If you have big goals, then you need a plan. And I don’t mean a wishy-washy plan where you think, “This would be nice if it happened…”
No, I’m talking about a detailed success plan that guarantees you’ll get the results you want.
Tune in this week to discover the exact steps for creating a detailed plan that maps out exactly how you’re going to achieve your life-changing goals. And how to truly commit to it.
You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 75.
Welcome to Drink Less Lifestyle, a podcast for successful women who want to change their relationship with alcohol. If you want to drink less, feel healthier and start loving life again you’re in the right place. Please remember that the information in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Now, here’s your host, Dr. Sherry Price.
Well, hello my friends. How are you doing? Happy March. Do you have goals for March? Do you have any plans for March? How is this month going for you in the whopping one day we’re in it? Well, my friends I have big goals for March. I’m pretty excited that I got some progress on losing weight and the work that we are doing inside Epic You in February. And I will be continuing that into March. And so, I’ve just set some goals for this month, super excited about it because these goals are big for me.
So, this past weekend I sat down and I outlined a path of how I’m going to achieve it. So, this path is my detailed plan. It would be nice if this happened kind of plan. No, this is a very detailed plan. It’s so detailed I consider it a success plan because here’s what I’ve done before. I have made a quasi kind of plan that this would be nice if it happened kind of plan. And I notice I don’t follow through. I notice when my clients do this, they don’t follow through. So, it’s a plan that doesn’t work so why would you create a plan if it doesn’t work?
So that’s what I want to talk about on today’s podcast with you is really creating a very detailed plan, what goes into it so that it’s your success plan and you get the results that you want. Are you ready? Good, because I’m fired up. I can’t wait to share all these with you. So, a huge difference my friends is in the quality of your plan. A detailed plan needs to include all the nitty gritty of exactly how the plan will work to get to your success.
So, notice what kind of plans you set. Do you do the that would be nice plan? It would be nice if I worked out five days a week. It would be nice if I drank less, ate less, did more exercise, whatever. But that doesn’t really tell us all that needs to be done to get our success. We throw a few actions maybe on the calendar and we think that that’s going to be enough.
So, I want to talk about what actually creates a successful plan, a very detailed plan that gets you the results that you want. Because let’s face it, none of us wanted to carry out a plan if it’s not going to get us closer to our goals, if it’s not going to take us to our goals. So, wherever you are at, it could be an exercise plan, it could be a meal plan, it could be a drink plan, it could be how to manage a difficult person at work kind of plan, or a difficult conversation plan, a how to lose weight plan, a how to become a millionaire plan, any kind of plan.
Any kind of goal you have you should be following a plan, a very detailed plan to get there otherwise you’re leaving it up to the universe and haphazardness to see if you’ll actually accomplish it. And when you don’t take responsibility for it, it’s unlikely that it’s actually going to happen. And we know that detailed plans get you results.
Just think about a pilot, an airline pilot. They take off from a specific city, they have all the gadgets, all the instruments that they’re using to navigate the wind, the altitude, the turbulence, the weather. All of this assessment is going into each and every move on how they’re going to land the plane safely and timely on the other side. Their plan is very detailed. And they have all these obstacles to overcome. They have things that are different than the day before, or the week before, or even just a few hours before.
So, whether your goal is to lose weight, stop drinking, stop overdrinking, financial wealth or independence, whatever it is, you need a plan to get there, a good plan. And a good plan means it’s a plan that will get you the result, it aligns with success. So, if you’re trying to lose weight or stop drinking, nobody just says, “I didn’t have a plan, I just woke up thin one day.” Or, “I just woke up and I was 10 pounds lighter.” Or, “I became rich because money was falling out of the sky and I just happened to be in this one location where it was falling and I just collected it.”
Or, “I just happened to become a woman who just doesn’t care about alcohol anymore after I spent the last 10, 20 years loving it so much.” Those things just don’t happen. People have a plan to get to where they want to go. Or if you see somebody who’s been successful, I doubt they say, “I don’t really know what I did to lose weight, it just happened.” Or, “I really don’t know how my bank account grew so much, it just happened.” Or, “I don’t really know how I lost my desire to drink, it just happened.”
