Saying you want to lose 10 pounds tells you where you’re going. But it doesn’t tell you how you’re going to get there or at what speed.
Deciding on the actions you’re going to take, how fast you want to arrive at your goal, and the skills you need to develop along the way is essential to making it happen. These are your power moves, and that’s what we’re discussing in today’s episode.
You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 72.
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 today? I am feeling a bit stressed. There is a lot on my schedule for today. And so, I am getting it done, heads down, getting it done. So, let’s dive in.
Today I want to talk about making power moves. So last week I shared that powerful was my word for this year. It’s a word that feels amazing to me in this season of my life. And how I define powerful is by making choices, and decisions, and taking action that align with my goals and with my values. And as I shared last week, the acronym I use for power, the p stands for progress, the o is for on, the w is for what’s, the e is for essential and the r is for requisite. So, the word ‘power’ for me literally means making progress on what’s essential and requisite.
Requisite is just another word for required, what is required to reach my goal? And am I making progress on that? So, as I’ve shared for the month of February I am making power moves on my weight loss goals and developing healthy habits. And I love this, this feels so good to me. I like to look at what progress I want to make, what’s essential for me to do this and what’s required to make it happen. And this becomes my roadmap, this becomes my path, this becomes the direction I need to take. And it lays out how I will get from point A where I am now to point B where I want to go.
So, notice this roadmap or this path, it’s not just setting a goal, not just saying I want to lose 10 pounds. It’s much more detailed than that. So, saying I just want to lose 10 pounds is where I’m going but it doesn’t tell me how I’m going to get there. I need to know what actions I’ll take, what skills I’ll be developing and what will make me effective on a day-to-day basis. So, notice that I didn’t say that it’s what to make the goal to be effective. No, it’s what makes me effective to get to my goal because it’s my job to take care of me.
It’s my job to manage me and manage my actions so I get to the goal that I want. So, because I’m doing new things this month I need new skills. And these skills become my power moves because I can’t keep doing the same old, same old and expect different results. No, I need to step into power moves, step into my power which means I am ready to make progress on what’s essential and requisite. So, notice that it’s not about being perfect, it’s not about perfection.
And because it’s not about perfection it’s not about looking back on my day and saying, “Well, I didn’t follow my plan a 100% so I’m disappointed in myself.” And that’s what I see a lot of people do. And when you think to yourself, I didn’t follow through a 100%, do you know what that does? That demotivates you. What I look for when I look back on my day is where have I made progress and have I made progress towards my goal, did I get closer? And if not, what skills do I need to help me get closer? Do I need an outside person to help me with this?
Do I need to start delegating stuff off my plate because there’s no time for this? What skills do I need to acquire in order to make that goal happen? Because if you’re not making progress there’s a clear reason why not. And I’d rather invest my time, my energy, my mental capacity, my money into making powerful moves forward than staying stuck, or worse, losing ground, getting further away from my goals.
And here’s what I find happens to a lot of people when they stay stuck or they lose ground. Over time their brain interprets that stuck-ness, or lack of progress to mean that they can’t get to their goal, that they can’t accomplish it. And what happens when you think you can’t get somewhere? You stop trying. You give up. You give up on your goals and your desires for your life. And then what does your brain think? This must be as good as it gets. But we don’t have to stay stuck.
I mean look at kids, they are so much more willing to go after their dreams and goals. They think big, they go out and try things. They’re not as afraid of failure. But then notice adults, many of us stop going after our dreams and our goals. Many people choose the status quo, not because they want to but because they think they can’t get what they really want. They have no inertia to move forward, staying here is fine. And staying here is fine if you have the life you want and you don’t have other goals and other dreams.
But I will tell you, for many people they dream more, they dream differently, they have goals, they want to achieve other things. So where are you at in this process? Are you not doing it because you think it requires perfection? And then when you look back on your day and if it wasn’t a perfect day you don’t give yourself any credit, you don’t give yourself any credit for the progress that you may have made.
And I want you to know I know we all know the phrase, progress over perfection but do you practice it? Do you measure it? Or is it just a nice phrase that you have in your head and you know they’re just nice words but they’re just floating in your head and you really don’t actualize it? You don’t put it into practice. You don’t apply it to your life. You think it’s nice for others but for you, you have a different standard. And as I talked about before there is no such thing as perfection. So, to live in that fantasy world is really not helping your reality.
