Happy New Year!
Ok, there’s no way I’m going to start off a brand new decade with a post about how much water you need to drink or what kind of cardio you should do.
I wanted to come up with something truly inspiring for the first post of the year — and honestly, I was having kind of a hard time. So I started thinking about the reasons I started this business. I decided to figure out what’s really behind everything I write about and what motivates me to do all of this.
To figure that out, I asked myself a powerful question: If I had five minutes left on this earth, what would I say to women like me? What’s the one message I would leave them with?
If I were on my deathbed, here’s what I would say to you.
Wake up, and stop living such a small life.
I say “wake up” because you’ve been brainwashed — just like I was.
Women have been brainwashed to believe that we should be quiet, go along and get along, and keep our lives small and dumbed-down in order to keep the peace and not rock the boat. We’re taught to do everything for everyone but ourselves. Because of this, we rarely set big goals for our lives — if we even set them at all.
And endlessly dieting and spending our lives trying to lose weight is just a manifestation of this. It’s the definition of living a small life.
Ok, why is this so important to me? It’s not just important to me — it is vital to me that you get this. That’s because I wasted years of my life trying to lose weight instead of setting meaningful, exciting goals — the goals I had for myself when I was a girl — and then achieving them.
And then I turned so inward on myself with all the dieting failures I experienced that I shattered my confidence to the point that I began to believe that I was a failure.
I’m going to make a bold and possibly uncomfortable statement here. I believe that we as women use losing weight as an excuse not to live bigger lives. We distract ourselves with this concept that we have to lose weight first before we do other things.
Think about it: it’s a lot easier to stay in your house and endlessly diet and never lose the weight than it is to put yourself out there and really go for something you’re passionate about. And the sad thing is that everyone and everything around us convinces us that this is normal.
I’m not saying this to be harsh or make you feel bad. I did this for years. But the worst part is that after years of keeping yourself small this way and then failing over and over again on diets that will never, ever work in the first place, you deplete your confidence to the point that even setting a goal is scary.
And the ultimate irony is that if you actually set a scary goal and started taking steps to achieve it, you would lose weight in the process.
So this is what I would say to you if it was my last hour on earth: you have more power inside of you than you could ever dream possible.
In fact, if you actually realized one tenth of that power you would astound yourself. And you are wasting all of that power staying stuck in your house on a diet.
My fingers are pounding the keyboard as I write this because it makes me so angry. Massive amounts of potential energy wasted because we’ve all been brainwashed to not even try. And that it’s selfish to try. And that it’s not lady-like to be bold or say what you need to say or ask for what you need. And that the most important thing is how you look and what other people think of you.
I would drop ten F-bombs here if I didn’t think it would offend you. Wait a minute. Didn’t I just say that we should all speak up and say what we need to say? Ok then.
Seriously though. What would you say to your daughter if you were on your deathbead? “Honey, I love your dreams so much, and you are so beautiful for having them — just make sure you’re skinny before you try.”
I think I’ve made my point. So here’s what I want you to do about it.
- Get a journal. Go to a coffee shop and sit down with no distractions or interruptions. This is your time, your hour where you’re not doing anything for anyone but yourself.
Write down every single dream you ever had as a young girl, even if you’re not sure you still want it. Write them all down. Especially the ones that seem outlandish or crazy. If you wanted to be an astronaut, write it down.
Choose the three that set your heart on fire. (And if it’s being an astronaut — awesome!)
Circle the one that is a combination of achievable for where you are in your life right now and also scary. Only you know which one that is. Note that it must be a combination of achievable and scary — if it’s not a little scary, it’s not a big enough goal.
On a separate page, write down every single action you could take to make that dream a reality. Write down the big actions and the small ones. Take the bigger action steps and break those down into teeny, tiny baby steps.
Order the steps from those that are easy to immediately take action on to those that would be the most challenging to act on.
As soon as you leave the coffee shop, take the first action. And if you can’t do it right that second, write it in your day planner and check it off as soon as possible.
Resolve to take action on three items on the list per week — but shoot for one every single day.
Be nice to yourself when life gets in the way. But stay focused.
Never, ever give up until the goal is achieved, no matter how long it takes.
Remember that there can be multiple phases of a big dream. If you wanted to climb Mt. Everest when you were a girl, and going from the carpool line to being Sir Edmund Hillary is out of the question (at least for now), set a goal of climbing a mountain that’s closer to home.
If you dreamed of being an interpreter for the UN, you don’t have to get your resume ready. But set a goal to speak a language you love fluently — and plan a trip to visit a country that speaks that language. (Then dust off your resume. I don’t care if you just turned 40 and have three small children — if you set a goal to work for the UN, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t achieve it.)
Again, you want your goal to be scary enough to generate excitement and anticipation but not so out of the realm that you defeat yourself before you even get started. Once you do this long enough, you’ll start to increase the size and scope of your dreams.
By the way, I’ll always talk about tips for losing weight. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight and look your best. Because when you look your best, you feel your best.
The problem arises when you pursue that to the exclusion of all else. When you make losing weight your only goal in life. When you keep your life small.
You believe that you will only feel confident once you look your best. But remember that inner confidence always trumps outer beauty — and it makes that beauty even more beautiful.
When you feel confident and powerful, it shines through your eyes. It affects the way you talk and how you carry yourself. And when you spread that enthusiasm to other people — when they sense the joy you have for your own life — they will naturally be attracted to you.
When you’re talking about how on fire you are for a goal you’ve set for yourself, no one’s thinking, “Wow she’s really inspiring, but I can’t focus on what she’s saying because her butt is so big.”
So let’s as women get busy living. Let’s stop engaging in these pointless conversations about which is better, the working mom or the Pinterest mom? The truth is that that the “best” mom is the one who lives her own authentic, exciting life in whatever form that takes — and models that for her children.
Stop distracting yourself with these ridiculous, competitive conversations and go achieve. Stop wasting your time trying to figure out if low carb is better than high carb or if you should do Atkins or the Whole 30 . . . when you should be spending your time figuring out how you can achieve a scary, thrilling goal of yours.
If you want to supercharge this process, leave a comment below and tell me what dream you chose. Help inspire other women to take action, too!
Be on fire from the depths of your soul to achieve a cherished dream you have, and I promise you, you will lose weight.
So please, stop wasting your life trying to lose weight and go do what you were put on this earth to do. Show the world that you’re not just a good wife and a good mother and a good coworker and a good friend. Be all of those things — but also be the best version of you that you possibly can be.
That’s what I would say to you.
Go set that goal, and have a very happy start to your new year!