From an early age, I remember loving the taste of chocolate. Over the years, I have used chocolate both as a reward and a stress-reducing mechanism.
Last year I became concerned about my dependency on chocolate. I needed to know that I could give it up by choice. So I did just that.
Here are my five key lessons from that experience which I have been able to apply to my working life.
1. Begin with the end in mind
I awoke one day and decided that it was time – time to take control of my need for regular sugar fixes.
I was ready to begin. I was clear as to what I wanted to do and how I was going to achieve my goal.
Are you clear as to what you want to achieve?
2. Set a timeframe
I decided that I would not eat chocolate, cakes or biscuits for eight weeks. That doesn’t seem like a very long time but for someone who regularly eats chocolate, that first week was a very long week.
The timeframe helped me to stay focused and motivated.
When and how will you know that you have achieved your goal?
3. You don’t have to do it all on your own
A couple of days into my sugar-free life, I was chatting with a friend about my goal. She thought it was a good idea and decided to join me on my sugar-free journey.
We were able to support each other through our individual challenges and celebrate our successes.
What support mechanisms do you have in place to help you stay
on track with your goals?
4. There will be obstacles
Initially I had to deal with both sugar cravings and headaches from the withdrawal of sugar from my diet.
Resisting the temptation to give in to the cravings and headaches was a challenge.
Looking for healthy alternatives to my sugar-fixes was my next challenge. Funnily enough there are such alternatives!
Becoming aware of my choices ensured that I was able to overcome those hurdles.
Are you allowing obstacles to stop you from achieving your goals?
5. There will be detractors
Some people seemed intent to test our commitment to remain sugar-free for eight weeks.
We would each receive comments such as: ‘Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone if you have some cake.’
Those comments prompted us to report back to each other regularly and reaffirm our commitment to stay sugar-free. Needless to say, neither of us strayed.
Are detractors stopping you from making progress?
By the end of the eight weeks, I felt physically better and mentally stronger.
My focus and discipline in achieving this personal goal spilled over into achieving business goals.
Fast-forward to the present day
My goal was not to give up chocolate forever but it was to discipline myself on the intake of it.
I still enjoy chocolate however I now know that I can limit my intake and I do.
I am now more disciplined in achieving my business goals. Hurdles that I encounter are a way for me to be innovative in the way that I find a solution.