Previously, I’ve talked about some dos and don’ts of building self-trust — specifically, don’t commit to anything without reflecting and rating your likelihood of success on a scale of 1 to 10, and do commit to doable actions you can start to implement right away, rather than focusing on the outcome. Today
I want to tell you about something that was huge for me in building self-trust, which was creating a declarations page.
I didn’t have any self-trust. I didn’t believe I could make it through a day without binging or without falling off the wagon, so I had to start small. Someone who’s strength training doesn’t throw 100-pound plates on the barbell and just start lifting. They start with a small amount of weight, maybe just the bar.
What I had to do is start with something small. Each day I would wake up and think, “What is the smallest thing I can do today that I can actually follow through on, that’s going to help me get to my long-term goals, that at the end of the day when I mark it off, I’ll feel satisfied?”
Maybe it was just that I was going to track my breakfast; that was all I was going to focus on. Could I, in theory, have said the entire day? Yes, but I had to bring it down to a small, incremental amount because I had no self-trust. It had to start with something very, very small.
Maybe you think you could get a 30-minute workout in today, but let’s bring it down a notch. What could you 100 percent commit to? Maybe 10 minutes?
On my declarations page, I would write, “Today I declare I am going to track my breakfast.” That’s it. Then, at the end of the day, I would record the date, just to verify I did it. Some people like stickers or check marks or fun faces — all that kind of stuff. The important thing is to mark that you did it. A lot of people would say, “Heather, but that’s so small. It’s so insignificant.”
No, it’s not.
What happens is you make grandiose statements like “I’m going to lose 50 pounds this year” or “I’m going to do a Couch to 5K,” but you don’t write them down. You don’t make a plan of action to do them, and then you don’t even recall exactly what you said; you just know you didn’t follow through on it.
If you’re going to build self-trust, it’s important that you start very small and are consistent, and then over time those statements, those declaration statements, become bigger. Maybe the next week you say, “I’m going to track breakfast and lunch,” and you do it.
Could you have done everything? Maybe, but that’s not the point of this activity. Just like you focus on building muscles in the gym, you’re building your self-trust muscle, and it’s done one small, incremental step at a time.
So, here’s your “do” for today: Do create a declarations page. Start with the minimum thing that you think you could take action on today, and then mark it off. That is very important. You need to mark each one off because you need to see as that page fills up, “Wait a minute, I am trustworthy. I am doing all these things I say I’m going to do.”
The weight will come off if you do those things. You’re going to achieve your goals by doing the actions necessary. I’m excited. Tell me how you’re doing with your declarations page in the comments below.