Ep #22: Setting Goals

Weight Loss for Quilters with Dara Tomasson | Setting GoalsIf you think that making goals is a waste of time because sticking to them is impossible, the tool I’m sharing in this episode is going to change your life. Before I started this work, I had a lot of thoughts about goals, and so much evidence that they just didn’t work for me. But with a new outlook, my opinion on them has changed completely.

I know all about your fear of making goals, especially around weight loss. But when you can learn to trust yourself and keep yourself motivated in a new way, I believe you will be able to achieve any goal you set for yourself.

Tune in this week to discover why the way you’re motivating yourself toward your goals right now isn’t working for you, and how to find a new way to keep yourself moving forward. I’m sharing how I help my clients through setting and reaching goals, and the tools that have helped me in my own life.

As part of my Love Yourself Thin group program, I’m running my Weight Loss Science pop-up group from December 1st to 16th 2021, where I will share how to stop quitting and start truly living the life you want. I’m expanding on what we discussed in this episode, and you can sign up by clicking here

I have a surprise for you! I have a 5-day training that tells you all the foods you should eat, why you should eat them, and the science behind weight loss. There are women who have lost 20 and 30 pounds just from this training, so click here to sign up to my email list and access the training now. I can’t wait to see how it’s going to help you as you continue to learn how to love yourself thin. 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why making goals isn’t about becoming more worthy or proving yourself.
  • What your motivation should be focused on when setting goals for yourself.
  • Why I believe making goals is a spiritual practice.
  • My practice for gaining trust as you go after your goals.
  • The difference between passive action and massive action.
  • How to set yourself up for success when it comes to your goals.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • I have a surprise for you! I have a 5-day training that tells you all the foods you should eat, why you should eat them, and the science behind weight loss. There are women who have lost 20 and 30 pounds just from this training, so click here to sign up to my email list and access the training now. I can’t wait to see how it’s going to help you as you continue to learn how to love yourself thin. 

Full Episode Transcript:

Download Transcript

Do you think that making goals is the biggest waste of time? Keep listening to this episode because the tools you’re going to learn will change how you look at goals moving forward.

I am Dara Tomasson, and this is Weight Loss for Quilters episode 22, Making Goals. Did you know you could lose weight and keep it off for good? After 25 years of hiding behind my quilts, I have finally cracked the code for permanent weight loss, and I’ve lost 50 pounds without exercise or counting calories. I’m Dara Tomasson, professional quilter turned weight and life coach, where I help quilters just like you create a life they love by losing weight and keeping it off for good. Let’s jump into today’s episode.

So let’s talk about goals. I really want to hear all of your thoughts about goals because I know before I started doing this work I had a lot of thoughts about goals. I had a lot of evidence that I did a pretty good job with many things like my career, and my teaching, and the quilts that I quilted, making dinner for my children, making sure they were fed. There’s a lot of things that I felt really good about.

But when it was weight loss and goals I felt I needed to get kicked out, or sit in the corner, or whatever it was because it was just those two things didn’t even go together, it was like oil and vinegar. It was just an awful combination. And so this episode, I’ve got you. I know all about your fear of making goals especially around weight loss. And in fact the day you’re listening to this it’s going to be one more day left of my popup group of the 12 Days of Christmas where we are evaluating how failure is what’s going to help us get to where we want to go.

So if you’re still interested, you’re sitting on the fence I of course will let you in. You can watch the replays and I just want to help you out. I just want you to be able to change your experience. So this is what you can expect in this episode. We’re going to talk about why we make goals, which by the way your value is already set. So making goals is not to make you more worthy. It’s not to prove yourself. It’s not that you can then deserve to do something. We’re going to address that. We’re going to talk about that in this podcast.

We’re going to talk about the motivation to making a goal. So it’s not to make yourself more worthy, it literally is just to make a better version of yourself. And we are going to touch on ways to set ourselves up for success around goals. So I’m going to share with you the practice of making a goal, following through, and gaining trust.

Because when you think about the five steps of permanent weight loss, the first is weight loss science is simple. Number two, you make your own eating plan, I call it a protocol. Number three, you learn to troubleshoot your protocol. Number four, you learn how to feel all those feelings and not push them away. And then number five is learning how to trust yourself. And this is where the goals come in. So this is the work that we do inside Love Yourself Thin where we talk about how to learn to trust yourself.

