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Conquer Your Weight

Episode #51: Don't Just Hope For a Good Future, Plan It!

Show Notes

October 18, 2023

In today's episode, we are discussing planning for the future. We'll discuss why it is so important to have a clear vision of your goals and your ideal future so that you can start taking steps towards your goals today!

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Dr. Sarah Stombaugh: This is Dr. Sarah Stombaugh, and you are listening to the Conquer Your Weight Podcast, episode number 51. Announcer: Welcome to the Conquer Your Weight podcast, where you will learn to understand your mind and body so you can achieve long-term weight loss. Here's your host, obesity medicine physician and life coach, Dr. Sarah Stombaugh. Dr. Sarah Stombaugh: Hello everyone, and thank you so much for being here with me today. We are getting into a great episode today about setting your goals for the future and then making decisions in line with those goals. This is applicable to your weight loss journey, but honestly, this is going to be applicable in many different areas of your life. I actually got the idea to record this episode after a recent business conference that I went to and I wanted to share some of those parallels with you and how you can apply them in your weight loss journey or like I said, in any other area of your life. Before we get into the episode though, I want to invite you to come work with me. If you have been listening to my podcast for a while and thinking, oh man, I would really love her advice, now is the time to do it. I just restructured my schedule so I have some new patient openings and I would love to see you in that appointment slot. So go to my website, it's The link is in the show notes. Fill out the form on the individual visits page and you and I can do a free 30 minute meet and greet. I can learn a little bit about you, you can learn about me and my practice, and this is the perfect time if you've been looking to get started. We are getting ready to enter into holiday season, getting ready to start the new year pretty soon, which I can hardly believe it, but if you are sick of struggling through the holiday season knowing that there's five or 10 pounds that might easily creep on because of all the festivities coming up, then it is the perfect time to start working together so you can understand your mindset and have some really excellent tools for going into that busy holiday season. So pop on over to my website. I'm really excited to meet you there. Alright, let us talk about setting goals and how to achieve those goals. I was recently at a physician business conference and one of the main targets that we were talking about is what are your goals for your business? And then developing a roadmap to get there. And so often in our lives we don't actually, we've never stopped and to find our goals, we've never been asked or never asked of ourselves, what do you want? And so I'm going to ask you that right now, which is what do you want for yourself? And this could be personally, professionally, however, but especially since we're here talking about weight loss. What do you imagine your life to be? If you think about some distant vision of your future, what does that look like? And then with that in mind, how do you get there? So this often will require stopping and taking 5, 10, 20 minutes, maybe hours or multiple hours over the course of days, weeks, months, but to stop and think about what is it that you really want? Not what feels easy, not what feels doable, but if you could just create wave a magic wand and create this perfect vision for your future, what would that look like? And then knowing that magic doesn't exist, you can't just magically appear at that place, but if you could take steps towards that place, what would that look like? And with that very clear goal in mind, you can start taking steps towards that goal in order to achieve your goals. I want to think a little bit about this. Like your GPS if you wanted to go somewhere new, you wanted to go visit a friend and they've recently moved to a new home and you've never been there before, you would type in the directions to your GPS and then you would get in your car and you would follow the directions step by step as it gave those directions, you would follow them. And if you have ever used GPS, which I'm sure all of you have, if you keep your GPS on and then you pull off for an unexpected road stop pit stop, you stop and get gas or stop at a restaurant, your GPS is constantly trying to redirect you. It's like turn left, turn left, turn left, turn around, make a U-turn, and it's staying over and over and over again how to get you back on that path so you can get to your friend's house and to that destination that you set at the GPS. So with a very clear goal in mind, you can start to see what are the things that I could do in order to achieve that goal. Some of them may be things that you know, other ones though you may not quite know those steps yet. And that might mean that you need to do a little bit of research or work with someone who is a professional who can help to advise you in that way. But if you don't have a goal, a lot of times we are sort of aimlessly stumbling through our lives, just hoping for the best. And a lot of times that doesn't to any significant achievements and then we get disappointed. So I want to share with you, we've talked about your big why and if you're not clear on your big why, this can be an exercise to help you really get clear on that. For people who've had a life altering event, their big why is often very clear to them. I've shared the story of my grandfather who previously struggled with