marker of health in it. But what does healthy mean to you? If you’re already a sprint triathlete, it might mean taking on an ironman challenge. If you never eat a vegetable it might mean getting your 5-a-day.
So the second question to ask of your topic is “What does that mean to me“? What about “get thinner”? That seems pretty specific and the meaning is pretty obvious. But is it? Check again, does it mean dress sizes thinner? Does it mean stones or kilograms thinner? Does it mean a smaller waistline? Does it mean a lower body fat percentage?
Have I got the right topic?
So the penultimate check on your topic is “Have I got the topic right“? “Have I double checked it’s specific and meaningful”?
Do I want it?
And finally, are you signed up to it? Ask yourself “Is this a special topic with meaning for ME“? It may seem iterative, circular, but having made an effort to explore your topic, do you actually get a fire in your belly to go to the next step? (spoiler alert: it’s “goal setting”) on that topic and is it really the topic that means something to you?
For instance, if you said to yourself you want to be thinner have you thought about why? If, actually, you don’t want to be skinny fat, you want to be strong and slim (as that would have more lasting satisfaction), maybe you want the topic to be “healthier – by being strong with a low body fat percentage” which would achieve the thinness as a side effect.
Try it out. Pick your topic, try it on for size. Spend some time here getting it right. There’s no point proceeding to the next step and investing energy rabbiting off down the wrong road – you’ll be disappointed and beating yourself up in no time.
Talk it through with someone else, especially if you’re a Myers-Briggs “E”, get them to check your topic is specific and meaningful.
And we look forward to seeing you here next week for some goal-setting.