But before we go into all of that, which I am so excited to share with you, I do want to shout out some of the awesome things that are happening my 12 Days of Christmas. Now, the 12 Days of Christmas was instigated by my hashtag we’re quilters, not quitters. So it’s #quilters, not quitters. And we have a t-shirt. You know how you say, “Been there, done that, got the t-shirt?” Well, I have a t-shirt and everyone that joins my popup group is going to get a t-shirt mailed right to their house, and it will have the hashtag, quilters, not quitters.

And so these are some of the insights of some of the students in that popup group that I just wanted to share with you because I know so many of us just feel there’s only so many times you can fail and then the door closes and it’s like, yeah. No, you’re done, you’re out. It’s like The Price is Right. You can spin that wheel and if you don’t get it then you’re out of luck. That’s not the case. And in fact the more diets you’ve been on the better it is.

So this is what we’ve got, one of the ladies she reported that she is further ahead than she thought. She was surprised at how often she failed. So she was talking about how quilting at first it was just such a failure. But she always took what was going on with the failure and she was able to take a look at why she failed. And then she was able to correct. And she realized that she’s really good at doing that already with quilting, and with cooking, and I mean now she has grandkids and she’s learning how to show up for them and to be the kind of grandma she wants to be.

So she’s always been assessing and evaluating. And so when she realized that she could do that with weight loss, with why did Weight Watchers fail? It’s because I don’t want to be writing down my food all the time. Why did this fail? And so then now she has such a better way of approaching and feels so much more empowered. So I just wanted to share that with you because one of the things she said was that shame really did block her ability to look at what was going on. And now that she sees shame and recognizes it, she can move past it.

So that was just something I just wanted to share with you because it was such a big aha moment for her. And it’s really made such a difference for how she’s showing up, not only for her weight but for just her confidence in general.

Okay, so let’s go into the bulk of the podcast, making goals. So number one, it’s the first thing I say to all of the ladies that join Love Yourself Thin, is that our value has already been decided. It’s already set. At what point and I know I said in this in the podcast before and I will continue to say it. This is one of my anthems. This is one of the themes of the Dara Tomasson Love Yourself Thin program. At what point does a baby become unworthy? When you see a brand new baby, they’re perfect, they’re just so amazing. So at what point do they not become perfect? What did they do?

And I really want you to question that because that is something that so many of us have struggled with. Because if the reason we make a goal is because we don’t think we’re worthy, and we don’t think we’re good enough, and we don’t think that we’ve reached the mark, then we’re constantly spinning on a hamster wheel thinking, I’ve got to make myself worthy, I’ve got to feel better, I’ve got to do better so that I can feel better. And that really truly is a treadmill. It is a way for us never to get to our destination.

That is what a treadmill does. It will clock all the kilometers, but you literally don’t move. Even though you’re moving but the wheel just goes around, and around, and around. You never get from point A to B. So that’s what I’m talking about when I say a treadmill. I’m saying you really truly won’t ever arrive at the destination that you want. You want to feel comfortable around food. You want to feel calm in your body. You want to feel empowered at a party.

You want to feel excited about Christmas. And you want to decide on purpose, do I want to gain weight, or do I want to lose weight, do I want to stay the same? And you get to do all of that when you understand your relationship with food. So the problem I find my clients, even my clients who have been with me for a while, this is what still happens to them. They say, “No, no, no, Dara, when I have lost another five pounds, or when I have lost another 20 pounds then I can be happy.” So what’s the problem with that?

They are telling me that the only way that they can have thoughts that create feelings of happiness are if there is a circumstance, if there is a certain number on the scale and that’s backwards. Because the only way we can feel happy or be happy is have a thought about that. And our thought creates our feelings, not our circumstances. So when we stand on a scale, and we see that number it has nothing to do with the number on the scale.

Alright, so when we think we need to prove ourselves that’s the first problem with making goals is when we think we need to do something to be more worthy, or more deserving, or more earning then we have a problem. So the number one is values are already set. So it’s not about making ourselves better. It’s about us just having a better experience in life. Now, I like to think of how I learned about making goals from The Life Coach School. She talks about making goals is a spiritual practice. And this part is so amazing to me. It’s an act of compassion.

And I’ve been studying compassion and one of the things that I learned about compassion is that it’s love and action. That’s what compassion is. So when you make a goal for yourself it is an act of love. It’s you being able to say, “Hey, listen, I want to be the best version of me.”