So, I want to empower you today with three tips to make powerful moves for you in your life. So, tip number one, clarify your path and the skills needed to accomplish your goal and take one small action. Okay, so there was a lot in there. I’m going to repeat it again. Clarify your path and the skills that you need to accomplish the goal and do one small action. That last part is key. So, let’s break it down. So, define your path and the skills needed. Don’t just define the goal. So many people just define a goal.
A goal can be I’ll drink less, or I won’t drink at all, or I’m becoming a woman who can take it or leave it, or I want to lose 10 pounds. That’s the goal. That’s where you’re going to wind up. But what about the skills you need to get there? What’s the how? How are you going to get there? The path and the skills needed provides the detail that you’re going to accomplish that. It also means you have to have pretty much clarity about where you’re at now. What is your drinking like now? How will you know you’ve made progress? Are you measuring it now?
It’s easy to measure our weight, we just jump on the scale. But your goal to get healthy might not be to look at the scale. It’s maybe your parameter is more how your clothes fit, or how you feel, or how much energy you have, how much strength you have, how easy it is to move throughout your day. And it’s great to have a goal but we also need the path and the plan to get there.
So, if you want to become a woman who can take it or leave it with her drinking, how will you get there? What skills will you need? What’s your path look like? What will you be doing on a daily basis? What skills will you be practicing? Will you need support along the way? Do you need a coach along the way? Maybe you do need to hire a coach because you don’t know the skills you need in how to become a woman who can take it or leave it with her drinking because you’ve never done that before. Or you’ve tried and you haven’t been successful.
Or maybe you tried other modalities and you’re like, “Well, that didn’t work.” So, what other modalities can I do? What other ways can I try? Because we all know that it’s skills that get the job done. You’re a good driver if you have the skills of operating a car. You’re a good computer programmer if you have skills of computer programming. Skills are what get the job done. And skills are what helped me to become a woman who can take it or leave it with drinking.
Some of the skills that I’ve learned is how to clear my mind of thinking about alcohol all the time because alcohol was on my mind a lot. I had a lot of mental chatter about it. So, I learned how to reprogram my mind so it doesn’t think about alcohol all the time or as much as it did. And when I changed my thinking it changed my desire. If I’m not thinking about it all the time I’m not creating more desire for it and thinking I need to have it. Now, my thinking also changed in that I don’t see alcohol as a solution to my problems.
And I used to think alcohol was a fabulous solution to my problems. When I have anger, or stress, or disappointment in my life I’m no longer charging the fridge. I don’t see alcohol as my solution. And that’s how I know I have effectively flipped the switch in my brain. I have reprogrammed my brain. So, alcohol is not the thing that comes to my mind when I find myself in these situations.
I also needed the skill of how to deal with my fear of missing out. If I’m out socially with people and everybody around me is drinking my brain is going to say, “You should be doing it too. Look, you’re missing out. Look how much fun they have. You’re not going to have that much fun.” I needed skills to be able to handle that fear and what to do in those moments. And because alcohol was something I did on the daily it was my pleasure. It was what brought me some joy, and happiness, and relief.
So now I also needed the skill on how to connect with other desires in my life, true desires, not false desires. And this is why a lot of people don’t even embark upon the journey because they think a life without any alcohol or a life with much less alcohol is not going to be fun. What else am I going to do with myself? I don’t have hobbies. I don’t have desires. I don’t have other joys. This is a real issue for some people. For some people it’s not, they say, “This is blocking me from doing these other passions I have in my life.”
But some people are like, “I don’t think I have other passions. I don’t think I have other desires.” And I want to tell you, you do, you just can’t hear them because the biggest desire your body is experiencing and the mind is experiencing is the desire for alcohol. Now, I wouldn’t have believed that if somebody told me, I needed to experience it. And I’m like, “Really, could that be true?” And I found out it is true. And I’ve worked with plenty of women who say, “Yeah, I don’t have any other desires or hobbies. And so, I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself.”
But guess what? When you take away that desire and that pleasure your true desires come to the surface. And then the last part, take one small action. You must do this part otherwise this is just a mental exercise that feels good. Taking the one small action is making that power move that you’re committed to this process. It’s signaling back to your brain and to your body, yeah, we are done with the no inertia forward and we are actually moving forward. I hired the coach. I signed up for the program.
I took this step, otherwise it stays as a desire and you never move into the action part. Taking the action is signaling back to your brain that you are committed, you’re going to show up, things are different, we are going to follow through. There are hundreds of small actions you can take. You can do all types of small actions to signal to yourself that yes, you are on the road forward. This doesn’t start on Monday, this doesn’t start tomorrow, this starts now. Maybe you even go and dump all the alcohol out of your house, you just get rid of it. That’s a small action.