And if you ever do hear that, that’s very rare. Most of us work at our goals. We work towards our goals. So generally, when you ask people, “How did you lose weight? How did you stop overdrinking”, all of that, they know what they did. They know what worked and they know what didn’t work. They paid attention to their life and what they were doing that worked and what didn’t work. And they went after a goal that mattered to them.
And that’s the first part I want to talk about is going after a goal that matters to you. So, a lot of us have goals that we want. And then when we start thinking about, how am I going to achieve what I want? So, say you wake up in the morning and you don’t want to drink but then by the end of the day you do want to drink. So, your goal at 6:00am is not the same goal at 6:00pm because your wants change. So, notice that wants fluctuate. And saying that you want something really doesn’t mean you’re going to go after and get it.
What you want to start doing is saying, “I don’t want it. I’m going to commit to it.” Because committing is a whole another level where now you’re on the hook to take action. So, wanting, everybody thinks, that’s so important, I want that, I want that, I want that. And wanting is fine and it’s good but it often doesn’t create us taking the action that we want to be taking or that’s going to get us closer to the goal. That’s where commitment comes in. Commitment is where the rubber meets the road.
Commitment is what gets you moving in that direction. And it has to start with commitment. What are you committed to? Who are you committed to showing up as or who are you committed to being? What is your future self committed to? And you want to increase that commitment. How? So many different ways. You can increase the time you’re spending going after that goal. So that’s a time commitment. You’re going to dedicate this many hours out of the week or out of the day to go after that commitment.
Just like if you go back to school, you’re dedicating time to go get an education. That’s a time commitment. You can also make a financial commitment. I’m going to invest money in this because it’s important to me. I’m going to invest money into this because it will raise my level of commitment and that could be a good thing because you really want to raise your level of commitment so you actually follow through on the actions.
What also is powerful to increasing your commitment is really getting emotionally committed. This is a step that I don’t see a lot of people doing and I help my clients through it because they think, if I just say I’m committed, I’m committed. But no, you want to be mentally and emotionally committed. You want to have your brain in the game and your body. You want to bring your heart into this. And some people actually don’t know how to do this effectively. Maybe they have never had to in the past. Maybe they forgot how to from the past.
And so oftentimes when I start working with my clients and taking them down this mental, emotional commitment, you know what comes up for a lot of people? And so, I wonder if this comes up for you. Is your past attempts and your past failures get in the way. You start to think of all the times that you’ve failed and so you can’t muster up the emotional component. You can’t muster up the mental energy that it takes to fully be onboard. And that’s going to sabotage your efforts.
And what I want to tell you is it doesn’t matter what happened in the past. I mean it does and saying that, “Okay, that didn’t work, we’re not going to do that again. We want to learn from it.” But it doesn’t mean just because you weren’t able to achieve it yet doesn’t mean you won’t be able to achieve it. So just know that your past does not have to influence your future. Your past is in the past. Your commitment is what you’re doing now. Your commitment is in the present.
It doesn’t matter what happened last week, the last party, the last weekend, yesterday or even five minutes ago. It’s what are you committed to doing now? And how are you going to commit differently this time? Is it time, financial, emotional, mental? And when you add on each of those steps those all raise your level of commitment. You’re already self-signaling to your brain, we’re moving towards change. You get out of that wishy-washy phase and say, “We’re not wishy-washy this time. We’re going full on in.”
Now, when you have a goal just on paper, I call that commitment on paper. It’s much different than if you’re committed in your head and in your body. When you’re committed in your head and your body that’s a whole another level of commitment than just committing to something on paper, just writing down a to do list. And you know this, because when it’s just on paper you may feel that you’re not even connected to it. You’re like, yeah, that sounds great at 6:00am but it doesn’t sound so nice at 6:00pm. I’m not really committed.
No, you want to feel connected to it because when you’re connected to it, it raises your level of commitment and you’re more likely to do it. So, think about raising your committed-ness and your connectedness both mentally, emotionally and that will take you to the next level of where the rubber hits the road and taking the action. So, it’s not just any action we take. We definitely don’t take actions that haven’t worked in the past ever. Those we could just push off the table and say, “Those haven’t worked.”
