I Know What I Should Be Doing But…..
Client: “I know what I should be doing, but I can’t seem to do it or stick to it?”
Ugg…. the dreaded should word…So many people tell me this when they are calling to inquire about my services. And many of my new clients will lead with this statement at our first visit. I find it so oddly common and yet, it doesn’t completely surprise me.
This should statement is typically based on what a client “thinks” needs to happen for them to achieve a goal. And that thought, nine times out of ten, is based on some idea that diet culture created.
Working with yourself versus against, has been part of my philosophy from day one. And the first thing I ask a client when they say that statement I know what I should be doing, but I can’t seem to do it or stick to it? Is, what do you think you should be doing? The answer that follows typically has a tone of dread or angst or an eye-roll or is spoken with an absolute collapse in their body followed by a joyless expression. An absolute clear sign that they are working against themselves.
Why do we think we should be doing things we don’t want to do in order to achieve a goal or something we want? It’s hard to say. It could be because that’s the messaging we hear. It could be that we have an underlying belief that may indicate that there is a need to suffer in order to achieve anything. It could be the belief that these are the rules and that’s just what it is. It can be many things.
Getting to a goal isn’t typically achieved and MAINTAINED (that’s the most important word), by dread, unhappiness, discontent, hate or anything else. Goals are achieved because we choose to walk a path. A path that might be uncomfortable because we are learning things along the way, but not one that is filled with so much denial to ourselves or pain. In those situations, all we are really doing is suppressing ourselves because we have chosen to sell our souls to a soul-less concept or false idea.
Why would we want a goal that took so much unnecessary pain to achieve anyway? Just to have to continue enduring the same awful feeling to maintain it?
We don’t. And that is one reason we can feel so defeated or down on ourselves or stuck or like a failure. And why we can’t do what we think we “should” be doing.
It has nothing to do with being “weak” or not having “will-power”. Far from it. There is a very strong place inside you – and thank goodness there is – that is just giving you a big NOPE. Not doing that. So, why again, are we ignoring it? Because often we don’t trust what we feel. And because we truly are stuck in believing a lie that things have to go a particular way in order to achieve them.
So what if it can be different? Well, it most certainly can. Ask yourself a few questions. And be completely honest with yourself.
Do I even really want this goal? Be really honest about that. Sometimes, again, we feel we have to be achieving something. Or that we need to do what someone else around us is doing. Is this in alignment with you?
Is it me that wants this goal or am I getting pressure from those around me or am I giving myself pressure because I am comparing myself to those around me? Similar to the first question. Where is this goal coming from? Internal or external pressure. If its external pressure, take some of that power back. Are you letting others determine what you need? Do you need or want this too? And if its internal pressure, is this goal a real desire or is there a part of your that thinks needs to be different? And why is that? Is there something you are not accepting in yourself? And what would changing that mean to you? Is that change even possible?
Does this goal fill me with joy? If so, what part brings you joy? Are there parts of this goal that are still blocking you from achieving it? This is an important question and kind of piggy backs to the previous question. Does it make you feel super happy thinking about achieving this goal? Does your heart light up and say yes, I am willing to take supportive steps to achieve this and I may need to make some sacrifice (not at the extent of your health or mental health – this is the most important piece. Because if that is happening, then an adjustment needs to be made). And though I feel scared, I can and will walk this path? If not, then again, evaluate the goal. Maybe there is an aspect of the goal that you really want instead? Get clearer on what it is you are trying to achieve, feel or have.
If after looking at the above and you’ve narrowed down your goal better, what else might be standing in the way? If it isn’t a desire and you feel joy for this goal, are there other action steps that you need to take that you don’t feel equipped for or don’t have the tools for? If so, brainstorm what support you might need and think of any and all ways in which you can achieve it.
Letting yourself really dream about this goal, feel how it would feel to achieve it, see yourself achieving it and really embodying all of it, will light your way and carry you to where you want to be! Just keep your health, your mental health and your happiness in mind as you are working your process!
I love helping my clients achieve their health goals and learn a few skills along the way! If you’d like to work together, please feel free to contact me at the following links!
Meet and Greet Before You Book – chat with Nicole K,RD,CD,CSSD to see how we can meet your needs and choose the appt that would fit you best!
Lets Chat! – 30min Q&A session – this 30 min session helps get any and all of your questions answered about nutrition and exercise. Should you choose to work with me and get a personal plan developed with regular coaching, a portion of the cost of this session will be applied to your next!
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Nicole is recognized state-wide and nationally as a Registered Dietitian and is also a Certified dietitian through the state of Wisconsin. She is also a Board Certified Sports Dietitian and a Certified Personal Trainer and Physical Fitness Instructor.
Nicole’s areas of expertise include: Wellness and lifestyle coaching, weight management, behavior modification, eating disorders, vegetarian lifestyles, gluten-free living, sports nutrition, recipe and menu design and development.