I can't believe I’m in my eleventh year on Operation Transformation. Over these years, I have become more confident in expressing my views and that transformation for our leaders needs to happen off the scales as well as on it.
OT has grown too. I am very excited because this year we are in Tullamore, Co Offaly, where we have been given a wonderful welcome. I believe that we can transform the whole town and even the county.
Interestingly, people often think the show is recorded. In fact, OT is very much shot in real time, apart from the initial selection of the Leaders, which happened in November. We have some great people this year, each with different challenges. So if you wish to create a healthier future for yourself, now is the time to make a decision that can really change your life.
Don’t wait for the feeling
Often, people wait for the 'feeling’ that they are ready for change. Take it from me, you can be waiting a long time for this feeling. My advice is to act first because the positive feeling will flow when you do something new. You know what to do, so make one small change today, focus on this change and sustain this change e.g. have porridge for breakfast. One small change at a time.
Goals help us get to our dreams. OT offers us all the chance to broaden our goals beyond weight-loss and exercise. It’s about health and well-being for life. Of course, upping our exercise and reducing our calorie intake is a great starting point.
We can also transform our emotional life by increasing confidence and assertiveness. We can have more fulfilling relationships and a family life in which we are truly communicating. Looking back at the end of 2020 – what areas of your life will be transformed?
Think of the areas – Physical, Social, Emotional, Health, Spiritual, Sexual, Thinking, Family – and the changes you could make.
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, you may have said ‘I’ve tried before so many times and have fallen off the wagon." Well, I am inviting you to get on the wagon again.
Too often people start without proper planning. A good plan is half the battle. Over the period of OT, I will offer readers motivational and psychological tools to assist your personal journey.
Tool 1: The Future
Write yourself a letter from your future self. Writing this letter raises awareness about your life’s journey and about your ‘real self’. It’s also a lot of fun. So write this letter as you would to your best friend, keep it simple and friendly.
Describe your healthy future self, your body, thoughts, and relationships. Write about your desires in terms of health, physically and emotionally, as well as relationships, love, career, finances and spirituality. Be detailed so list what new activities you are doing. Describe answers to questions that are currently bothering you? Describe your new positive feelings. Describe how you feel about your life and the world around you? What do you enjoy about today? What are you thankful for?
To help you do this, ask yourself some challenging questions:
What will that look like? Will you be healthier? How would you know? If you ran up a flight of stairs would you be out of breath? Will you be able to withstand the daily stresses and strains of life? Will you be in love? Will your relationships at work or home be different? What would your lover, partner or co-worker say about you? Would your thoughts be different – more positive or negative? Would you be more confident? Looking back at the end of 2020, what areas of your life would be transformed?
Describe your achievements in your future life. The things you have achieved and your hopes and dreams for the next four years. Focus and describe a day in your future life at home, at work, with family, you energy levels, etc.
From your future self to your present self, pass on some wisdom and encouragement for darker times when motivation is low and when you feel vulnerable. Identify important lessons that you have learned and want to pass on. Print the letter and sign it.
Think of this letter coming from a place of change, of strength, where you are living your real life. Your best life!
Tool 2 Smart goals
Identify your own smart goals. Too often, goals are loosly made, such as ‘I want to lose some weight’. This will more than likely lead to failure.
A smart goal is Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-limited.
- "I will lose 2lbs per week for the next eight weeks"
- "I will write in my food diary each night for a four-week period"
- "I will read for 10 minutes to my children five nights a week"
- "I will go swimming once a week with my children."
If you make your goals smart, you are more likely to succeed. Broaden your goals to health and well-being, not just weight loss!