So when you have a child, or even your grandkid, or whoever. You don’t just say to them, “Hey, you know what? You can just stay home. Don’t worry about doing sports. Don’t even bother going to school. I’ll just take care of you. Don’t worry about it. You don’t need to learn anything. You don’t need to have, you know, there’s bullies at school, and there’s jerks at school. Don’t worry about it. Just stay at home and we’ll just hang out and watch movies all day. Oh, and definitely don’t try do sports, try to improve yourself.” We would never do that.

So at what point do we do that for ourselves and not giving ourselves opportunity for growth or change? Now, I like to think of goals, they help us to see obstacles that are blocking us from our greatest potential. So when I look at it this way, if we don’t make a goal, what are we doing? We’re just staying in the status quo. We’re just doing the same old, same old. And we’re just getting by. And this is what our brain knows.

And our lower brain wants us to do this. It really is like, yeah, you know what? Let’s stay on the couch and let’s watch some series and eat some stuff. And just not do anything too crazy. Because our lower brain and we talk about the motivational triad, it’s stay safe, seek pleasure, and conserve energy. So to survive those are really helpful. If we’re not having a lot of food come to us, it’s really good to conserve energy.

You watch those survivor shows, and those people spend all day trying to get food for themselves. But what’s better? They expend a lot of energy in hopes of getting food or do they just kind of conserve energy and just hope some food’s going to come to them? But we aren’t needing to be in survival mode, we really aren’t. In fact we’re the opposite, we want to thrive. We want to be our best versions of ourselves. We truly want to have the best life experience that we can have. That’s how I like to look at life.

I feel like life is like an empty journal. And we can decide whatever kind of story we want to write in it. That’s how I like to think about it. So I think if I want to have the greatest life possible, I want to have lots of different adventures, and exploring, and have deep relationships with people. And to have great connections, and to fulfill my creativity, and to serve people, and to have just such richness. I’m going to make goals so that I can do that. So when you make a goal what it does is it helps us to see the obstacles that are blocking us from our greatest potential.

So let’s take the example of making a quilt. So I’m sure you’ve all had the experience of scrolling through Instagram, or Pinterest, or Facebook even and you see someone post an amazing quilt, you’re just like, “Oh my goodness, that is the most beautiful quilt. That is gorgeous.”

And it’s got this gorgeous applique, and it has this beautiful quilting, and the colors are just so amazing. And you’re like, “I want to do that. I really want to do that. For me to have that kind of quilt would be incredible. I would be so proud of myself. I would be so thrilled to have a beautiful quilt like that in my home. It would just make my home so much more beautiful and that would be amazing.” So you decide, I’m going to make that quilt. So now you have a goal because you have a desire to make it. Desire is important. And then we just start to make it happen, so we go into action.

So we buy the fabric, we buy the pattern. But let’s say there’s a lot of paper piecing or applique. And we haven’t done a lot of that. Then there’s a learning curve involved with that. So maybe we need to do a smaller project and kind of master some of that before we can go into that big one. So then we make some decisions. We see the obstacles that are blocking us from being able to make that. And then we just create strategies and work towards creating that for ourselves.

One of the things that I look at when I think about making goals is I look at who do I want to be and what’s stopping me from being that person? So just like when you make that goal to make that beautiful quilt that’s stopping you is you just don’t have enough experience in paper piecing, or enough experience in applique. It’s just a matter of you learning the skills and then putting in the time to do it. So when we start with the basics and then we improve, it’s the same thing with our life. So why not make a decision to have the most fulfilling life?

And in the 12 Days of Christmas we did day three actually, we dreamed. And I have a little worksheet that they went through about what are the things you actually want? And so at what point in our life do we stop dreaming? And why do we do that? What is it about the quitting that’s affecting you? Why do you stop? That’s such a good question to ask yourself. Well, I’m going to answer it.

One is our lower brain says, “Of course, seek pleasure, conserve energy, stay safe.” So doing new things is not really following that very well, is it? Because doing a new thing, it’s like driving a car, you have to learn, okay, this is the gas, you have to go through it, it takes a lot of effort but then eventually it becomes automatic. And so the lower brain says, “You know what? Let’s just go with the status quo. Let’s not do anything too crazy. And definitely let’s go for the instant gratification.”

And so what the higher brain is saying, “You know what? We want delayed gratification.” Because think about what it’s like when you step back and you realize, I did this. I created this with my life. So I’m just going to talk briefly about what happens in Love Yourself Thin and what happens with weight loss specifically.

