Goal Setting Series #2: Understanding and Overcoming Myths

Understanding and Overcoming Myths

What if the major roadblocks hindering your progress are not your capabilities but the myths surrounding goal-setting you’ve subscribed to? Join me, as we debunk common misconceptions about goal setting, especially those that might be wreaking havoc in your midlife transition. 

Together, we’ll uncover the truths and reshape our perspective towards setting goals – those that are not only achievable but also fulfilling. Let’s move away from the overwhelming belief of making sweeping changes all at once or solely relying on willpower, and instead, focus on making small yet sustainable changes that harmonize with your current life situation.

Are you ready to challenge the widely held beliefs that often trap us in a cycle of frustration and disappointment? Tune in as I share insights and practical strategies for setting goals that align with who you are and the unique circumstances of your life. 

I explore the importance of setting realistic goals, the power of baby steps, and the necessity of understanding your current life circumstances in setting goals. We’re not just debunking myths but empowering you to make meaningful strides in your journey toward lasting success. 

Remember, this journey is not a race, and your goals are yours alone, so they should resonate with you, not some societal norms or expectations. So, let’s rise above the fog of misconceptions and set a clear path toward our true desires!

Chapter Summaries

Setting Achievable and Fulfilling Goals (0:00:03)

Overcoming myths about goal setting: realistic goals, seeking support, and small steps lead to progress.

Debunking Goal-Setting Myths, Overcoming Obstacles (0:11:45)

Debunking myths about goal setting empowers us to make realistic, sustainable changes aligned with our current circumstances.

Are you loving the podcast, but arent sure where to start? click here to get your copy of the Done with Dieting Podcast Roadmap Its a fantastic listening guide that pulls out the exact episodes that will get you moving towards optimal health.

If you want to take the work we’re doing here on the podcast and go even deeper, you need to join the Feel Good Sisterhood - my group coaching program for women in midlife who are done with dieting, but still want to feel good! The Feel Good Sisterhood is open for enrollment, so click here to discover if group coaching is a right fit for you and your goals.

I am so excited to hear what you all think about the podcast – if you have any feedback, please let me know! You can leave me a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, which helps me create an excellent show and helps other women who want to get off the diet roller coaster find it, too.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode

  • Discover how to defy conventional goal-setting beliefs, unlocking new pathways to success amid the complexities of midlife.
  • Unveil how small daily changes profoundly enhance health and wellness, showcasing lasting improvements in physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
  • Explore potent strategies, moving beyond willpower, by optimizing your environment, minimizing friction, and planning smartly for lasting goal success.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

Have you ever felt like no matter how hard you try, your goals just keep slipping out of reach? What if I told you that some of the most popular beliefs about goal setting might actually be holding you back?

In today’s episode, we’re going to turn some of those beliefs on their head. We’ll uncover the myths that many of us have been led to believe about setting and achieving goals, especially as we navigate the complexities of midlife.

Now, are you trying to do it all and finding yourself overwhelmed? Or have you been told that only big, drastic changes make a difference? Maybe you’re relying solely on willpower to achieve your goals, only to find yourself running out of steam.

If any of this sounds familiar, then this episode is for you. Join me as we dive into the truth behind these myths and discover a more practical, sustainable approach to goal setting. We’re going to explore the strategies that fit into your real life. Strategies that acknowledge the unique challenges and strengths. That we possess at this stage in our journey.

If you’re ready to set goals that truly resonate with who you are and where you are in life, then you don’t want to miss what I have to share. This isn’t just about setting goals. It’s about transforming the way that we approach them.

So, are you in? Let’s get started.

Welcome to Total Health and Midlife, the podcast for women embracing the pivotal transformation from the daily grind to the dawn of a new chapter. I’m Elizabeth, your host and fellow traveler on this journey.

As a Life and Health Coach, I am intimately familiar with the changes and challenges we face during this stage. Shifting careers, changing relationships, our new bodies, and redefining goals and needs as we start to look to the future and ask, what do I want?

In this podcast, we’ll explore physical, mental, and emotional wellness, offering insights and strategies to achieve optimal health through these transformative years.

Yes, it’s totally possible.

Join me in this amazing journey of body, mind, and spirit, where we’re not just improving our health, but transforming our entire lives.

Hey everyone, before we dive into today’s episode, I have something special to share with you. On January 8th, 2024, at 12 p. m. Eastern, I am hosting a live class titled, ‘Your Healthiest Year.’ This class ties in perfectly with this goal setting series, as it offers you an incredible opportunity to work directly with me to navigate and refine your goals for 2024.

Imagine, being able to make your 2024 your healthiest year without feeling miserable in the process. That’s exactly what we’ll explore together in this class. We’ll build on the insights that you’ll gain in this episode and take a deeper dive into personalizing your health journey, specifically tailored for women in midlife.