I have read 400 books and I’m still not changed. So, reading another book or reading another blog may not actually help. And it’s not to say, “Hey, books work for people and blogs work for people.” But if they haven’t worked for you, why do you keep trying that path? So, it’s not just any action that counts. It’s a power move action. A power move action is actions that count, actions that matter, actions that get traction, actions that move the needle towards your goal. And I’ve talked about this, about power moves in a past podcast.
Your detailed plan, your success plan needs to include your power moves. And these may be totally unique to you or they might be what works for everybody. Or it could be an action that works for everybody but it needs to be tailored to your brain so that you take the action. And how do you know your power moves? Because you’ve been paying attention to your life. You know what works. And if you don’t know what works you go and figure it out. And you figure it out by watching, and learning, and seeing what works for you and trying new things.
And if it works don’t just say, “This works.” Learn why it works. This was so powerful for me. When I learned something that worked for me and I knew why it really wired it into my brain to want to do it again because it just wasn’t a fluke, wasn’t like, I don’t know why that worked. But I can really anchor it logically and emotionally into my brain, my brain was more likely to take that action in the future. And how do I know? Because I paid attention to my life.
I paid attention to how I was showing up. I paid attention to what was going on for me and I took copious notes on it. Because it’s important for me to know how I best operate and how I could get myself doing what I want to be doing and acting how I want to act. So, it helps me to understand how my brain works, why it’s important to me. It helps me honor who I am and what I value. And it helps me to live in my integrity. And not only that it helps me so I could share it with others so they can learn from my journey.
So, I love it that my detailed plan for March is full of power moves that work for me. So, when I sat down this past weekend and I listed out my detailed plan, my success plan, of course it has power moves on it. And hitting these targets, doing these power moves gives my brain a hit of dopamine in the moment.
And because I don’t get a lot of dopamine hits from alcohol as much anymore, or get a lot of hits of dopamine from food, and refined food, and carbs and all of that. I have created a system where I get dopamine hits from the pleasure of taking care of myself and from going after my goals. So going towards my goals creates a dopamine hit for me. My brain loves to accomplish things, actually all brains love to accomplish things. There is that feel good moment when you’re like, I did it, yes, I’ve shown up for myself.
This is partly why I went on to collect so many degrees, and certifications, and had all this outward success, because it felt good. It felt good to accomplish things. Now, I know some of the degrees and things that I’ve collected was because I wasn’t feeling good enough. So, we need to tease that out. Are we going after it because we really want it, we want the challenge or are we going after it for a different reason? But you know when you accomplish something it does feel good. It lights up the brain.
And some people like that sense of control more than others. But it feels good to be in charge, to be in charge and in control of your destiny, and how life is going to turn out. It doesn’t feel good when we’re living in fear and not knowing, and the uncertainty. Now, we have to embrace some of that because the world is going to present that to us. But if I could be in charge of something I’d much rather be in charge of something. And I want to know how to do it and a detailed plan to get there.
I know for me and for a lot of the women I work with, they love to know about their money. They are in control of their finances of their households. They like to know the money coming in, the money going out, the money that’s being saved and all the different allocations. That feels good to them, it feels good to me. I want to know this information for my life. I don’t want to be surprised one day when I’m like, “We’re out of money, nobody told me.”
So having these detailed plans for your life on how you’re going to be a good steward of your money and invest it, and get the goals that you want for retirement, or that you want next year, or whatever it is for your lifestyle feels so good to have knowledge on how to do that. Now, hitting your goals I will also tell you creates motivation. Do you know why? Because dopamine is called the do it again hormone. Why? Because when you’re motivated you want to do it again, it feels good.
So, action creates motivation, not the other way around. We think motivation is just going to magically show up one day. We’re motivated at 6:00am but maybe we’re not motivated at 6:00pm because we haven’t taken any different action. No action, no motivation. That’s how it works my friends. You’ve got to take power moves, specific action to get and fuel yourself with momentum and more motivation and dopamine hits keep you motivated. And if you’re getting your dopamine hits from alcohol, guess what? You’re going to want more alcohol.
But how about getting dopamine hits from your life, wouldn’t that be way more fun? Because when you get the dopamine hits from your life and you look forward to that more than the alcohol, you could take it or leave it with alcohol. I love this and this is why I created Epic You, to get your epic life. When you have an epic life you don’t feel the need to drink, you don’t feel the need to numb, you don’t feel the need to say, “I have to tolerate this because my life is less than what I actually want.” No, it is the life you want.
