I’ve been thinking a lot about…
…the magic of wishes.
Is there anything incredible you are wishing for this holiday season?
Walt Disney said it beautifully:
“When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who are, anything your heart desires will come to you.” – Jiminy Cricket
But really? I’ve got to tell you, that hasn’t been my experience.
If you know me, you know I’m a huge supporter of the power of hope. There is so much science that supports the benefits of having wishes and the positive hope that those wishes will come true. These people may become more driven, and are more willing to free up and commit more resources (energy, time, money) than those who aren’t dreaming big. So, sometimes the simple act of having an awesome wish and being hopeful is enough to make that wish come true. But just as often, it’s not.
Sometimes the very excitement and positive affect that accompanies creating the wish, sharing it, getting excited about it, tricks the body and soul into thinking the wish or goal attainment has already transpired. A type of complacency can settle in. And then – goodness forbid – we encounter an unforeseen challenge or set back. We’re likely to give up. Wish shattered.
But that’s not to say we aren’t to wish and hope for a beaudacious outcome. We are. Definitely. It’s just that it’s only step one. If you put your right foot down and leave your left foot hanging, what happens? Ok, you hop. Nice. But eventually, you are likely to fall. So, put your right foot down, and then your left.
So, vital step #2: anticipate the Obstacles, and Prepare and Plan.
Quick digression: Scientist Dr. Gabriele Oettingen has done some extremely interesting and compelling research on exactly this. She has even developed a website and app called WOOP my life. I’m only familiar with her research, but feel free to check out what she describes as practical, accessible strategies to turn dreams into achievable goals: http://woopmylife.org/woop-1
I’ve added an H to Gabriele’s anagram:
WHOOP! (Who couldn’t use a little “Whoop” now and again?!)
Wish, Hope, Outcome, Obstacle, Preparation/Plan.
Step 1 or WHO:
Who?! YOU! This step is all about YOU.
What’s your Wish? What are all the things you Hope to achieve? Define the ultimate Outcome as clearly as you can. Don’t be afraid to be Hopeful about attaining that Outcome. Your HOPE will make you confident, energized, motivated…and the best part? Having wishes and being hopeful is like being a kid again: IT’S SO MUCH FUN!!!!!
Step 2 or OP:
(aka Operation you’re going to be amazing!)
Ok. Things get a little more serious here. This is the tougher part. The grown-up part in some ways. Except kids are typically REALLY GOOD AT ASKING FOR HELP. So that is often a vital part of Step 2. Remember that for later:
OBSTACLES: Identify them.
- Have you tried to attain this goal before? If so, what got in your way? What were the toughest parts?
- Do you know someone who has tried this before and succeeded? What did they find toughest? Someone who tried and failed? What got in their way?
- Do your best to determine what the possible challenges will be. Even if they never come to pass, the simple act of acknowledging their reality will get your feet more firmly planted and remove some of that possible complacency.
PREPARE & PLAN:
- If the obstacle comes knocking, what can you do to overcome?
- What can you do to keep yourself motivated?
- Could you alter an outcome to make it more moderate (more achievable) for the time being?
- Can you slightly extend your timeline?
- Who can you turn to for support? Have that lifeline ready before the storm hits. And then ASK FOR HELP.
There’s nothing simple about this…but my 5 minutes are more than up. Let’s revisit this with some real-life examples to help really understand and make use of these steps. We can add a little – or a lotta – WHOOP to our January?!!!
If you have an awesome fitness or health wish you’re trying to make come true, and you think I might be able to help, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Meg Sharp, MSc., B.Ed.Kin, FST, Executive Director of Personal Training, Cambridge Group of Clubs