Be Optimistic (and Realistic!)

We've all done it: figured things would work out.... somehow. Here's how to make it happen.
Published March 28, 2018

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What's your most powerful healthy-living tool? You know the answer: your mind! What you think determines how you feel, which in turn leads you to act in a certain way. So when you react to a situation that hasn't gone the way you wanted—maybe you overdid it at your girlfriend's birthday party (one too many beers led to one too many slices of pizza....) or you've missed your kick-boxing class three times in a row—you might think, "Ugh, I can't believe I did that. I might as well give up." Or you might think, "Well, no big deal. I'll get back on track one of these days." The first reaction sounds negative and the second sounds positive. But they're both equally unhelpful.

The downside of looking on the bright side

Despite what Monty Python says (or sings), being overly optimistic isn't always the thing to do. While you can see where an "all-or-none" thinking style could lead you to feel hopeless and to act in ways that undermine your progress, like continuing to overeat or bailing on the gym altogether, you might not be so clear on why the "no big deal" approach is equally unrealistic and unhelpful.

As your WW Freestyle weekly explains, it's not because the thought leads to unhelpful actions, it's because the thought leads to NO actions. It really is "no big deal" that you overdid it at the party or missed a few classes—but to shift the rest of your thought ("I'll get back on track") in a helpful direction, you'll need to reality check it to make it happen. "One of these days" just won't cut it.

Thought, feeling, action!

Use the three-step activity in your Weekly to move from too-optimistic to just-right-realistic.  You've "got to have a plan," and this activity will help you create a specific, doable action plan that brings your intention to life. Without an action plan, someday will never come.

Watch your mouth

If you hear yourself saying (or thinking) any of these words or phrases, reality-check your thought so that you can get to where you want to be:

  •  "One of these days."
  •  "Somehow."
  •  "I'll figure it out."
  •  "Eventually."
  •  "Probably."

And remember, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" is a delightful song, but maybe not always the best strategy for success on your journey!