Maybe you sign up for a meeting, maybe you tell your friends and family, whatever it is, it needs to be a small action forward. Identifying the goal, and the path, and the skills needed are not going to be helpful until you take action. Remember the famous words of Yoda, “Do or not do, there is no try.”
Alright, so to summarize part one, tip one, it’s just don’t define the goal. You need to define the how, the path, the skills and take action, one small action.
Alright tip two or step two of your power moves. Work to develop the skills and keep taking small steps forward. This part is critical. It’s the most critical part of the three. I will tell you, most people stop at part one. They define a path, they sign up for a course, they do the thing and then they don’t show up. They don’t work to develop the skills and keep taking small actions. They think that just by signing up for a program, or dangling the shiny carrot of the goal, and this desirable goal of weight loss or drinking less, that that will motivate them to continue to take the steps.
I will tell you, that is fleeting. So, part two is the part that gives you success or not. Notice there is just very little progress made in part one. And that part for most people feels good. Part two can feel good if you go about it the right way, if you’re not perfectionistic about it, if you’re focusing on your progress forward, even if that’s a small step forward, even if it’s a small percentage forward. As long as you’re making progress forward you’re signaling back to yourself that you’re committed to this journey.
But how many people clarify the path and actually never walk it? They never get started. And the crazy thing is you wind up beating yourself up over it because you didn’t do anything different. And your brain will call that a failure. But in reality you didn’t really attempt it very long or very hard. You didn’t really do part two. So essentially you didn’t do anything, you just engaged in the mental exercise of connecting with your desire, fantasizing about the new you and maybe take a small action forward. But step two is what gets it done. It’s developing the skills.
You have to work to get the transformation. So, I want to stop here and talk about this word ‘work’. Because I find with this word ‘work’, a lot of people get turned off. They have a lot of negativity around this word. And I have to say that this word ‘work’, I love it, bring it. I love work. I have worked since I was 13 years old. Work gives me purpose. I enjoy interacting with the world through work. I learn things, and skills, and knowledge at work and through work. I have fun at work. I do hard things at work. I enjoy work. I grow through work.
Work to me is engagement with life. You can be gardening, that is work. You’re working to plant a garden and harvest, that is work. That to me is engagement with life. If you don’t like the word ‘work’, and it’s negative for you then engage, engage with your life, engage with your goal, engage with the path to get to your goal, engage with the woman you seek to be, engage with your transformation. Who doesn’t want to engage with their life and transformation and become different over time?
If you don’t want to engage with life please ask yourself why not, find out why. Are you not surrounding yourself with the right people, the right projects, the right work, the right path? Or do you carry some emotional clutter that weighs you down? Find out why and work on it, engage with it, engage with it so you can heal, so you can move on. Don’t miss the amazing opportunity that the body offers you. Your body has the capacity to heal. Eventually there will become a point where the body can no longer heal but that’s not where the vast majority of us are.
You want to take care of a problem or an issue before it compounds over time, and festers, and gets worse. So, work on it because what’s the downside? There literally is none because when you engage with life, when you engage with who you are and what you have to heal, you learn something new in the process. When you take a new path or take a new action you may learn that this way didn’t work at all for you but you’ve learned that. Or maybe you tried a path and it’s worked 20% and then it stopped working so now you need a different path and different skills.
Or maybe you’ve tried a path and it’s worked 50% of the way to improve where you’re at. You’ve got a 50% improvement. Wouldn’t you want that improvement over no improvement at all? When I hired my first coach to help me with my drinking issue I got about a 50% reduction to 70% reduction in my drinking. Did I get all the way where I wanted to go? No, but I got 50 to 70% of the way there. And to this day almost five years later I have never went back to that level of drinking. I have never spent that much money on drinking.
I used to spend $4500 a year on drinking. I don’t come close to that. So that’s a savings over the last four to five years. And as I mentioned, I don’t even look at alcohol the same way. I don’t see it as this magnificent solution or this magnificent joy I need to imbibe every day. And that’s how I used to see it. So, did I make progress? Absolutely, huge. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Did I learn valuable skills for my life? Yes. Has it improved my life? Yes. I got to a place that was a place that I didn’t think was possible. But then here’s the thing, my brain desired more progress.
