It was around 12:15 pm on Sunday, March 20, 2011 and I was preparing for my daily 5-Mile Trek when our daughter-in-law, Jamie arrived at our home to pick up my wife Suzan for some Sunday activities. One grandson and a granddaughter were waiting out in the van for their mom and grandma. I was all decked out in my hooded, bright yellow rain suit as it was 36° out with a 16 mph wind and a cold, hard steady rain. As my daughter-in-law Jamie, entered our home and saw me, I noticed her rolling her eyes with a half-smile and half-laugh on her face as she looked at my wife Suzan and commented “He’s determined”! I said, hello and see ya later as I walked out the door!
On the way out, I stopped at the van to say hello to my grandson Alex and (almost 11 year old) Meghan. Meghan exclaimed, “You’re not going out in this terrible weather—are you?” I replied by explaining that the weather is always beautiful as long as you dress properly for it. I then said goodbye to both of the grand-kids and off into our first spring thunder-snow-storm of the year I went! A Spring Surprise!
As I was trekking through the hard rain/snow mix that was slapping me in my face with all the fury that Mother Nature could muster up in her efforts and attempt to discourage me from accomplishing my “daily goal” of reaching my five miles, I began to ponder over the most recent reactions displayed by my family as I faced the elements to do my walk today. Then I thought of a lengthy conversation I had the night before with a co-worker (a nurse) who had recently purchased from me, one of my most popular diet programs. This young woman wanted to shed some weight and she was not experiencing any success. (This conversation will justify another article concerning personal commitment)
Both of these experienced conversations clearly demonstrated to me just how important “Self-Determination” is to any endeavor. You can offer the best and most complete information on proper nutrition including pre-planned “meal plans” and even an easy test on how to determine your own “Metabolic Type” and UNLESS the person is truly desiring the changes to occur in his or her life—it will never happen. And I mean that you must have a burning desire to achieve the results.
Should I wait for a 72° day with blue skies and birds chirping to get my 5 mile trek in? Well, if I did wait I would still look and feel like the “Pillsbury Dough Boy”! I would not have lost the 70+ pounds that I have lost over the last 15 months. All too many people (95% to 97%) fail to see the importance and the necessity to employ personal discipline that IS REQUIRED to develop and utilize the skill known as “Self-Determination”.
All Things Start Out As Dreams, Thoughts Or Wishes…
How do you get from Point A to Point B? You take your dream, thought or wish and turn it into a GOAL. A Goal is nothing more than an accomplishment that is the end result of a Strategic Plan of Action (SPOA). If I would have attempted to lose over 70 pounds without converting it to a GOAL, it would have never happened. With a SPOA, you can take that 70 pounds and in your plan, know that it is only 4.67 pounds per month or 1.04 pounds per week or about 6-1/2 oz. per day of weight loss! Does that change the perspective? You bet it does.
People…need to become mentally strong in order to make their dreams or wishes come true. Not being determined is like trying to make beans and rice and forgetting to add the rice. Without following every detail of the RECIPE you’ll end up with just the beans!
Losing weight and becoming fit is more than just about knowing the right foods to eat and what type of exercises to do. It must have the following ingredients as well:
- You must have a Strategic Plan of Action.
- You must have a clearly defined “end result” in mind.
- You must have an idea of all the resources that you will require and have access to them with books, audio, video and other people (mentors, coaches, etc.)
- You must establish a “Date of Completion”.
- Most Important: A Burning Desire and Focused Discipline to enforce your Self-Determination to move ahead – One Day at a Time, Step by Step. Success is a Cinch by the Inch and Hard by the Yard!
Over all of my years, I have learned that EVERYTHING starts with the muscle that all of us have between our ears—our BRAIN.
Our brain has unlimited capabilities and will take you wherever you want to go if you will only allow it to guide you. You are the only person that can stimulate your own self-discipline thus leading you to self-determination and accomplishing your Goal. Do you want to be victorious? It’s all up to you and YOU alone! (In weight loss, I guess a Loser is a Winner!)
Be prepared. Another observation I have made over my many years is that people such as me who have mastered the art of Self-Determination have a slight tendency of “standing out in the crowd” or appearing to be rather unique. Had I not been standing in my kitchen looking like a huge “canary” (in my rain gear), I probably would not have gotten the “eye-roll” from Jamie but there I was—looking like somewhat of a dork… I asked myself – but, how many other people while having a choice of either sitting in front of a warm, toasty fire watching a movie, or walking around the community dressed up like “Big Bird” – walking up and down hills with the cold wet rain slapping you in the face—would have make the choice I did?
Probably – not many. But then, there-in lies the difference between accomplishing your goal or not. I can (and did) sit in front of a cozy fire later as I stared at the numbers on my pedometer instead of “wishing” that I would have taken action!!
On another occasion, in another season – You would find me dressed similar to a Sherpa in the Himalayan Mountains in Tibet, trekking through 3 foot deep snowdrifts in a blizzard. I was not attempting any type of added “drama”. I was just “dressing for the weather.” However, it must have appeared somewhat dramatic as there were a few folks that did stop their vehicle and grab a photograph of me!
You know, it’s kind of funny when you think about it. I can go back over a half a century ago and think of when my Dad picked up a guitar for me that cost him a whole $7 because I indicated that I wanted to become a musician just as I entered my teens!
I actually remember my thoughts at that time in my life! Do understand that I completely appreciated receiving that instrument and I understood that the $7 invested in it was outside of my family’s budget…I remember the words that I constantly repeated over and over to myself every time I picked up that guitar to practice. I would repeat to myself these words: “If I can master playing this guitar with a neck like a log, just think how good I will be able to play a far more expensive one.”
When I think of the first time I have ever used any kind of or form of stimulation to motivate myself to reach for a goal…I think of myself at 13 years old sitting in my bedroom, practicing that old $7 guitar which I might add…did ultimately lead to bigger and better things as an accomplished musician in a popular R&B group….but that’s another story!
So, keep this in mind: “Self-motivation = Self-determination which will pave the way for Goal Setting which will equal accomplishing a Positive Objective in your life!
Let me know your thoughts on these principles and leave a comment please.