Don’t miss this chance to transform your approach to your health and well-being. Register now at elizabethsherman.com/2024 and take the first step towards a vibrant, health focused new year.

Hey everyone, welcome back to our goal setting series. Where we are on a journey to setting achievable, empowering goals. I’m Elizabeth, your guide and host in navigating the challenges and triumphs of goal setting. Especially, tailored for us women in our vibrant midlife.

Now, in our last episode, we took the first step by focusing on realistic goal setting. We explored how to set achievable goals that fit perfectly into our unique life’s tapestry. Goals that consider our day-to-day realities, and the beautiful complexity of our lives at this stage.

If you missed that episode, I highly recommend giving it a listen to lay out the groundwork for what we’re diving into today.

Now, on today’s episode, what we’re going to be doing is shifting gears a little bit. We’re focusing on understanding and overcoming myths about goal setting. Now, why is this important? Well, it’s because myths can act like roadblocks, they can skew our perception and lead us down paths that don’t align with our needs or what we can do.

And let’s face it, we’ve all encountered these myths, those widely held beliefs that seem to promise success, but often lead us feeling stuck or disappointed. We’re going to unpack these myths, we’re going to look at them closely, and understand why they don’t serve us.

We’ll also explore practical ways to sidestep these myths, enabling us to set goals that are not only achievable, but also fulfilling. Think of it as clearing the fog from our goal setting journey, allowing us to see our path a little bit more clearly.

By the end of our time today, my hope is that you’ll feel more empowered and informed, ready to set goals that truly resonate with your current stage of life. Goals that bring you health, happiness, and a sense of achievement.

Okay. So, are you ready to shed some light on these myths and set yourself up for success?

Okay. So, let’s start by tackling a common myth. The belief that achieving our goals requires us to go all in and do it all at once. It’s like thinking that we need to repaint our entire house in one day. When maybe all it needs is a little touch up here and there.

Let’s take a common scenario. You decide that it’s time to eat healthier. Okay? Sound familiar?

The immediate thought might be to purge your kitchen of all of the unhealthy food. Sounds totally effective, right? But let’s think this through.

The idea of transforming your eating habits overnight by removing every single treat and snack might feel empowering at first. But is it practical? What if you live with others who don’t share your dietary goals? Right?

Suddenly, your well intentioned plan starts to look like a recipe for frustration, not only for you, but for everyone around you.

So, here’s the thing. Massive, sweeping changes like this can be incredibly hard to maintain. And when we set these extreme standards for ourselves, we are setting the stage for potential disappointment.

Life, especially in midlife is complex and we have a lot of demands. We’re juggling family, possibly caring for aging parents, maybe even dealing with our own health issues.

In this dance of life, insisting on drastic changes can be more like stepping on our own toes rather than gliding gracefully across the floor. Let’s look at a different approach. What if, instead of throwing out every bag of chips or every chocolate bar, you started by introducing healthier options alongside of them. You could add more fruits or vegetables or healthier snack alternatives.

This way, you’re not feeling deprived and you’re also not demanding an unrealistic adaptation from those who you live with. Gradual changes are more sustainable and often more effective in the long run.

And here’s another important thing. Understanding that quote unquote doing it all doesn’t equate to doing it all yourself. Sometimes the smartest move we can make is asking for help or advice. Whether it’s hiring a coach like myself, talking to friends who’ve navigated similar paths, or even joining a supportive community, like my Facebook group. Seeking support can make the journey much more manageable and enjoyable.

So, what’s the takeaway here? Let’s shift our mindset from doing it all to doing what’s manageable and sustainable. By setting realistic goals and embracing gradual change, we’re more likely to achieve lasting success.

And remember, small steps can often lead to big changes, especially when those steps are taken consistently and with a dose of self-compassion.

Next, let’s explore another common myth and how to navigate it. But for right now, just reflect on this. Are there areas in your life where you’re trying to do too much too fast? So, how can you adjust your approach to make your goals a little bit more attainable and less overwhelming.

So, moving on to our next myth, the belief that only big significant changes can lead to real progress. It’s a common thought, isn’t it? That to make noticeable difference our actions need to be grand and bold. But here’s a different perspective. Sometimes it’s the small seemingly insignificant changes that can actually have the most profound impact over time.

So, think of it like this. If you’re trying to save money, it’s not just the large sums put aside that count, it’s also the spare change saved here or there. You know, the Starbucks effect, like those 4 dollar coffees really add up over time.

The same principle applies to our health and wellness goals. Making minor adjustments in our daily routines can lead to significant lasting changes.

