Are you confused about what to work on next? In this episode, I’m going to help you figure that out. I’ll walk you through, step by step, how you’re going to decide what you’ll work on next in a way that won’t be overwhelming or too hard. Listen in to find out how!
Hi! This episode is being released at the end of March so if you’re listening to this soon after it was released, you are currently finishing up or just finished up the first quarter of the year.
Q1 is complete.
How did it go for you? Did you do what you expected? Are you where you expected to be?
And did you even set expectations?
Did you give yourself any sort of guidance for how you wanted these past 3 months to go and what you wanted to do?
One of the biggest mistakes I made when I was bingeing was not doing that at all.
I can’t tell you how many times I just said, “I’m not bingeing anymore,” and that was it.
There was no game plan. No strategy. Nothing.
Just a declaration.
So it made sense when I’d feel an urge and just give in to it.
I did zero preparation for it.
I also wasn’t helping myself to not even feel urges. If anything, I was continuing to do things that were contributing to me feel urges without even knowing it.
I actually found two of my old journals where I made beginning of the year declarations.
On January 1st, of 2011, I wrote, “No bingeing, not matter what. What a dumb thing to allow myself to do. Stop!”
Now, I never wrote about it again for the rest of the year in any of the entries I wrote but I will tell you, I am positive that that declaration was followed by many, many binges.
It’s so interesting to me that I didn’t write about it more. I mean, I think it did sometimes on like random pieces of paper but those get thrown away, probably once I binged and gave up on whatever I wrote about. But for whatever reason, it didn’t make it into my journal. But I’ll tell you what did, a lot of thoughts about men I had crushes on and dated. A lot of venting happened in my journals.
So then on January 18th of 2015 I wrote, “My biggest goal for this year is to be binge free for the whole year. Now, that’s a lofty goal, I know. However, I feel ready. I’ve never attempted this before, usually I just don’t want to forever. But for some reason, putting the year mark on it makes it sound easier. I made some rules for myself to help me.”
Man, I wish I knew what those rules were but I have a pretty good idea of what they might have been. I bet there must have been a calorie goal and rules about not eating certain foods and exercise rules. Those were my usual go-tos.
And I also wish I had written more about my eating after that to see what actually happened. I didn’t write regularly that year so the next entry was a week later and was mostly about work, then the next was a few months later and I mentioned how I gained 5 + lbs in February and March with little success taking it off in April as I’d planned. Then I didn’t write again until November when I was unsurprisingly only talking about a guy I was dating.
So, not much actual work going on with my eating, more just thinking about not bingeing.
Any actions I committed to weren’t what were really going to help me.
Sure plenty of times I had “next steps” for myself but, they weren’t helpful next steps.
And had I actually taken the time to realize that, instead of just repeating the same things over and over without success every time, I would have probably made more progress sooner.
Then again, I also would have needed someone to help me, someone that had actually been in my shoes or at least truly understood bingeing and knew how to get out of it. Because all the advice I found, wasn’t solving the root cause of the problem.
So those two together, evaluating what hasn’t worked and getting guidance from someone who did know what would work were what I think I needed.
And it’s eventually what did help me to stop bingeing.
So that’s what I recommend for all of you too.
You already have someone guiding you, that would be me, and I’m here giving you tons of tools to work with and tips for working on your binge eating.
So finding something to work on shouldn’t be a problem. You can just look through the 190 episodes I’ve posted and find something, anything.
And now to decide what you’re going to do next, you evaluate and strategize and plan.
And I will show you how you will do that.
Now, I bring this episode to you now because it’s the start of the second quarter of the year and I personally do an evaluation and planning session for myself in my business every quarter, as a lot of businesses do.
I think it’s a good chunk of time to work with both for having time to evaluate the previous time period and time to plan out the next. Not too little not too much.
Now, you can of course do this kind of thing at any time. Evaluate and plan daily, weekly, monthly, or all of the above, whatever you want.
Please take what I’m talking about today and use it at any time. Download and save this episode to come back to.
It doesn’t matter when you decide to do it, just do it.
Give yourself some kind of structure, some kind of plan, instead of just deciding on a goal without any plan at all like I used to.
And not only that, but make sure you’re not just repeating the same things over and over that won’t work, like I also used to do with my unhelpful rules.
Planning how you’re going to stop binge eating is helpful but it’s not going to helpful if you’re planning to do things that you’ve proven to yourself won’t work. Or at least won’t work without doing other things too….like thought work and feelings work like I’ve talked about through so much of episodes of this podcast.
So before you figure out what you’re going to do next, evaluate what you’ve done.
Start by first, evaluating what has worked well for you. Start by looking at the good and the helpful. Start by looking at what you’ve been successful with.
Write down everything you can think of. Big stuff, small stuff, all the stuff.