So the ladies come to me, and they say, “Okay, I really want to lose this amount of weight.” And I have a money back guarantee, lose 20 pounds in 90 days. And there’s just a few things you have to do to do that, but I feel so confident that you can lose 20 pounds in 90 days. So what I see though is that they want to have this result and they make the goal. But they don’t put in parameters of what their responsibility is and what they’re willing to do to do that. So we have weekly themes.

And one of the themes that we did in the month of November was making our dreams reality, making them real. And one of the strategies with making it real was this concept called massive action. So there’s passive action which means you consume a lot. So if you’re spending a lot of time on Instagram, or YouTube videos watching all the different ways to do paper piecing, or all the different ways to do free motion quilting, or all the diets, all of that. And you’re watching it over, and over, and over, that’s passive action.

And so there is a time for passive action. There’s a time to consume. But if you aren’t producing, if you’re not acting on what you’ve consumed, you’re not really learning and you’re not really growing. So in the month of November we learned this concept of massive action which means we’re just all in. I just want this result and I’m going to just do whatever it takes to get it. And if it’s going to be in three months, great. If it’s going to be in two years, great.

If it’s going to take me five years to learn how to free motion quilt a king size feather quilt, it doesn’t matter about the time, it just matters that I’m all in on learning the process of creating that result for myself. So what happens is that you make a goal, you say, “Okay, I want to lose this certain amount of weight by a certain amount of time.” And if you aren’t willing to look at those obstacles that are getting in your way then you’re not going to be able to make that goal happen.

So this is what I want to say for making goals. So we make goals because we want to be a better version of ourselves. And we’re not making goals to be more worthy, or deserving, or earning them. If we do that we’re setting ourselves up for failure because you’re making an external thing equal your value. And the problem with that is even when you achieve that goal, if you don’t go through the process of mastering it you’re not going to believe that you actually achieved it. You’re going to think it was a fluke or it just kind of happened to you. You just got really lucky.

You don’t learn that you yourself created that goal for yourself. I’m going to give you an example of this. So let’s take the example of weight loss because that’s why we’re here. And I’m just going to use my own example. I might have shared already. But in the past the goal was, and I don’t know how many of you are like this but you’re like, I want to be my wedding weight, or my high school weight, or whatever that is. So that was my goal. And for a long time I was actually 10 pounds, 15 pounds heavier than my wedding weight and I had five kids.

But I just beat myself up about it. I just thought I’m just so bad. And I just had so many negative thoughts because I thought that the goal was going to make me feel better. I thought that once I reached that goal then I could feel better about myself. But I didn’t realize that my worth was already set. And the reason I wanted to do that goal was, well, first of all I would just not talk so negatively to myself. Second of all, I wanted to really feel confident that I could lose that weight and keep it off.

And this is what all my clients, they come to me, they want the same thing. They want to have that confidence. So actually this is what I see happen a lot. So I’m going to go back to my example in a minute, but this is what I see, I’m just troubleshooting for a second. And I want you to kind of hear what’s going on. So what happens is people come into my program because they’re like, “I want to be like you. I want to be able to lose that weight and keep it off. And I want it to be easy.”

So going back to my example, I lost that 30 pounds and I was so proud of myself. And I felt so complete. And I was six pounds away from my wedding weight and I thought, you know what? I’m 46, I have five kids, I think 170 is amazing. My wedding weight was 164. And so then I just didn’t focus on the number anymore and I just kept doing all the things that I had done. And then I just started just enjoying my life and stopped punching myself in the face literally, not literally but figuratively with beating myself up, saying all these negative things, being really mean to myself.

And then five months later I lost 20 pounds just because I had figured out how the weight loss science worked. I had figured out the protocol. I figured out the troubleshooting. I figured out feeling my emotions. And I was really trusting myself, so it just came off. So this is what can happen a lot. So ladies come into my program, they get really excited, they go all in and they’re working on the protocol, they’re looking at themselves naked. Every day they’re weighing themselves, they’re doing all the things.

And then they get kind of addicted to their weight loss. So there’s this dopamine hit of look at me, I’m losing weight. This is so great. I can feel good about myself. It’s like they’re using this external circumstance to feel better about themselves. And then what happens? They get a little bit of a plateau. And so they’re not losing as much. And then it’s Christmas and they kind of slip a little bit. I usually plan to gain five pounds at Christmas. I’m like, “Yeah, I’m just going to gain five pounds at Christmas. I don’t care, it’s no big deal.” I’ll know I’m going to lose it.