So, for example, instead of committing to an hour of exercise every day, a big leap for many of us. What if you started off with something smaller and more manageable? It could be a 10 minute walk each day, or choosing stairs over the elevator, or even stretching for a few minutes every morning.

Now, these activities might not seem like they’re much on their own, but collectively, over time, they contribute to your overall health and fitness in a substantial way. And it’s not just about physical health here. Small changes in how we manage stress, how we allocate time for self-care, and how we approach our daily tasks can all lead to a greater sense of well-being.

For instance, dedicating a few minutes each day to meditation or setting aside time each week to engage in a hobby that you love can significantly enhance your mental and emotional health.

Now, let’s talk about setting realistic expectations. Another crucial aspect of sustainable progress. When we set goals that are too ambitious or out of sync with our current realities, we are more likely to feel overwhelmed and give up.

But when we set achievable realistic goals, those small incremental steps, we are more likely to feel motivated and to see progress. Each small success builds our confidence, reinforces our commitment, and keeps us moving forward.

So, if you’ve been thinking that small changes aren’t enough, I want to invite you to reconsider that thought process. Reflect on the small steps that you can take right now. Those little tweaks in your daily routine that are achievable and can lead to significant improvements in the long run.

Remember, it’s not about making massive leaps overnight. It’s about consistent small steps that lead to lasting, meaningful change.

The next myth that I want to talk about is a personal insight that I’ve gained in over 17 years of working with my clients.

One of the most common pitfalls that I see is over ambition. It’s a trap that many of us fall into, especially when we look back at what we used to accomplish. And assume that we can still do the same thing without considering the changes that have taken place in not only our lives, and what demands are being put on us but also our bodies.

I remember working with a client, let’s call her Jane. Jane was in her mid-50s, and a time of life filled with transitions.

Inspired by memories of a younger version of herself, Jane set a goal to reclaim that same level of activity and energy. She planned to start a rigorous fitness routine, get involved in several community projects, and host regular family gatherings all while managing her career.

However, Jane quickly found herself overwhelmed. She hadn’t factored in the natural changes that come with age. The evolving demands of her family, and her own shifting priorities.

Her body didn’t respond to exercise the way that it used to because it hadn’t been conditioned. And her energy levels were totally different. Jane was setting herself up based on a past version of herself, not who she was in the present. And this is such a common scenario.

We often set goals based on our past selves. But life isn’t static. Our bodies change, our responsibilities shift, and what worked for us a decade ago might not be feasible today. This doesn’t mean that we can’t set ambitious goals. It just means that we need to set them in the context of our current lives.

The key is to acknowledge and embrace these changes. It’s about redefining what success looks like for us now, at this stage of our lives.

Now, for Jane, this meant adjusting her fitness routine to something a little bit more sustainable. Choosing projects that truly resonated with her current interests and finding a balance between her social activities and the need to rest and self-care.

So, as we think about setting goals. be kind to yourself. Set goals that honor where you are right now, not where you used to be, or where you want to be. It’s about lowering our ambitions, but also aligning them with our current reality.

Now, this approach will lead to more satisfaction and a sense of achievement that truly reflects who you are today.

Okay, now let’s talk about another myth that often surfaces in our goal setting journey. The belief that sheer willpower is all we need to avoid temptation and stick to our goals.

It’s a common thought, right? That if we muster up enough willpower, we can just resist anything that comes our way.

But here’s the truth. Willpower, while it’s totally important is not the only way to achieve our goals. Think of willpower as a muscle. Just like any muscle in your body, it can get tired. And so, relying solely on willpower to resist temptation or stick to the challenging routine is like expecting to hold a heavy weight outstretched in your hand all day long.

Eventually, your arm is going to get tired, and you are going to have to put the weight down. The same thing goes for willpower. If we rely on willpower alone, especially in challenging situations or when we’re tired or run down. It’s only a matter of time before it wanes.

Now, let’s consider the limitations of willpower. It’s influenced by so many factors. Our energy levels, our emotional state, even how much sleep we got last night.

Have you ever noticed that it’s harder to resist a sweet treat when you’re tired or stressed? That’s because your willpower is being affected by your overall well-being. So, it’s not just about having the strength to say no. It’s also about understanding and managing the factors that affect our willpower. This brings us to a crucial point.

The necessity of developing realistic and practical strategies. Instead of just trying to resist temptation through willpower, it’s more effective to create an environment that supports our goals.

So, for instance, if your goal is to eat healthier, instead of relying on your willpower to avoid the unhealthy food. Why not make healthier foods more accessible in your home? It’s about making the healthier choice, the easier choice, what I call reducing friction.

Another strategy is to plan for moments when willpower might be low. So, let’s say, that you’re trying to cut down on sugar. Plan ahead for those moments when you might crave something sweet. And have a healthy alternative ready, or a strategy to do something different until the craving passes.

