Wednesday, August 1, 2007

When Saying No Is Really Saying Yes

How do you lose weight when you love pasta? How do you stay in shape when you hate exercise? How do you get that project finished when you have an opportunity to go to the beach instead?

OK folks, it’s time to grow up. Yes, just face reality. Not everything we do is fun, exciting or pleasurable. Do we strive to fill our lives with pleasant activities? Yes! Can we do it all the time? No!

Sometimes we just have to do things we don’t enjoy in order to achieve a desired goal. We’ll enjoy it when we get to that goal. In fact, we’ll probably feel quite pleasantly righteous when we go from that size 10 to size 8. We’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when we realize that the snug fit of the shirt is due to more defined muscles, not more fat. We’ll feel empowered when that project is complete and we can move onto the next exciting assignment.

The way to achieve the tough goals sometimes involves figuring out how to say no. Or in coaching terms, if I say yes to the pasta, what am I saying no to, i.e., I’m saying no to that size 8.

Achieving the tough goals sometimes requires not indulging every whim or pleasure. Happiness experts struggle with understanding the differences between lasting happiness and momentary highs. The momentary high of having that steaming bowl of pasta is satisfying. I’d argue it’s not nearly as satisfying as the pleasure of dropping down to that next dress size.

Want to reach your goal? Start practicing how to say yes to your goal, and no to the stuff that gets in your way.

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