When you have the life you want, when you’re showing up as the woman you want, you’re not going to desire alcohol because you’re getting all your dopamine hits from your life. And it’s amazing. You can see I’m totally fired up about this because it just is something that women need to hear. They think it’s going to be a slog when they give up drinking, or when they cut back on drinking.
And what you find is yeah, there might be a few hard days but then your life starts to feel so much more exciting. You start to feel more energetic. You start getting dopamine hits from other areas of your life. And you start wanting more than just drinking less. And I’m helping ladies do so many things that are awesome work in their lives because they’re no longer in this chemical trance that this is as good as life gets. It’s like let’s just keep drinking, this is the best it’s going to be.
And then you’re in this drink trance and you’re just on this hamster wheel saying, “I want to do other things but I’m not motivated. I want to accomplish weight loss but it just keeps coming on and I’m mad at the scale, and I’m mad at my people in my life, and I’m mad at myself.” And it’s exhausting to live in that space.
So, commitment, and power moves, and now we’re going to move on to item number three that should be on your detailed plan and that is things that you are going to stop, avoid, or remove. Yes, this goes on your power plan. This goes on your detailed plan for your success because we all know the reason we don’t have our success quite yet is because something we’re doing is getting in the way and it needs to stop, or it needs to be diminished, or it needs to change. So, we’re going to remove the things that aren’t working for us.
We’re going to limit the distractions if we have a number of distractions going on so we can focus on one goal and getting that. So, you’re probably familiar with this. You’ve probably tried it in your own life. A common one a lot of people talk about is if they’re trying to lose weight is they don’t bring in certain foods into the house like cookies, or sweets, or snacks. Or if you’re trying to drink less or not at all you don’t bring alcohol into the house. And you do this for a certain period of time while you’re rewiring your brain, while you’re training your brain to see alcohol and these foods differently.
And by all means if this works for you, do it, implement it. I know I had to do this phase for a stint of time to wire my brain differently. It also was self-signaling, I was signaling to myself, this is not what we’re going to do every night. This is not the activity I’m going to be doing when I get home from work. And so, this was something that I implemented to get the progress that I wanted. Now, when I did that it also helped me to take power moves the next day. So, get rid of things that are holding you back.
Get rid of things that aren’t helping you, they’re not serving you, this includes distractions and behaviors that delay your progress. Maybe it’s eating dessert every night or feeling you need to eat while you’re watching TV or drink while you watch TV. Maybe you’re drinking more soda and you can switch to having more water because that would quicken your progress.
Notice the things that negatively affect your sleep because when we’re tired we’re going to want these quick hits of dopamine from food and alcohol. So how can you protect your sleep? What needs to get removed? Maybe it’s screen times before bed. Maybe the right environment you need to clean up for your sleep time routine. So, remove things that aren’t helping or are distracting you.
To use an example from my life, when I was starting to work out in February, sometimes I do my workouts here at home through a video. And if I do them downstairs where my dog is any time I got down on the floor to do sit-ups, or crunches, or any type of floor exercise he would come over and thinking I was wanting to play and start licking me, and bringing me all his toys. He became a distraction. So, I had to limit my distraction because I noticed when he came over I’d want to stop my workout.
Let’s see, the brain either gets to do a 100 stomach crunches or play with the dog. Yes, I think my brain was choosing play with the dog. Of course. So, this had to go into my detailed plan. It’s like I lock the dog up and I get to do my workout routine, not a big deal. I’m not mad at the dog. The dog just wants to play. It’s the cutest thing ever. So, what distractions need to be removed or diminished in your life? What behaviors need to change?
And then four, turn your obstacles into strategies. Now, I think this is a Dan Sullivan concept or maybe it’s Ryan Holiday because I know he wrote the book, The Obstacle is the Way. But we know that any time we go towards a goal there are going to be obstacles. And wishing for a path that was super easy without obstacles is just not realistic. All progress in life comes with obstacles and setbacks.