This approach doesn’t just rely on willpower, but it’s about being prepared and making smart choices easier for yourself.

While willpower is a valuable part of our goal setting toolkit, it’s not the only tool we have. By understanding its limitations and complementing it with practical strategies, we can set ourselves up for more sustainable success. It’s about working smarter, not just harder in our journey towards achieving our goals.

As we come to a close on today’s episode, let’s take a moment to reflect on the myths that we’ve unpacked and the insights that we’ve shared. We started out by challenging the myth that we need to do it all to achieve our goals. Recognizing the impracticality and the unsustainability of drastic all-encompassing changes.

Then, we moved on to debunking the misconception that only large, significant changes are effective. Highlighting instead, the profound impact of small incremental changes in our daily lives. I also shared a personal insight on the pitfalls of overambition. Understanding the importance of setting goals that align with our current realities, not just our past achievements.

And finally, we tackled the myth that willpower is the key to success, discussing its limitations, and the necessity of developing a realistic and practical strategy to support our goals.

Now, each of these points brings us closer to a more balanced, realistic, and ultimately successful approach to setting and achieving goals. It’s about taking steps that are right for us at this stage in our lives and not being swayed by unrealistic expectations or myths that don’t serve our best interests.

Now, in our next episode, we’ll be navigating another crucial aspect of goal setting. And that’s identifying and overcoming obstacles.

We’ll encounter barriers and challenges on our journey to reaching our goals, and it’s essential to have strategies to tackle those obstacles head on. We’ll discuss the common hurdles and share practical tips on how to overcome them, ensuring that you stay on track and continue to make progress towards your goals.

So, stay tuned for this valuable discussion. And in the meantime, I want to invite you to reflect on the myths that we’ve discussed today. How can you apply these insights to your own goal setting journey? And remember, you’re not alone in this.

If you’d like support, join the Facebook group, ‘The 8 Basic Habits That Healthy Women in Midlife Do.’ The link will be in the show notes.

As we wrap up today’s episode, let’s take a moment to reflect on the journey that we’ve been on together. Our focus today was on understanding and overcoming the myths that can often cloud our goal setting process.

We’ve broken down the myths that you need to do it all, that only big changes count, and that sheer willpower is enough. By challenging these misconceptions, we empower ourselves to set goals that are not only achievable, but also aligned with who we are at this moment in our lives.

Successful goal setting isn’t about drastic overhauls or relying solely on willpower. It’s about making small, sustainable changes, and setting realistic expectations. It’s about understanding our current life circumstance and working with them, not against them.

And most importantly, it’s about acknowledging that we are constantly evolving. And so too, should our approach to goal setting and achieving our goals.

I encourage you to take these insights and apply them to your own goal setting journey. Reflect on the myths that you may have believed and think about how you can shift your approach to greater success and fulfillment.

And if you’re looking for support or just a community of like-minded women, remember, the Facebook group, ‘8 Basic Habits That Healthy Women in Midlife Do’ is always open. Join us for more discussions, support, and tips on living a healthier, happier life in midlife.

Finally, don’t forget to tune in to the next episode, where we’re going to be exploring how to identify and overcome obstacles in our goal setting journey. It’s going to be an amazing conversation, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

That’s all I have for you today. Thank you for joining me. Until next time, have a great day. I’ll talk to you later. Bye-bye.

So, as we wrap up today’s episode, I hope you found valuable insights and inspiration for your goal setting journey. If you’re eager to dive deeper and truly make 2024 your healthiest year without being miserable in the process, I want to remind you to register for my live class, Your Healthiest Year.

Join me on January 8th at 12 p. m. Eastern for a way of looking at your goals for the year in a way that you’ve never approached them before. We’ll explore personalized health insights, practical strategies, and the support of a community of like-minded women, all dedicated to thriving in midlife.

This class is more than just a presentation. It’s an opportunity for me to help you succeed in your health goals. So, if you got value from today’s episode and are ready to take your goals to the next level, visit elizabethsherman.com/2024 to secure your spot. You can make 2024 a year of health, energy, and joy, and I want to be there to support you.

See you there.

Thanks for staying with us till the end of this episode. If you’re looking to deepen your understanding of the ‘8 Basic Habits that Healthy People Do’ and want to connect with a community of like-minded women, I warmly invite you to join our free Facebook group, ‘8 Basic Habits that Women in Midlife Do’.

In this group, we expand on the habits discussed today, sharing experiences, offering support, and celebrating our health journeys together. It’s a space where you can feel understood and encouraged. To join, simply click the link in our show notes. Let’s support and inspire each other in our quest for better health. See you in the group!

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