Email Vesta
Blog Home Page

Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mitch Darnell's ADVICE on Good Goals

Hey Mitch,
I’ve started off 2010 pretty well. Forced myself to the gym. Eating MUCH better than I did over the last few months of ’09. But you know what? I do this every year, Mitch!

I have this “pattern”, I guess you’d call it. My friends say they all do the same thing! We set those resolutions, go for it, push, push, push… And then life catches up with us.

Mitch, how do we get ourselves out of this vicious cycle of bad habits, feeling like a pig (and a loser), then a good habits period (while work piles up), then back to the bad habits?!

I’m almost 40, Mitch. I have a LOT of experience with this challenge. I’ve read some great books, made charts and lists… I just always fall! ARGHH!! Do you have some words that might help me?

Trying But Failing,
Sacramento, CA


Dear Trying,

Funny story about a guy who’d never felt drawn to exercise – Suddenly “assigned” by his doc to do three weekly 25-minute cardio sessions. So, most unenthusiastically, he forced himself out of bed at 5:33 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to join a neighbor for morning jogs.

After a couple of weeks, I asked him how it was going. He told me he was enjoying “runner’s euphoria”! After I congratulated him, he finished his sentence with, “…on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays!”

~ ~ ~ ~

SO MUCH of what we encounter are NOT the actual experiences or things in our lives, but the challenging/blocking terms we give them!

Take the term “eating better”. Suggests that someone not eating an extremely healthy diet is “bad” (versus “better”)! Do you think a term like “power eating” or “energy eating” might have a different effect, when trying to get there?

… Maybe those foods that aren’t on the “great for your health list” can be on the “reward food” list, or the “Saturday night food list”! There are NO “bad foods”; just foods that may need to be a more limited part of your diet for you to become your strongest self!

Not feeling compelled to hit the treadmill endlessly has no connection with the terms “loser” or “pig”! There are losers who are in great shape! Some of our greatest human beings have/had very “unhealthy” diets!

Remember “The Definition of Insanity”?!.. The only way to stop a perpetuating cycle is to GET OFF THE CYCLE!! Time to find a NEW approach!

NEVER long for the “old ways” or “how things used to be” – They weren’t as they now seem, and you are a stronger, smarter being! Every day is opportunity to seek life’s lessons, and to find new opportunities… New ways of living.

° Good Goals Are:

• Realistic (Not so hard to reach they require 100% commitment)

• A Stretch (Not so easy they aren’t interesting, nor rewarding when achieved)

• Specific and Measurable…

Example of A Poor Goal: “I’ll lose some weight this year”

A Good Goal: “I will lose 15 pounds by April first of this year”

ANOTHER Good Goal: “Instead of pushing to the gym, I’ll do something I enjoy

to get exercise!”

° Here’s some Resolutions EVERYONE should START with… And let the others follow!...

· LOVE yourself more this year than last year

· FORGIVE yourself for ALL mistakes you've made in the past

· FORGIVE others for ALL mistakes they've made in the past

· Remember you ARE “Good Enough”

· Remind yourself you “Have Enough”

· And, You have “Done Enough”!

° WHO are your resolutions with?! While our actions affect those we love, our commitments and integrity are first to ourselves.

° AND, your most powerful message:

Set your Resolutions as “Intentions” – Loving YOU… And then LET GO!

… You become powerful the moment you LET GO and trust a greater power…


Mitch Darnell, MA, OM