Every time you take a couple of steps forward notice in your life you always have a step back. It’s never this straight line like we think it’s going to be. There’s always going to be setbacks, there’s always going to be obstacles. So instead of telling ourselves there shouldn’t be any, why don’t we just embrace the fact that there are going to be some? And not getting dissuaded by that or discouraged but say, “Okay, when this obstacle happens what am I going to do about it?”
How can I turn it into a strategy so it doesn’t derail me, so it doesn’t demotivate me, so it doesn’t get in the way of taking my power move? I mean just think about the people who came to discover the west. They’re coming over in their covered wagons with their horses, and their animals, and all their possessions, and belongings. And they come upon a river. And they’re like, “Here’s an obstacle, that looks pretty darned deep. How are we going to get everybody across?” So, they could just set up shop there or they can strategize and figure out how to get across the river.
And thankfully some people have decided to cross the river because they’ve discovered San Diego where I live and it’s lovely here. So, my point being is there will be obstacles. So, what are you going to do when you meet that obstacle? Turn it into a strategy, especially if it’s an obstacle that keeps coming up for you. You owe it to yourself, you’re not weak, you could become powerful. So instead of wishing for no rivers to cross or no obstacles, let’s just say, “Alright, there’s going to be obstacles. And what am I going to do about it?”
So, a common obstacle for people is well, what happens when I don’t feel like working out and a workout is scheduled on my calendar? What happens when I feel like drinking and I really told myself I’m not going to drink. What happens when I don’t feel like it, it is such a common obstacle. Humans experience this, so just turn it into a strategy. Well, when that happens what will you do about it?
I know for me I went to a glute camp this morning, woke up and I’m like I don’t feel like going but that didn’t surprise me and I didn’t get angry at it. I was like, “Here’s the obstacle, yes.” And I’m going to go to my detailed plan and here are the strategies that work for me because I know, I have tested them in the past and I went to the glute class. So, the obstacle I knew was going to happen, I had some strategies, and they worked. They didn’t get in the way of me going to my workout.
So, if something keeps happening for you, it’s okay, learn from it, come up with a strategy to work around it. That’s what we do in life. We may not even realize that we did this in other areas of our life. I mean how many times do you wake up and say, “I don’t feel like going to work today.” But you still do. Or if you’re a parent and you have kids to drive around to all their activities, sometimes you don’t feel like driving them to their activities. Sometimes you don’t feel like driving them to school if you drive them to school but what do you do? You still do it.
So, notice how you will do that for others but you may not do it for yourself. And the reason you don’t do it for yourself is because now you don’t have the right strategy in place. And so those strategies need to go on your detailed plan. They become part of the path to getting to your goal. They are something to expect along the way.
It’s like when somebody that I’m working with in the Drink Less Lifestyle program says, “Oops, I drank more than I wanted to last night.” Not a problem, we just need a different strategy than the strategy you tried last night. And maybe you didn’t even try a strategy last night. But you can’t get progress on something if you keep beating yourself up. And I want to repeat that again. You can’t get progress on something and learn from it if you’re stuck beating yourself up over and over about it.
If your inner critic is so high and so loud you will never make progress. And this is what’s so valuable with working with somebody. They could share you how to make progress when your brain just goes blitzed and blanked and it’s like, I don’t know what happened. Somebody who’s been there before can tell you exactly what happened. And they have strategies to navigate that the next time. And if they work, your strategies become part of your detailed plan, they’re part of your success plan.
So, it doesn’t matter then if you’ve had a stressful day and feel like you need a glass of wine, or a cocktail, or a beer. Because we will all have stressful days my friends, I plan on living a very long time and I know there are so many stressful days to come. It’s okay because I have strategies that work just like you do because you go to work when you don’t feel like it, just like you do because you take your kids to places when you don’t feel like it. You have a strategy.
And I’ll tell you, the strategy is a different story you believe in your mind, a story that’s more powerful than the story of, I don’t want to do this. And the same can be true for losing weight, exercising, drinking less or whatever your goals are. Because when you bring your mental game to it you can solve it. That’s when you’re using your brain power and not willpower. You’re bringing your brain to the game and saying, “How am I going to solve this for good?”