significant obesity, struggled with heart disease, had his first major heart attack and bypass surgery in his late forties. And it was clear to him that if he didn't fix something right away, he was going to leave behind a wife and five young children. And that was unacceptable to him. And so he totally turned his life around in order to achieve his best health and he ended up living into his eighties, which is phenomenal. And so you can probably imagine maybe you are that person or imagine other people in your life who've had similar stories when something very tragic or really significant, usually health scares has occurred. It has completely changed the trajectory of their life for the better. But if you haven't had something bad like that, it is sometimes hard to feel that energy and feel that really strong drive, that sort of life or death situation that it may literally be for some people. And so instead to look at what is this vision of the future and then how do I go about achieving that? So one, my grandmother as an example, lived until she was 95 years old. She was always very healthy. And until she was about 94 and a half years old, the woman walked four to five miles every single day, rain, snow. I mean, even my dad, her son would get after her like, mom, you can't go outside. It's icy. You're going to slip and fall. But she walked no matter what. I actually remember at her 80th birthday party, my dad was standing up and giving a talk and sharing some fun things about her and said, she walks three miles every day. And she yelled out into the audience, no, I don't. I walk five miles every day. And so that was one of the things she did in addition to eating well, being involved in her community, taking on leadership roles, and that led her to living in life that was 95 years long, which is really amazing. People in my life have often compared me to my grandmother. They'll say, oh, you look just like her, or You remind us so much of her. You act a lot like her. And it is my goal to live to 95 years old that I would take care of myself the best that I can so that I can increase the chances of living to a healthy, vibrant 95 years old. And so all of the things that I do in my life are consistent with moving towards that goal. And there may be things that aren't, but I know my overall trajectory and I am headed in that direction. So I want you to think about that. Do you have a clear trajectory that you are headed on? And if not, is that something you would like to have for yourself? A lot of times we hope for the future like, oh, I hope I'm going to live to 95 years old. Well, I really do hope that I'm going to live to 95 years old, but I can do a lot of things in order to make that as likely as possible. There may be some hope there. There are things that are out of my control. I could be in a major car accident and die tomorrow. I have no control over if something like that happens. But everything that is within my control that I am going to take charge of and consistently take action in that direction. Hope is a really funny thing. A lot of times my patients will say things to me like, oh, I hope I eat healthy. And I sometimes bother them because I will poke back and say, why do you hope that hope is a verb? That sounds really good, but it actually isn't. There's no action required at all to hope something hoping is this theoretical thing that may never actually happen. So you don't have to hope to eat healthy this weekend. You can plan to eat healthy, you can choose to eat healthy. You can put yourself in a situation in which hope is not required at all. You just do it. I can hope to win the lottery that's hoping, but hoping to eat healthy. Well, that's more within your control. So I want to offer that to you. So what I would like to suggest is take some time. Like I said, if you've never done this type of exercise before, it not be very clear to you. Or you may even have trouble imagining what the future could look like. But imagine that future. Do you want to walk your child down the aisle? Do you want to be around to live for your grandchildren and get to know them and grow up with them or see them grow up? Do you want to be able to run around with your family to go for walks with your pets? Whatever it is? What are those things that are important to you? And then with that in mind, what are the steps that you would take in order to get there? And if that part is confusing, then I am here for you. We might be talking about nutrition, we might be talking about movement, sleep, stress management. Oftentimes the steps required to get to that place are going to be broad. It's going to require looking at many different aspects of your life so that you can be very clear on that vision and how to achieve that vision. So if you have been unclear about what those steps are, don't worry about that yet. Think about what is the vision, what does that look like? And then you can start to work towards and how would I get there? If I can help you with that, I would absolutely love to. If you are not in Illinois or Virginia where I'm licensed to practice medicine, you could reach out to a board certified obesity medicine physician, maybe a lifestyle medicine physician, talk to your primary care physician, start to have conversations with the people. If you have questions that you need answers to, start thinking about who are those people who could help answer the questions and then go seek those out. If you need my support, I would love to help you. Along that, thank you so much for joining me today. I am really excited for you to think about your future, think about your goals, and watch you achieve those. Take care. Bye-bye.
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