Basically, you’ll start on a high note. It feels better to start there and, this is also showing you what would be useful for you to keep doing.
Don’t ignore what works. Acknowledge it so you know what to continue and maybe you could do more of it to create more success, depending on what it is.
Then, write down everything you tried that didn’t help. Also write down what you tried that didn’t stick.
So the things that you did consistently that didn’t really help you so you can see that these are not things to be focusing on.
Like for me with making calorie goals or making foods off-limits. If only I had opened my eyes sooner to the fact that doing those weren’t helping me to stop binge eating, I could have looked for other things to do instead of continuing to use my energy on them.
And the things you think will or could help that you’re not doing consistently, those are the things you’re going to break down into smaller goals in the next step.
Which is to write down what you will do differently and what you want to try that’s new.
You’re going to get all the new ideas down on paper.
So say one of the things that could help you that you haven’t been doing consistently, is to do morning journaling to set you up for the day. What is one thing, or more than one thing, that you can do differently to help you do that? What are the smaller goals within this goal? Or how can you make your journaling more enjoyable for you or how can you make it create more if an impact so you’ll be more motivate to do it?
And let’s say a new thing you want to try is pausing before you eat. What are the smaller goals within that goal? What can you do to help you do that?
Get all your ideas for goals and any smaller goals within the goals down on paper.
Now, when you look at this list you might feel one of two feelings. Overwhelmed or excited.
If you’re overwhelmed, it’s because you’re thinking there’s too many things.
If you’re excited, it’s because you’re seeing all the options you have that could work for you.
My suggestion, choose the excited way to look at it.
This list is not a list of all the things you need to do, you may not have to do all of them. But, it’s a list of all the things you can try.
This is so much better than just being in “I don’t know” and having nothing.
So be excited that you have things to try and know that you’re not going to tackle them all right now, or maybe ever if you don’t have to.
You’re going to pick the ones that you want to work on first.
And this is how you’ll decide what those will be.
Go through your list of things you want to be more consistent with and things you want to try that you haven’t and mark what you think would be the easiest for you to do.
What would be the most doable thing for you? Mark it.
Then go through the ones you marked and use a different mark to note which you think would be the most impactful.
Which of those easiest ones do you think would make the biggest changes for you?
And now, you’re going to pick the 3 easiest and most impactful things that you want work on.
Now, I say 3 but how many you choose is up to you. I’m just giving that as a guideline for you to start with. Just know that the less you focus on, the more quickly you’ll create a habit with each. When you split up your focus you’re splitting up your time spent on building each into a habit.
So I’d say a maximum of 3 at any given time. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do your whole list all at once. Your brain can only handle so much change at one time before you exhaust yourself.
So just pick three that you think will be the easiest and most impactful and start there.
Then as you work on those consistently, you’ll become skilled at them and you’ll begin to see them become habits. Once they do, move on to another thing on your list. And when you feel like you have the capacity for it, try something that seems hard but will be impactful.
Maybe do that one on it’s own so you’re only working on that one at one time. And of course, break it down as much as you can into the most doable steps you can think of to accomplish it.
Always try to make it as easy as possible for yourself.
And lastly, make a plan for when and how you’re going to work on these things.
Are you going to do more journaling? When are you going to do it?
Are you going to pause before giving in to urges? How are you going make sure you do that?
Are you going to prep your food for the day or week? When will you do that?
How are you going to make sure you are being kind and forgiving to yourself if you binge or make a mistake?
If it’s something you want to do at a certain time of day, when will you do it? And have a back up. What if you can’t do it at that time? When will you?
If it’s something that is circumstance dependent, how will you make sure you do what you want to do when the time comes to do it? How can you make sure you remember?
Answer those questions, get yourself as prepared as you can, and get to work on it.
That’s is how you’ll figure out what you’re going to do next.
The thing about this work on stopping binge eating is that there is no perfect roadmap.
Even in my program, everyone has their own path. Yes I provide a course that teaches you what to do in a certain order but, people go out of order and that’s okay. All roads lead to Rome whether they jump ahead on a topic and then go back to one I gave them earlier or skip something and go back to it later.
No matter which way they go, they get what they need when they need it and that’s how it will be for you too.
You’re going to assess yourself and decide what’s next for yourself. You’ll pick the next best step for you, without overwhelming yourself by all the options and definitely not stalling yourself by saying there’s nothing else you can do. That’s a total lie.
There’s something if you take time to think about it like I taught you to here.
Then you just pick one that you think you can do and that you think will make a difference.
Don’t worry about making the wrong choice, just make a choice.
Try something different. Try something new. Just don’t keep trying the same things that aren’t working over and over without making any changes.
There is something else you can try to do next.
Decide what it is and get to work on it.