How am I going to learn to take control of this and self-regulate so I don’t keep doing this and taking me further from the goals that I have in my life? And when it starts working and that strategy starts working, you get excited. You get a dopamine hit from your life. And then you want to do more of that process because it feels good. And you get proud of yourself for doing that because you said and you did what you said you were going to do. What could be more exciting than that?
My friends, this is how you get the life you want. Have clearly defined goals and a very detailed plan on how you’re going to get it. And then it becomes so rewarding to actually carry that out, much more rewarding than a drink can offer, than a cookie or a piece of cake can offer because you know those are temporary and fleeting. But you can look at yourself every day, beginning of the day, end of the day and know that you are on track or living the life that you want. There is nothing more satisfying than that.
Just think about kids, when they accomplish things and they set out to do something and their accomplishment. They are so excited, they’re so pumped. They let that feeling wash over them. You see it when runners finish a race and they throw their hands up in the air as they cross the finish line. Or you see somebody win the gold medal on the Olympics, it’s like, I’ve done it. And you see that success and proud, and feelings of joy just wash over them because it feels good to get to your goals and accomplish them. And let it feel good.
And here is the thing, let it feel good along the way. The journey is more important that it feels good than just the destination. If the journey doesn’t feel good you won’t stick to it. If drinking less is killing you and you don’t like it, and you’re struggling through it, it’s likely you won’t keep it up. What about loving the process of cutting back? What about loving the process of discovering the joys of your life again? What about loving the process of where’s my dopamine hit going to come from in my life, not in this glass, or this cake, or this artificial food that we eat?
Just to give you an example from my glute class today at the gym. I was about halfway through the class, panting uncontrollably, couldn’t catch my breath, my thighs were burning, my butt was burning and I just tuned into my brain and my body, and I’m like, “This feels good. This is my power move right here. I’m doing it. This feels amazing.” And I just let it feel good. I probably could have teared up and started crying if it wasn’t for the high vibe music and everybody yelling and woohoo, cheering each other on.
I just allowed it to feel good which takes me to the last step, celebrate, not just when you get to your goal, not just when you got to the weight loss that you want, or now you’re a woman who can take it or leave it with alcohol. But celebrate along the way, each win, celebrate each power move you make. Celebrate each time you overcome an obstacle and turn it into a strategy. Celebrate each time you follow your meal plan, your drink plan or whatever detailed plan.
Celebrate each time you meet your drink plan or come in less, celebrate each time that you notice you don’t have desire for a drink because those days will be there, embrace them. Celebrate each time you face a problem in your life and you take it head on to fix it, you don’t avoid it with alcohol or food. Celebrate each time you have a stressful day and you use a strategy or a tool instead of using food or alcohol to numb out. Celebrate each time you go to bed and you’ve accomplished your power moves for the day. Celebrate each small win because you can, so celebrate it.
And let the dopamine hit your brain and let it know that this feels good, this is the woman you want to be, this is how you want to show up for your life. And this action will create motivation and momentum going forward. Life can throw stuff at us, it’s okay, it always will. But you have your detailed success plan, you’ve paid attention to what you like in your life and what works and so you’re committed to showing up and using it over and over again. You know how to handle yourself. You know how to self-regulate.
And here’s the thing, if something does come out of left field that you’ve not encountered before, a major crisis or some other turmoil that hits your life, trust yourself that you’ll figure it out. There are billions of humans on this planet. There are support groups, coaches, therapists and all the humans out there that can help you navigate something that you haven’t navigated before, learn from them, pick their brain.
Learn what works for you, that becomes your power move and put it on your detailed success plan, you’ll be surprised how easy this becomes because whatever you practice you get good at. Change comes when you’re willing to move towards it, not away from it or not wanting to avoid it. Avoiding it just makes you disappointed and sad, and then it gives you emotional distress and mental distress. And that can lead to physical distress and disease. That’s the brain, body, soul, connection.
When that is not connected and in tune with what you want there will be disease. And one way to break that is to have a detailed success plan.
Alright my friends, those are the things that go into your detailed success plan. Live your best life epically. Have a great week and I’ll see you next week.
Thanks for listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle. If you’re ready to change your relationship with alcohol, check out my free guide, How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit at sherryprice.com/startnow. That’s sherryprice.com/startnow. I’ll see you next week.