How often have you heard statements like this: “I need to quit smoking”, “I need to stop looking at pornography”, “I need to watch less TV”, “I need to quit eating___”? Lots! How many times have you said those statements? “I need to stop looking at…”, “I can’t keep wasting my time.” What do all these statements have in common? They’re not positive goals.
They wallow in negativity: quit, stop, less, can’t. They focus on getting away from something, on removing something from life. In the past, I’ve discussed setting goals that get results using W.A.Y. S.M.A.R.T. Goals and this builds on and improves that process. All of the statements above can be stated in a positive perspective in a new action response. Some may need a bit of research. But just making the above statements demonstrates the “R” = Relevant quality of the W.A.Y. S.M.A.R.T. goal. They are relevant to you and your life and you’ve owned them and want to remove them from your life. Since it is relevant. Take hold of it and turn it into a positive goal or statement.
What is the problem with a negative goal?
As soon as you state a negative goal, you have brought the negative to mind. Try this out for size: Don’t think about a purple elephant. What happened with that negative instruction? Exactly, and you couldn’t do anything about it. Sure, you immediately tried to remove the cartoon purple elephant from your mind. But it was there, it existed in your thoughts. So what, it was a harmless elephant–what about a purple dinosaur–oh the pain. When you’re looking at smoking, pornography, not eating French fries, you don’t need to be reviewing your written (“W” in W.A.Y. S.M.A.R.T. goals) goals and having them create images of me doing the things you don’t want to do.
Lets break down the examples and turn these negative statements of change into positive statements of achievement.
Turning negative goals on their head by using positive goals
Lets look at these goals one at a time and how these can be replaced with positive goals. Some are more difficult than others.
Lets start with “I need to quit smoking.” I think this is one of the more difficult ones to turn on its head. One, because I never had a smoking issue. And two, because there are a bunch of different paths that lead to smoking and the smoking addiction. The first step is to keep the “I need to…” and seek out a positive completion for that statement. Without digging in far enough to this one, you could start with “I need to breath fresh air.” and that would be a good start. For some, it might be enough. for others, it might not have enough “WHY” behind it. If our why isn’t big enough it won’t support lasting change.
I recently read a study of 100 people that were near death or nearly died. They entered a treatment program and all were able to change their behavior to eat and live healthier. One year after discharge 80 of them went back to their old ways. REALLY?!??!!
How did they do that? I’ll give you two answers: 1 – their “why” they want to change wasn’t big enough (they were no longer “near” death) — come on. As time passes, it is easy for us to reduce the urgency and minimize the importance of the change. In your mind the change becomes more and more distant from the “near death experience.” When in truth, it is the same!
If you’re in this situation, promise me you’ll call me right now (720-388-8359) and I’m going to coach you for free because you can’t be doing this. God created you for a reason and purpose. God loves you, I love you. If you know someone in this situation, they are probably stuck in denial, “it’s not that bad”, “I’m better now”, “it won’t hurt, I made it through last time”…you gotta love on them, help them find and see the why for the change that may save their life. You can’t force them to do anything but you can be there and love on them and build a family of support around them. You can help in designing and visualizing the “why” they want to change. If they’re willing, have them call me: 720-388-8359
Wow, that was longwinded. . . because it was important and it leads to 2 – they don’t have an accountability or support system. An accountability and support system begins with our own integrity. Do you lie to yourself? The only one you can really be accountable to is yourself. Having an accountability and support system that you lie to just like you lie to yourself is like having a rock–useless. Coaching, counseling, a mastermind or a therapy group can help with discovering lies you don’t even know that you’re telling yourself and believing. But true progress in life and change will wait until you are honest with yourself. Look back at the past posts: The Biggest Liar and Breaking Out and Take Advantage of the Liar Within.
To really talk positively about a smoking or any other addiction in a way that will lead to the “quit” you must dig deeper to the roots. I attend Celebrate Recovery every Friday night with my family. Anybody can quit an addiction temporarily but until the root causes for the addictions are dealt with it won’t go away.
Now on to “I need to stop looking at pornography”. . . this can be an addiction thing again. Find and address the roots, often found in self worth and feelings of inadequacy. Know those are both lies because God created you and He loves you more than anything. He knows the number of hairs on your head. The issues of low self worth and inadequacy can often result in isolation and loneliness. That is exactly how Satan wants to use all of these negative behaviors. God created people because he is a social being and he wants to be in a relationship with us.
I know I’ve said it before, but I love the song that says: “God put a million, million doors in this world for His love to flow through, and one of those doors is you.” If you’re in a position where you need to be feeling love, you MUST find one of the other doors and get in front of it, get out and connect with people, find a Celebrate Recovery, get a coach, join a mastermind, get some therapy. If you are still lost and don’t know what to do first, book a moment with me: Life Champion Chat
There are lots of positive goals that can help progress towards “I need to stop looking at pornography.” Here are just a few positive goals for this:
- I will spend more time in Gods Word.
- I will call Bob every time I think about viewing pornography.
- I will read At the Alter of Sexual Idolatry (affiliate link).
- I will connect with other (men/women) at (Bible Study/Celebrate Recovery/Therapy/Mastermind)
Oh man, I’ve become a blabber again but this is good stuff. You can change your life when you decide to! Lets get through the last two examples and call it a week:
“I need to watch less TV”
- I’ll spend time sharing with my wife/husband or spend time playing with the kids. (Floor Time–sitting on the floor being present with the kids–is invaluable)
- I’ll spend time fixing the ___.
- I’ll volunteer at the ___.
“I need to quit eating___”
- I’ll buy ___ instead of that. -I just bought a bunch of celery and cauliflower. . . I can tolerate them with a bit of ranch but it fills me up and it’s a healthier choice.
- I’ll drink a big glass of water when I’m hungry.
- I will text Vanessa when ever I see any ___.
The bottom line is, don’t talk about what you won’t or shouldn’t do. Start taking action and making plans for what you should with positive goals. Focus on the action. Focus on the future. Give your attention to the achievement. Visualize the new life by stating all your goals and ideas in the positive. By focusing on the action, doing, and filing our lives with goodness we prevent the unclean from bringing his friends because we fill the space:
24“When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’25And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order.26Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”
–Luke 11:24-26 NASB
43“Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”
–Matthew 12:43-45 NASB
If you have a “get rid of” or “quit/stop doing” type of goal you’re struggling with, put it in the comments and I’ll try to dissect it with you to turn it into a positive goal.
If you’re looking for a champion, sign up for a $97.00 Life Championship Interview