Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ATB BB Series: What's your North Star?

The "North Star", also known as the "Star that does not walk" is one of the brightest stars in the sky. It is also a fixed star - so while all the other stars change positions basis Earth's rotation during the night, the North Star stays constant in the same place.

In olden times, it was used as a navigation guide for ships to keep them on course.

We all have personal or professional goals. For some of us, these goals may be health related. Simply put, some of you may be wanting to shed some pounds this year. And you set off on this journey.

All journey's have distractions. At times we fall off the wagon. The difference between those who get back on, and those who don't is how well they have defined their personal "North Star"

North Star here would mean your core purpose, the rational, the answer to why do you want to achieve this goal? What does achieving this goal mean to you? What will it do for you?

We all fall off the wagon from time to time. It is human to get distracted and "cheat" on your diet once in a while. What matters is if you are able to dust yourself off and get back on. And it is here that reminding yourself of your North Star helps. Why are you doing this in the first place.

We may have different reasons - Internal or External.

You may be doing it to better your health parameters, to improve your fitness or stamina, for yourself

or

You may be doing it because it would mean approval from your parents, friends or society at large. Because you are supposed to "look" a certain way.

I had earlier written about "Diets & Willpower". In this post, I mentioned that "Willpower is a finite resource"

This where Will-Power ties in with your North Star: Evidence also suggests that willpower depletion can be kept in check by beliefs and attitudes. Mark Muraven, PhD, of the University at Albany, and colleagues found that people who felt compelled to exert self-control (in order to please others, for example) were more easily depleted than people who were driven by their own internal goals and desires.

When it comes to willpower, those who are in touch with themselves may be better off than their people pleasing counterparts. 

Now think about your reason for losing weight - Is it for yourself, because it means something for you? Or it is to please some people and fit in with a certain group of people? Are you really looking for approval from people, who are shallow enough to not treat you nicely just because you look a certain way?

There are some people who can use negativity and criticism to motivate themselves. They use their anger & sadness to fuel their drive, but I haven't seen too many people like that. For most of, it is success & positivity that drives us. Not taunts & insults from others.



Don't get caught in the "Fantasy of being Thin".

A lot of us imagine that once we are thin, we will become outgoing and popular with lots of friends, develop sudden interest in some new hobbies, life & people will be easier. I did too.

Nothing of the sort happens.

If you are an introvert, you will continue to remain one no matter what your size.
Your hobbies and interests may not change overnight.
Life & people will continue to be the same mix of awesome and unpleasant.

Make your North Star something about you. Something measurable. Something that has relevance to you. Today if you decide to lose weight just because some people have an issue with it, tomorrow some other people might comment about your squinty or your big forehead - will you set off to change that too?

Don't make your life & goals about pleasing others. Nay-sayers will always find fault with you. Do it for yourself.


5 comments:

  1. Brilliant post and it is so inspiring also..........

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  2. i like the quote!! aah..this reminds me to define my north star more clearly.

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  3. Hey can you also tell us if you had cheat days while you were dieting .. And what you would eat on those days .. Thanks a ton

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  4. For so long, external reasons and pressure made me want to lose weight, but after trying my umpteenth diet. I have recently decided that I will never DIET in my life again. I guess I found my North Star after three years of dieting, starvation and binge eating. I have decided that I will eat well, and exercise, not to lose weight; but to feel good inside and to improve my health. I have decided I'd rather be chubby,healthy and happy than thin, miserable and cranky! :)

    I can understand each word you mean when you talk about the North star! :) Thank you so much for this post on will power and perseverance Tanvi! :)

    Btw, I did write a post on my decision not to diet ever again, would be great if you could share your thoughts about that..Have you had any bad experiences like I've had?

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