And the skills I was practicing were not giving me more progress. They got me there but they weren’t taking me to where I needed to go. So, then I needed to get more skills. So, then I learned from other people because I didn’t want to stay where I was. I still desired my progress. I still desired a different goal. And I’ll tell you, I didn’t know how to get there on my own. If I did know I would have done it, I would have achieved it. I needed someone to show me a path and the skills on that path that I needed to practice to get more progress to get to my new goal.
So, on my journey here, on my path to here, I had to learn skills. I learned skills on cognitive therapy. I learned skills on how to reprogram my brain. I learned how to emotionally heal some hurts. I learned how to regulate my emotions and handle difficult emotions that come up for me. And I also learned how to recognize my true desires and express them in a way that felt safe in the world. Oftentimes we have desires but we’re afraid to express them because we don’t feel safe to express them. And I had to learn skills to be able to do that, to live as my full authentic me.
This required work. This required engaging my mind, engaging with my emotions and engaging with my surroundings. So, when I engage what does that mean? I stop avoiding. I stop pretending. I stopped much of my emotional eating. Am I 100% there? No, but I’ve made significant progress. The same goes with my drinking. I learned skills to be in control of it and be confident around it where I didn’t have to avoid it. I could engage with alcohol in a way that feels right for me.
I also made huge progress in my addiction to shopping. Remember, I had a QBC addiction? I would just buy things just to buy things and never use them. So, I have made tremendous progress and that I am very proud of, very thankful for. So, I am so glad that I engaged with those processes, those skills so that I could get to my goals. And I love calling it work, that feels good to me. If you don’t like work, call engagement. You know what feels like work for me in a negative way and what I say is a drag? Work doesn’t feel bad to me but a drag, that feels bad to me, that feels negative.
You know what feels like a drag to me? Sitting on the couch for endless hours at a time watching TV mindlessly. That sounds painful. That sounds like such a waste of time and energy. And I read a statistic that the average American watches four hours of television a day. Oh my gosh, would you just pick out my eyeballs now. I can’t even imagine. I just don’t like it that much. That’s a drag to me. Some TV I can do as long as it’s intentional, meaning I’m watching what I want to watch but mindlessly, it just doesn’t feel good to me.
You know what also feels like a drag to me? Getting sick and having to lie in bed all day. That’s a drag because I’m not engaging with my life, I’m just lying there. I have no energy, sometimes no appetite, I’m feeling awful and that feels like work. You know what also feels like a drag to me? Doing nothing for endless hours. That would be really hard for me. That would feel like a lot of work. And I’ll tell you why, because my desire is to contribute to the world, to help others. I want to learn, and to grow, and to live fully expressed in who I am.
I want to go all in on myself and on this one life that I get. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t have periods where I don’t do anything. I do, I rest. I give myself permission to rest, the body needs it. The mind needs it. Your brain should not be thinking all the time. But I mean countless days of doing nothing, that feels like a lot of work to me. That feels really hard and such a drag. I want to go all in on myself and all in on my life. I feel amazing when I go all in on myself and my life. Going all in means I’m engaging with it, I’m not avoiding it.
And when you’re going all in on your life it is sexy, it’s attractive and it has this energy to it. I don’t think sexy is defined by your size, how much you weigh or the shape of your body. It’s your energy, it’s your willingness to engage and live fully expressed in your life, making powerful moves, showing up as the woman you want to be and owning it. It’s that energy you have for life. What gives me energy is knowing where I’m going, learning along the way, evolving, not sitting on the sidelines of my life avoiding. I want to engage with my life. I want to work.
And engaging with my life takes different forms. Sometimes I’m in my feminine energy, I’m playful and I’m walking around in high heels, or beautifully dressed, or well groomed. And then other days I don’t want to be that person. I want to be a different woman. Like today, I’m more plain. I’m in a sweatshirt, I’m in jeans, I have my hair pulled back and this feels powerful to me today. I have a lot to get done and this is how I wanted to show up for it.
This is how I want to engage with the world today. So, it doesn’t matter what I’m wearing. I’m still working skills and taking small steps to get progress. Alright, so that’s step two, work to develop skills and take small steps to get progress.
Alright, step three is measure your progress and give yourself credit. So, if steps two is really what gets it done why do we do step three? For several reasons. First, the most obvious reason is to see are we getting the results that we want? Does this path and these skills on the path, is it working? Or what part of its working and what part isn’t? And also, what do you think about the results? So, begin to measure the results and analyze them. So, are the results coming fast enough? And if they’re not, are we willing to do things differently? Are we willing to learn more skills to get there faster?