This Christmas I haven’t decided if I’m going to do that or not. Last Christmas I did, I did decide. And I just think, yeah, I’m just going to gain five pounds, it’s no big deal. Anyways, we can talk about that in another episode. But they get addicted to the number on the scale. It’s like the external number is telling them if they’re good enough or not which is so interesting. So they will lose weight and it will come off, the first 10 pounds usually pretty okay. And weight loss, by the way, is like the stock market, just the other way, up and down, up, and down, up, and down.

And then they start doubting themselves. And they don’t get their own back. They don’t allow themselves to keep going. So this is very common. I want you to know that. But it’s also very understandable why you do that, because you have just been for so long needing external evidence, or external words, or external numbers, or dress sizes to prove your worthiness. You just haven’t learned this concept that your worth has nothing to do with the number on the scale. Your worth has nothing to do with the number of how much money you have in the bank.

Your worth has nothing to do with the kind of house you live in, or what kind of car you drive, or the labels of clothes that you’re wearing, or the size of clothes. Those are all neutral. Those are all circumstances. And it’s only until you have a thought about it that creates any sort of emotion. So let’s not set ourselves up for failure. Let’s set ourselves up for success. And so when we think that we need to prove ourselves we’re setting ourselves up for failure.

When we think that we need to deserve something, or we need to be worthy, or we need to earn something by getting a goal we have already failed. Because we’re now putting the power in the hands of the goal and not in our own brains. So we go into this in Love Yourself Thin a lot. But just to conclude, making a goal in the past was to be more worthy, to prove ourselves and that’s wrong, flat out wrong.

Making a goal is a spiritual practice and it’s one of the greatest acts of compassion. And as you really look at this wonderful life that you can have, it’s going to allow your brain to look at all the obstacles that are in the way of getting that. I love watching my clients create amazing things for themselves. It is so much fun. I love having my clients sit down after dinner and not be in shame or discomfort. They can be present with people. I love how my clients, their marriages have improved so much.

I love how they get so much more quilting done. I love how they have so much more health, they don’t have the same kinds of headaches, or arthritis, or thyroid issues. I love how they are no longer being like a victim that they’re so much more powerful in their life and they can move forward. And it’s because they are making goals just to have more fun in life. And they’re learning how to see the obstacles in their way and create strategies to work through them.

And they’re giving themselves the gift of delayed gratification because they’re learning the skills of how to work through difficulties and troubles instead of hiding away from them like they have with shopping and food. So let’s do that. I want to hear your goals. And I want to hear what goals you would set as a spiritual practice, that act of compassion, that what would make my life more fun? What would make my life better? What would make my life more enjoyable?

Would my life be more enjoyable if I didn’t have to carry an extra 40 pounds, or 50 pounds, or 100 pounds? Yeah, let’s do it, let’s take that weight off. Would my life be more enjoyable if I didn’t have to worry about diabetes?

One of my clients was telling me that she was at her sister-in-law’s for dinner and her sister in-law was saying, “Yeah, I’m not going to worry about weight, and I’m not going to worry about all that stuff.” She’s a young mom, she has three kids and she’s in the obese range. The problem is if you don’t worry about that then you actually are giving yourself, the tradeoff is you’re giving yourself type 2 diabetes. And you’re giving yourself, more likely having gallbladder problems. And you’re giving yourself hip problems and joint pain.

And she’s probably going to need a knee surgery, a knee replacement or hip replacement maybe at the age of 50, 55 because that’s putting so much pressure on her joints. So on one hand you can say that but on the other hand you’re also asking for other problems and difficulties.

So again, goals are there as a spiritual practice. They are the greatest acts of compassion that we can give ourselves because we’re now getting all the obstacles that are blocking us from our greatest potential. So there you go. Go and do that, go, and search out your greatest potential. And if you’ve missed the 12 Days of Christmas, and when you join Love Yourself Thin it’s actually all there for you, all my popup groups.

But you have an amazing day. Thank you for joining and we’ll see you next week. And by the way, happy 10 days till Christmas for those of you listening to this right away, and those in the replay, just have a day, have a happy day. Alright, take care everyone. Bye.

Thanks for listening to Weight Loss for Quilters. If you want more info, please visit daratomasson.com. See you next week.


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