My mind has a mind of its own! How to achieve your goals by focusing on Proactivity!
We all want to be fit , happy, and merry. But what about the mind? What is in your control? What are your actions? Are they where you want them to be?
So you might be wondering, why chat about being proactive versus reactive. You have a personal training website and this makes no sense. I have been a trainer for 10+ years. What I have found is the hardest struggle for clients is the mindsets that will lead their lifestyle to one that is considered a personal success or personal results or goals that they want to attain.
Taking action and living a Proactive life, will eliminate the excuses and number of times that workouts or nutrition will take a back burner, or others excuses enter the picture.
Here me out! Those that are reactive, wait for a stimulus to act upon them, then they deliver a response. I.e) When you wake up Monday morning and open your fridge, and realize you haven't prepped any food for your lunches for the week. The stimulus is "yikes - no lunch!" The response then could be, Iâ€™ll just run out on my lunch break and pick something out. Sounds so easy right? Wrong - the response is one of reaction. We will chat about that more. When you are making decisions based on reaction, you are allowing an outside stimulus or sudden urge or impulse influence how you make your decisions. Ever try going to the grocery store and shopping when you are hungry? I can tell you from experience that all of a sudden those sour soothers, fuzz peaches, perogies, and a corndog sound fantastic. Can you imagine eating all that? Those don't sound like a good combo at all. Those will for sure keep you on track to hit your targets right? Not a chance.
"You need to be proactive, carve out time in your schedule, and take responsibility for being the healthiest person you can be - no one else is going to do it for you. ~ Mehmet Oz"
Stephen Covey defines proactive as "being responsible for our own lives..our behaviour is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. Proactive people focus on issues within their circle of influence. They work on things they can do something about.
Okay, great? thanks for the explanation of being proactive but what does the mean for me? What can I do today?
Well, to start, people who are proactive are value driven. They make decisions and take actions because those actions are in line with their values or their character. For example, one of my values is health and fitness. If I am reacting to my situation - such as a lack of food preparation and a stop at Oyen's A&W for 2 buddy burgers on the way to Calgary, my decision is reactive because I am not taking actions that are inline with my values. Whereas if I say, my value is health and fitness, I am going to plan where I will be eating my meals along the way and look up menu items online ahead of time or I am going to pack my food for the road so I can be sure I am eating food that is good for me. See the difference. Being reactive may save you time, but at what cost? Your value of eating healthy or living a healthy lifestyle?
Step 1: What are my values?
Take some time on google and go through a list of core values. As you are going through them, you will figure out which ones you are pulled to more. Write out your values and define what each of them means to you.
Here is a list of mine:
- Fitness & Health
- Adventure & Travel
- Fervent Impact/Life of Significance
Step 2: What one thing that is in my control that I can do daily, weekly, monthly so that I can make decisions based on my values?
Start with one simple habit. Add it into your life for 1-2 months. Then continue to carry it on. As you start integrating a new habit into your life and experience an easy success, then add a harder habit to the list until it seems seamless. Repeat and repeat.
Here are some examples:
- Track daily spending/get on a budget
- Meal prep for lunches every Sunday
- Commit to planning your schedule for your day the night before
- Schedule in a date night every week
- Schedule in a self-replenishing time once a week
- Schedule in an hour weekly to go over your week's goals
- Pack your bag the night before/lay out clothes
Step 3: How can I keep myself accountable? What actions can I do today to keep myself accountable? Put Accountability Systems in Place.
Accountability systems are amazing. You can hold yourself accountable by using habit tracking apps, a check list or a calendar, as well as sharing with positive supportive people about what your goals are and sharing about your values. Sometimes I don't feel like doing what I said I was going to do, but this is where we need to remember that "the ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person" (Stephen R. Covey - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People).
So in summary, being proactive looks like making value-driven decisions that will lead you down your path you want to be on. Reactive decisions are impulsive and usually put road blocks to getting down the path you want to be on. Remember it is your decision on how you decide to react to a stimulus. You can choose your behaviors, attitude, and actions. No one can rain on your parade unless you allow them to. Make daily actions that allow these daily decisions to form into proactive habits.