Ever felt the intense frustration of chasing a meaningful goal, whether it’s pouring your heart into passion projects, pushing yourself through workouts, or striving for a healthier lifestyle? We’ve all been there, battling that inner resistance. But what if I told you there’s a powerful way to shatter that inertia and achieve your dreams? Let me take you back to a time when I dove headfirst into the unknown waters of swimming, not even knowing what a swim cap was for – yet, within just 15 weeks, I swam 3 miles and fundraised $3000 for Swim Across America. The following year, I conquered 5 miles and raised $5000. 

As I reflect on this transformative experience, I’ve discovered the key behind such remarkable achievements, even amidst my initial indifference towards swimming. This process isn’t just a one-time miracle – it’s a journey of self-discovery through deliberate questions. Transitioning from my personal voyage to a relatable story, I’ll share how my friend Robin is using this very process to navigate her health goals with unwavering dedication. 

Picture this: on a drive to collect my car, the air heavy with Robin’s exasperation over her dietary struggles as a type one diabetic. Amidst monitoring her H1C levels diligently, she hit a breaking point, questioning, “Who cares at 50+?” – a sentiment echoed at a recent restaurant outing with friends. 

Having listened to her fears regarding the continual rise in her H1C levels for months, I posed a question, “So, Robin, who does care?” Following a brief silence, I reiterated, “Why don’t you answer that question… who does care?” As her friend, I cared deeply, but I understood that my concern wouldn’t make a difference unless she cared too. So, I waited. After several moments, she uttered, “I care.” 

There it was, she acknowledged it. I felt relieved that she had aligned herself with her own aspirations.

“Alright… Now we know that you care, but what is it that you care about? What matters to you?” I inquired. 

“I care about fitting into my clothes, looking healthy, and feeling good,” Robin revealed. 

Sensing there might be more to her goal than just appearance and clothing fit, I probed further, “Why do you want to prioritize sticking to your macros? (a side note: macro counting had significantly improved Robin’s H1C a few years back).” 

“Because I care about my health, and my H1C has a long-term impact on my well-being,” she explained. 

“Okay, so you want to nourish your body with the right foods for long-term health. Is there anything else? Any other reason driving your commitment to macros and exercise?” I pressed.

“Yes… I want better sleep and have increased energy,” Robin affirmed. 

With three clear motivations to make conscious health choices, I knew her outcomes were about to shift, but not without replacing her previous defeated phrase of “I’m 50+ years old… who cares.” The following day, while chatting in her kitchen, I asked her what positive belief she’d like to adopt about herself and her body. To aid this process, I searched Google for positive body image affirmations. After reviewing a few, Robin grabbed a pen and paper, writing down, “My body is my home, and I will nurture it, not tear it down. I am a beautiful and kind person,” which she promptly stuck on her bathroom mirror. 

From that moment on, every morning, she read that affirmation aloud in front of the mirror. The result? Nearly four months of consistent adherence to her macros, vigilant insulin monitoring, consumption of blood sugar-friendly foods, and regular exercise. Her H1C levels continue to drop, she is experiencing improved sleep, and her energy levels are markedly better. During a couple of recent business trips where she forgot to affirm her newfound beliefs about her body and health, she wavered momentarily but swiftly got back on track. This illustrates the power of understanding your motives for pursuing a goal and consciously choosing affirmations and beliefs that reinforce your aspirations. 

Here are five straightforward steps to achieving the results that truly matter to you: 

  1. Understand why you are pursuing the goal.
  2. Assess your beliefs about yourself concerning the goal.
  3. Delve deeper into your authentic reasons for pursuing the goal.
  4. Identify a supportive belief/affirmation to bolster your commitment. Repeat it daily.
  5. Acknowledge and celebrate small victories along the way.

Reflecting on this very process just over a year ago, I revisited a long-standing goal from eight years prior. Upon my return from Italy, where I expressed to my Sicilian wife the desire to fluently converse with her family in Italian, I initially sought out a language teacher. However, I soon became disheartened by the perceived costs and time commitments. Realizing that my passion for learning Italian (and Spanish) still burned within me, I applied the same five simple steps outlined above. Here’s how I approached it: 

  1. Motivation: I want to learn Italian because… expanding my ability to communicate with people enriches my life. Additionally, as my mother-in-law approaches 80 years old and Italian is her native language, I want to converse with her in Italian as she navigates the aging process. Lastly, mastering Italian will allow me to communicate with her family when we visit Italy again.
  2. Initial Belief Challenge: At that time, I held the belief that learning a new language was too challenging for “older individuals.”
  3. Persistence Amid Challenges: This step is crucial, as there will inevitably be moments where people or circumstances discourage you. For instance, my mother-in-law initially dismissed my Italian studies, suggesting there were too many words to learn. Despite this, I stayed focused on my reasons for learning Italian and persisted.
  4. Empowering Beliefs: While I didn’t rely on a specific affirmation, I embraced the belief that anyone, regardless of age, can learn anything. This conviction is not only supporting my Italian endeavors but it is also fueling my journey towards mastering public speaking and coaching.
  5. Overcoming Overwhelm: Often overwhelmed by the vastness of the Italian language, I remind myself to focus on the next lesson or learn a few new words each day. This incremental approach has been key. After more than a year, I’ve expanded my vocabulary significantly and could comprehend much of the Italian conversation between Yvette and her cousin during our recent trip to Amsterdam. Needless to say, I celebrated this achievement wholeheartedly!

Indeed, we have the capacity to achieve anything we set our minds to. By understanding our specific goals, motivations, overcoming limiting beliefs, embracing empowering beliefs, and celebrating even the smallest progress, we can chart a path to success.

Here’s to your greatness,

Misti Burmeister

Misti Burmeister helps companies and leaders motivate and inspire excellence. For nearly 20 years, she has facilitated communication that results in trust, increasing engagement and productivity across generations. Make sure your communication is coming across the way you intend, visit https://www.MistiBurmeister.com