by Chris O’Hearn, Certified Personal Trainer
Our mistakes are influencing our children’s mistakes. Let’s face it. Kids see what we do no matter how well we think we’re hiding it. They are more observant than we give them credit for, and they are learning more through what we do rather than what we say. Think about it. If your boss tells you how you need to act but then goes and does something totally opposite, do you respect him as much? So, when kids see us struggle with our goals, they will either see that not everything in life is easy, and things that are worthwhile can be difficult, or they will see that if things get hard it’s okay to give up.
How Persistent Are You?
Persistence is a beautiful attribute that will do wonders in our lives, but in this world of instant gratification, it can be hard to stick to our goals. We are told that if we want to lose weight, to reduce stress, or to find happiness, all we have to do is take a pill. You are the billboard for your children, and when your kids see that you are unhappy and that you think life is unfair, they will learn to believe that. When your kids see that you are unhealthy, overweight and don’t take care of yourself, they will think that is okay. When your kids see that you don’t manage money well and spend it foolishly, they will learn that it’s ok to do that as well. This is not to make you feel bad or say you should watch everything you do with a magnifying glass, but just to remind you that reaching your goals is not only healthy for you, but for your children as well.
The beautiful thing about working towards a goal is that our success is in our hands. It is easier to use self-pity or play the blame and victim game. We can say the reason I didn’t get that raise is because my boss is holding me back. The reason I didn’t lose that weight is because I was cursed with bad genes, or whatever excuse we can use to take the responsibility out of our hands. It’s funny, but if our kids came to us and said, “I didn’t get good grades, because my teachers hate me,” we might help them to see that their perception isn’t true to what is really going on. The same goes for us. Are we taking control of the situation and making the most of it, or are we just surviving and getting by letting the situation control us? There really is only one thing that we have control of in our lives, and that is the notion that everything we experience provides a choice–to accept things as they are or to create it how we would like it to be.
“The beautiful thing about working towards a goal is that our success is in our hands.”
Getting to the Root of the Matter
When we decide to experience things differently and create our life how we want it to be, the next step in reaching our goals is about getting to the root of why we want something. When we can find the emotional connection to why we want what we want, we will find more staying and motivation power to follow through with our goals.
Let’s take a look at weight loss for instance. I hear many people talking about fitting into their summer swimsuit. And while that is a good goal for them, I try to help my clients delve deeper into the why they want that “thing.” The deeper root of that goal is not that people just want to reduce body fat, but they want to feel better about themselves, or they want to have more energy to not be as tired at work or to be able to play with their kids. The deeper we get into our “whys” the more our mind will help us to find ways to stick with our goals.
When we stick to our goals, when we ask questions to get us to the deeper root of why we want that goal, and when we go towards any situation with a great outlook, no matter the obstacles, then we will be more successful in our endeavors. Your kids are learning more through what you are showing them not what you are telling them. Be the example and you will be doing two things at once: reaching your goals and helping your children see how to reach theirs.
Chris O’Hearn is the owner and founder of Strong Within–a life, wellness, and career coaching company. He is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine where he trains at Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center. He is a certified Spinning instructor through Maddog Spinning. He was a featured wellness coach on MTV’s I Used To Be Fat produced by the same company as the NBC’s hit show The Biggest Loser. Chris went to Knoxville Catholic High school, and even when he lived elsewhere he always called Knoxville home.