This week I’m celebrating my 50th Podcast! Thank you to everyone who signed up for this newsletter and who has listened in to Fix Yourself with Shannon Connery. The podcast and newsletter all started as a dream I had to write a book. To be honest, I’ve wanted to write a book on happiness for a long time, but never believed I could. It took a lot of work fixing my own issues before I was in a space where I knew I had valuable information to share.
I started this journey because I wanted to give the tools I’ve used in my private practice to people who don’t want, or can’t afford therapy. Therapy is expensive and time consuming, and not accessible to everyone. Yet, the need for greater understanding about what makes us happy is huge. People are not as happy as they could be. Loneliness, depression and suicide are all on the rise. I wanted to help people understand the components necessary for happiness; the things I give to my private clients on a weekly basis.
When I figured out exactly what I wanted to write about, I worked hard to create a book proposal and sent it to a few agents. What I was told was a little soul crushing. In the nonfiction book business, you must become the brand before an agent will sign you. You need a following. Thousands and thousands of followers on social media so that the publishers will be guaranteed that the book will sell. The problem? I don’t particularly like social media. In fact, I sort of hate it. I wanted the information to be the focus, not me! What I did, and this is the real issue I discuss in this week’s podcast, is to commit in a half-assed way. I know that in order to get followers you need to post a lot and have good content. Did I do it? Sometimes, but not really.
This week I had a huge epiphany about reaching goals. Too often, we focus on planning and habit change without spending enough time thinking about our commitment to the goal. Lots of people don’t really commit fully to their goals. Here’s an example; “I want to lose weight, but I’m not giving up my wine.” It’s as if we have goals, but we also have rules about how much we are willing to do. What if the goal and some planning aren’t enough? What if in order to be all in, you had to give up your rules and your resistance?
I have come to believe that it is impossible to reach a goal without being ALL IN! You must be willing to bet the farm that you will reach your goal, with no doubts and no turning back if you really want to get there. Are there examples of exceptions? Sure, but let’s not bet our lives on the lucky few!
I’ve had lots of clients come to me to lose weight. I have helped them create plans to be successful. Still, some succeed and some fail. The “why” has always eluded me. Everyone sounds the same on day one when they create a goal. “I really want to lose 50 pounds.” Somewhere along the way, many decide it’s too much work or they are missing out on too much. The ones who do succeed, I now realize, were 100% ready.
Last year, I worked with two women in their 30’s who wanted to lose weight. One had hired a trainer, a nutritionist, a psychologist (me), joined a gym, scheduled workouts and planned for meal prep on the weekends. The other was going to track her steps to 10,000 per day and make healthier choices when eating. Could they both be successful? Yes, but look at the difference in the planning. The first client was demonstrating her level of COMMITMENT to weight loss with all her preparation. She was 100% ready. She would readily have bet me her car that she was going to follow through.
To achieve a goal, before you plan, ask yourself some hard questions. Are you willing to sacrifice things you love to reach it? Are you committed enough to succeed even when life gets in the way? If you aren’t, you will end up failing, which in turn will harm your self-esteem and your sense of strength. It’s ok if you aren’t ready yet. Maybe the work is figuring out how to get yourself to a place of genuine, balls to the wall commitment. If you have that it, your chances of success will go up.
Another crucial component is re-evaluation. After you have commitment and planning, you have to stop periodically to ask if the plan is working. If I hadn’t stopped to ask myself why I am not reaching my goal, I wouldn’t have had this moment of learning. I will not succeed in getting an agent and finishing a book if I am unwilling to take the time and effort to connect with an audience. That’s it, that’s reality and I either get on board 100% or I’ll fail.
I talk through this whole topic in my 50th podcast. I realize with clarity that to reach a goal, three things are crucial.
- 100% COMMITMENT
- CREATING A PLAN THAT IS REALISTIC AND SUSTAINABLE
- RE-EVALUATING REGULARLY
I hope this podcast helps you understand why you might have trouble reaching your goals. Perhaps you will need to change the goal to make it realistic and to create real commitment. Perhaps you will need to first find the desire to commit. Lastly, if your goal is something new in your life, like writing is in mine, take time to evaluate and learn from the process.
You can listen to me talk through this in the podcast by clicking ‘play’ below or in the following places:
I will need to either commit to the process and poor my soul into social media (yikes), or I will need to find a new goal that matches my personality better. I’ll let your know what I decide.
Thank you so much for all the support and wonderful emails I have received over the past two seasons. You can find me on Twitter @sconneryphd, or on Instagram on my new account, @thehappinessgain! Please follow me and, if you like my work, tell a friend. That way, I can eventually succeed at my goal.
Enjoy your week!
Shannon Connery, Ph.D.