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New ways of goals

What if the goals we strived for weren’t the ending results,  but the process of how we achieve them?  What if we celebrate the success of each time we achieve the change? When we make the choices daily, weekly or even hourly to move towards the results we are achieving our goal.

What if “falling short” of the goal wasn’t failure but progress?  Many times missing the goal reveals more about ourselves than achieving the goal.  The revelation of who we are, and how we operate isn’t a symptom of the process, but an achievement of progress.  Knowing ourselves and how we operate gives us the best understanding of how we can best achieve our long term goals. For example, from years of meal tracking I learned evenings are my weakest times to give in to cravings and temptation.  When you add in long days and stressful weeks it is even harder to prevent myself from falling into bad habits of binge eating as a stress relief.  Now I try to plan for those times, when travel season is coming I pack healthier snacks.  When life is chaotic at home I limit the junk food I purchase.  And when I am just at my weakest I try to go to bed early.  Every time I crave something I know isn’t good for my body I drink an entire bottle of water.  The fullness of the water helps relieve the fake hunger pains. I am not saying I never allow myself a sweet treat or a chip.  But the goal is to not process life’s struggles with food.  I used to say the goal was a number on the scale.  Now the goal is to make it through the rough day, difficult week, or travel season and not binge eat. I remind myself to celebrate the rough  days that end with making food choices based on food and not my feelings. This has been a newer realization for me. I am seeing great progress in my body and mental state.  I don't have multiple days of guilt after giving into cookie bag eating or the shame of eating an entire pizza in one sitting.  I still have those days I miss the daily mark. There have been a few late night eating sessions.  But the next day is the new goal. I am not a sum of my missed marks. I am learning from those to make better choices in the long run. 

When I was newly in therapy I asked the therapist when I would be healed and how long it would take. She kindly said there is no timeline.  but I needed visual goals. So I went back to what we learned from a behavior therapist who we attended with my young son when he was diagnosed with ADD.  They told us to use a behavior chart, it was a calendar that we put stickers on everyday that my sweet boy had a successful day.  This became my therapy chart. It has been my visual way for years now. When I struggled with binge eating and still had a successful day I got a star, (happy face, whatever made me feel good) There was no expectation, other than each week having more happy faces than the week before. Then more months.  At the beginning I didnt have many happy faces. And Then gradually I had more faces than not. Over a year I could see the patterns of when the happy faces were more often.  This allowed me to plan better for those seasons in my life.  The holidays are hard for me. It’s emotional and busy. So I have to prepare myself for the season with my kitchen prep but also some grace for myself when I have tough days.   Over the years I have used the chart for anxiety, depression, etc.   It’s been a very useful tool.  I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I do now though.  With the new revelation that the process to the end result is also the goal.  

It can be very countercultural to shift our goal thinking.  Everyone tells us to have goal weight, career, or savings. But no one likes to celebrate the road there.  I could go into why it is that way and how big corporations continue to create this culture to keep us stuck…but I wont. Instead I will share scripture.   “Do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will” Romans 12:2. This world is constantly telling us we are wrong, bad, not enough and our habits can be reflections of that.  God wants to redeem all of us, even our habits. Sometimes its a miraculous immediate healing and sometimes the healing takes time and a process of learning.  I am learning that the process is the miracle too, its making me trust him even more.  It’s also making me love the me he created me to be.  

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