Welcome to Day 50!
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I want you to think back on that space journey that you’ve been on.
The Jumpstart Program is like learning how to fly a spaceship. You’ve already learned the basics of navigation like how to make habits, rules, and strategies. Last week you learned how to make your weekly and daily plans. You’re cruising now.
Soon, you’ll be ready to chart your own course and make your way to the Freedom Galaxy.
But, before you head off, you need to learn your emergency procedures in case something goes wrong.
Because something always goes wrong.
Emergency Procedures on Auto-pilot
My husband was a helicopter pilot in the Army and was in flight school when we first got married. It turns out that in flight school you don’t just learn to fly and take off. No, ¼ of the time you learn to fly and the remainder of the time is learning what to do if something goes wrong.
The Army wants pilots to have their emergency procedures on automatic. So, when they need them, they don’t have to use the slower Boss part of their brain. The pilots needed to have all those emergency procedures in the habit, subconscious Assistant part of the brain.
So, they learned the procedures and then practiced, practiced, and practiced until they were automatic.
I want the same thing for you. I want you to know how to fly, but also how to land safely when something goes wrong.
This week we’ll train your brain for the emergency procedures when something goes wrong, so you won’t crash and burn.
Let’s say you're going on a hike. As your walking on the hiking path, thorny bushes seem to reach out and grab you. You get cuts and scratches from the thorns. It can be painful. Sometimes you even get caught and feel stuck.
The same thing can happen on your health and weight loss path. Sometimes you get snagged.
This is what I call a Snag Point.
What is a Snag Point?
A snag point is when something unexpected reaches out, slows you down, causes pain and/ or stops you from continuing on your path.
For instance, a snag point would be when you eat ice cream after dinner on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights-- when you wanted to eat only one dessert a week on Saturday night.
Another snag point might be that you’re staying up too late watching TV, so you don’t get your workout in the next morning.
Another snag point might be that you’re feeling frustrated and you want to give up because you haven’t seen as much weight loss as you wanted.
You get the picture. Basically, a snag point is anything that you didn’t want to happen that causes you to feel pain, not make as much progress as you’d like, or makes you feel stuck.
The Power of Pain
Pain + reflection= progress.
When you get snagged, it hurts. But, pain is an important signal that there is something to be learned. And if you reflect on that pain, you will almost always learn something important.
The moment your snagged and in pain is the time to record the snag and what the pain is like.
But, it's a bad time to reflect and come up with a solution. When you’re in pain, it’s hard to see things clearly. So, don’t diagnose it right away.
Instead, when a snag happens, you’ll just record what happened and the emotions you’re feeling (anger, disappointment, frustration) and then come back during your weekly review to look closer at the snag.
During the weekly review, you’ll notice if there's a pattern with that snag. Was it a “one-off” snag? If it only happened once and it isn’t likely to happen again, you may not want to spend the time analyzing it.
Is it something that you should work on because it’s happening a lot and will probably happen again? Then, it's definitely a snag point worth focusing on.
Snags are Puzzles to Be Solved
It helps to think of snags more like puzzles rather than mistakes. The puzzle is “What would I do differently in the future so I don’t get snagged?”
Snags are important because this is where growth comes from. If we keep solving the puzzles, than we get better and we grow. Growth actually comes because there was something painful to fix.
I know it’s hard to make this shift, but snags aren’t something to be ashamed of. It’s just something to be curious about and to have compassion for yourself.
No one’s perfect.
Snag points are going to happen.
You just want to acknowledge the snag. And, then realize that snag points are signposts to what you need to work on next.
So, you’ll just retrain your brain to deal with your snag points and then keep on cruising towards your goal.
What to Do about Snags?
Gabrielle Oettingen a researcher on success created a process called “WOOP” to help make dreams a reality. By using the acronym WOOP, it puts into place a scientifically based process to Be a Scientist.
Basically, it helps you to reach your goal by defining the outcome. And, then it gets you fired up to make it a reality when you see the obstacle in the way and create a plan for it.
Here’s the short version:
W is for Wish
O is for Outcome (or the benefits you’d like to get from the wish, your “Why”)
O is for Obstacles
P is for Plan
We’ll start with Wish. What is the goal that you were trying to achieve? That’s your wish.
Now think of the Outcome or benefit that you’d get if the wish occurred. You can tie this into your “Big Why.”
What Obstacles did you face? This is the snag point or scenario that happened and kept you from achieving your goal.
Then, we’ll diagnose the root cause of the obstacle. Why did it happen?
Then, once you’ve identified the obstacle, you can create your Plan.
But you don’t have to do it all at once.
First, you’re just going to capture the Snag point by logging it.
How to Capture the Snag point
So when something happens that you didn’t want to happen, you’ll log it like this:
Open the Healthie app. You’ll go to the + (log feature) and choose Selfie. (Sorry, but there isn’t a Snag option on the app). Because it’s a selfie, you’ll have to take a picture.
Take a picture of your surroundings or whatever is throwing you off. If there isn’t really anything to take a picture of that makes sense, you can take a picture of your hand with a thumbs down.
Write down what happened.
Then describe how you feel (frustrated, disappointed, sad, confused, angry, etc).
Then, move on with your life until your weekly review on the weekend.
It might look something like this.
Picture of an empty bowl.
I ate ice cream tonight when I wanted to wait until Saturday night. I’m feeling frustrated with myself.
Trim Snag Points off with WOOP
After the snag passes and it’s weekly review time, it’s time to reflect and make the connection of “What went wrong?” and come up with a solution. It’s time to WOOP it.
You’ll use the WOOP outline along with some guided reflection questions during your weekly review to work through the Snag point. The WOOP process will help you to trim that snag point, so that thorny branch doesn’t grab you in the future.
We’ll learn all about how to WOOP tomorrow.
Sounds interesting, right?