Push and pull. Attract and repel. Like and dislike. Approach and avoid.
All pretty simple concepts.
One involves an enjoyable thing that we want to have more of, while the other entails getting away from something that may be causing us pain or discomfort.
Ummm, ok, soooo why are we talking about all of this today?
Because, as usual, it’s really a secret code for a matter of life and death that will ultimately save your life when our robot overlords take over…or, at least it’s something that will help you live healthier. I haven’t really decided, I just know I’ve had waaaaaaay too much caffeine this morning. BAAAAZINGA!!!
But seriously folks.
The concept of push and pull we’re talking about today revolves around your goals. How to set them, how to perceive them, and how to approach (and avoid) them…see what I did there?
I’ve spoken before about goal-setting. Just a little bit (so much sarcasm in those 4 words, lol).
The process of setting goals is a wonderful way to create a road map to your success, but just like using a scalpel to draw a map, you need to choose your tools wisely, or else you’ll set yourself up for failure before you even start on your path.
Many of my studies, experiences with clients, and those with myself as well, all show that a pull goal is infinitely more successful than a push goal. What does that mean?
Well, when you push something, it usually moves away from you, right? You repel it, you avoid it, you begin to dislike it.
But when you pull something towards you, you attract it, you approach it, and you begin to like it.
Breaking it down even simpler, it is much more effective to ADD in healthy foods to your dietary habits rather than SUBTRACT those junk foods that we seem to crave so intensely.
When you push away the “bad” foods, when you force yourself to avoid and go without things you’ve previously enjoyed, what happens? You feel like you’re being punished. You feel like you’re being deprived, which eventually leads to you feeling like you’re depraved.
When you instead pull in healthier foods, sure you may initially feel a bit out of your comfort zone, but the simple act of doing healthier things for yourself feels like a reward. You feel like you’re a real-live grown up. You feel like you’re doing something to improve your health, and sometimes, you even begin to like the healthy food, GASP!!
Not only that, but when you focus on what you CAN have, instead of what you CANNOT, the healthy additions have a way of shoving out the unhealthy treats naturally. You can only eat so much, right? So if you sit down for a meal and focus on adding in some extra veggies and/or protein, then naturally the brownie casserole (I just threw up in my mouth a little) finds its way off the table.
So, Pull goals work better than Push goals. Allow yourself to add in healthier options. Allow yourself to add in things that are better for you that you’ll ENJOY, foods that don’t feel like too extreme of a sacrifice, foods that you know you could possibly see yourself eating for a long time to come…because after all, that’s what a healthy lifestyle is all about, right? Long-term changes that have long-term impacts.
Let the unhealthy options fade off into the distance like the cowboy riding his horse into the sunset, rather than the lovers having a quarrel onscreen that leads to gunshots and cops being called. Brownie casserole hates being scorned! Sssshhhhh, let it go…it’s okaaaaayyyy. Ssshhhhhh.
(Did I mention caffeine)
I’m wrapping this up, but think about this as we close…not only do pull goals work better than push goals, but that same concept works much more effectively for anything in life. When we actively fight something and expend our energy on trying to rid ourselves of it, we end up wearing ourselves down and lessen our chances of success. But when we instead focus on bringing in more enjoyable aspects, in a more natural method, we thrive. It’s better to focus on adding in gratitude than it is to try to stop getting upset. Let the right one REPLACE the wrong one.
Pull yourself towards the light, Carol Anne…oops, wrong movie.
Approach your happiness, like doing things that are better for you, let in some sunlight and pull in the positive.