Are we willing to increase the intensity of the skills that are working and are producing results, are we willing to go more in on those? Or is this path just not working at all? These are all valid. These are all important to know. Why would you want to spend more time, energy or resources working on something that’s not working? And don’t take it personally. If it works for you, great. If it’s not working for you, move on.
Now, if you decide to increase the intensity, can your body handle it? Can your mind handle it? Do you have enough time to do that? What needs to be adjusted in your life for in order to make that happen? Asking all these questions is really important because you need to assess how things are going and how you want to make modifications.
So, I work a lot with healthcare workers and I love to use the analogy of starting a medication. So, we’re starting this path, taking on this medication to help get to our goal of either curing a disease or lessening the burden of that disease. So, we want to assess, is this medication working? Are you seeing results? Do you need a higher dose? If you want more results and you are starting to see some improvement and you want more improvement, let’s raise your dose.
Or are we finding that this medication provides too many side-effects for you? Okay, we can back down on the dose or maybe we find a new medication that doesn’t have that side-effect. We are adjusting what’s on the path to lessen the disease burden. And that’s the power of this step is when you look at the progress you’re making you can then make subsequent powerful decisions and take different powerful moves if needed to be.
And here’s another benefit, your brain loves to see progress. Your brain will see that progress and it’ll make you want to keep going. Now, I mentioned when I hired my first coach I was delighted to see a 50 to 70% reduction in my drinking. I could have been mad that I didn’t get more reduction that I was wanting but that would be seeking perfection. And I know progress is better than nothing. And I’m so thankful that I wasn’t experiencing any more blackouts or I wasn’t drinking like a fish every day like I used to. That was huge progress.
But as the months went by I stopped seeing further progress. I stopped getting more results. So, at that time it was like, I need to look for other skills to get more progress. This is not going to get me there. This got me here but it’s not going to take me to the next level that I wanted to go to. Now, if I wasn’t measuring my own progress I would have no idea that I stalled. It may not have even occurred to me that I needed to move on, that I needed different skills if I wasn’t measuring. So, my decision was based on results, not my feelings.
And I think a lot of us make decisions on feelings. And I’m not saying that that’s bad for all decisions. But for certain decisions we might want to use logic instead. So, I wanted to be logical about this and not emotional. That was important to me. Now, for other decisions in my life I make them emotionally. The next car I plan to buy is totally an emotional decision, not very logical. But something that affected my health I wanted to be way more logical about it and less emotional so that requires measuring.
So, measuring the progress, measuring the gains really helps you see clearly what’s working and what’s not working and giving yourself credit for the process makes the process more fun and enjoyable. And when something is more fun and enjoyable you’re more likely to stick to it. That’s what makes the process sticky, that’s what makes habits stick. You’re way more likely to stick to something if you find it fun or enjoyable.
I have to tell you that I have this one client who she loves to have fun. That is like her middle name. If something’s not fun and enjoyable it’s like a no go. She looks to have fun in everything she does. And when you see her, she just exudes that. She carries this energy around when she shows up in the world as fun. She talks about having fun, she expresses fun. Fun is very meaningful to her life. And I had the honor and privilege of meeting up with her and her family in New York City and man, she is so dang fun.
So, I just want to give a shout out to you, Fun Lizzie because that energy that you carry is so powerful. It is so you. I could tell she’s showing up fully expressed as her. She recently signed up for this Orangetheory challenge and upped her game in this area and wanted more skills. And she just kept calling, how much fun it’s going to be. And I love how she just brings that energy to our calls and talks about it. She’s living fully expressed as her. I love that. Maybe fun’s not your word.
For me I like things to be enjoyable. That’s a more fitting word for my personality. And I get enjoyment out of progress. So, when you’re going after your goals, this element of progress, fun, enjoyment will make you want to keep going. And you will be living the life that you want, not avoiding it, not sitting there, not taking any action, not making power moves, but really engaging with your goals. What could be more satisfying, more rewarding, more soul filling and more energizing than that?
Make power moves, ladies, use these three steps. Small steps count towards progress. Don’t just have it as nice words in your head. Practice it, give yourself credit, fill up your thankful bucket. Let it feel good. Let it sink in that you are engaging with your goals, you’re giving yourself permission to have these goals and then go out and engage with it, work for it. That’s what it means to make power moves. Go and do it, ladies, not just think about it. Small actions do make a difference, they compound over time.
Alright ladies, that’s what I have for you today. I am off to go make my next power move 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.