Hey, this is Dr. Priyanka Venugopal, and you're listening to the Unstoppable Mom Brain Podcast, Episode 40, Believing In Impossible Things. Happy New Year's, my lovely friends. You may have noticed a little shift in my intro today, and it is lining up perfectly with where I am and what we are talking about today, and really where the direction of Unstoppable and where this podcast is going as we move into 2023.
On today's episode, we are going to be talking about the brightness of a new year and believing in new and impossible things in a way that those impossible goals start to become your in-hand inevitable results. We have been growing and evolving alongside each other this past year, and what I have come to realize more and more and more deeply is that to live in a lighter body and to really lose weight with that permanent ease, women have to feel better along the way.
Which is why I decided to rename this podcast to reflect that I help working moms lose weight and live lighter. And I think honestly, more than a weight loss coach, I think of myself as a live lighter coach because what we are talking about here, living lighter in your mind, starts to trickle into every facet of your life, especially your body.
I cannot wait to get into today's episode and let's get to. If you want to reach your ideal weight and create lightness for your body, you need to have simplicity, joy, and strategic decisions infused into your life. I'm a physician turned life and weight loss coach for ambitious working moms. I've lost over 60 pounds without counting points, calories or crazy exercise plans. Most importantly, I feel calm and light on the scale and in my life. There's some delicious magic when you learn this work and the skills I'm going to be teaching. Ready? Let's get to it.
Happy New Year, my Unstoppable Friends. This episode is all about possibility and believing in yourself in a way that you have never believed in yourself before. My word for 2023 is balance and belief, and I know it's not exactly one word, but let me tell you why they go together for me and really why I decided to have this be my personal theme for 2023.
Let me elaborate. I want to personally have more balance in my life, and I think about balance as really a harmony and an alignment of where I'm at personally, but where I want to really see my results in my body, in my work, in my relationships, where I want to see them by the end of 2023. I want to feel more balanced, more aligned, more at ease in all of these areas. And to do that, to create that balance that I am desiring, I have to believe in a little bit of the impossible. Believing in the impossible comes from believing in something that maybe you didn't know was possible yesterday or last year or the year before that, but we want it to be possible for 2023.
So let me first just get into what I even mean by impossible, like how am I defining the word impossible in the context of this episode? And I want you to really think about how this might apply for you and your goals and your desires for 2023. Something might seem impossible for you if you've never created it before.
Maybe you can't fully comprehend it because you haven't done it yet, or you're not exactly sure how you're going to do it because you've never done it before sustainably. You have no evidence for it yet, and so there's a part of your brain that thinks it's impossible. There's a little jiggling, niggling thought bumping around your brain that's like, well, we haven't done it yet, and so it might not be possible for me.
Aka we are calling this the impossible goal. Now, here's what I don't mean by impossible. I don't mean impossible in the sense of like, we're gonna grow feathers and start flying tomorrow. Okay? So I don't mean impossible in that literal sense for the intents and purposes of our Unstoppable universe in this episode, I'm referring to impossible as a way of your thinking that has not had any evidence in the past. You've never done it before, or you've never done it in a sustainable way, and so there's no evidence, and your brain is like, I don't know if I can actually create this thing that I want because I've never done it before. So now we've defined impossible goals for right now.
We're not growing feathers, but we are going to pivot in the direction of believing something new. And the intent of this episode is to help anyone listening to pivot in the direction of their desire and to really do the work, which is what we're doing on this episode, to do the work of turning your brain around to seeing how it is actually completely possible for you, even in the absence of evidence.
Friends, let me just tell you something. Believing in yourself, believing in something new for yourself, letting that new idea or dream come to life is truly the greatest New Year's gift that you can actually give yourself. Because when you believe in something new, when you let that new idea or new dream start to inspire you, when you start to let that deepest desire come to light, you'll start to reach higher than where you are right now and everyone in your universe, everything that you touch gets elevated to.
I don't want my clients staying in their safe bubble pedaling the status quo of repeating the same thing that they had this past year and the year before that. No, I want something bigger, better, and more expansive for my clients and for you. And that only happens when we reach up higher and higher, and when we believe in the possibility of something bigger and better.
I promise when we start to do this work of believing in something new for ourselves, believing in that impossible thing, you will feel lit up because your desires are coming to the surface. When you believe you can actually accomplish that impossible thing. When you feel that glimmer of excitement, the way that you show up for yourself will change, and it's that person, that person starts to experience that shift, that is the person that you will become. And seriously, the part that's the most magical of all of this is that your lived experiences start to shift too, and this is where my clients tell me this is the most priceless part of what we're doing together. I'm going to share three questions that I'm asking myself this year, and I want to invite you to ask yourself these questions too.
What will you want to really first think about, because I know for years and years in the past, I will have a list of resolutions a mile long on January 1st. I mean, if you're listening to this, how many of you have already made your list of New Year's resolutions and all of the things that you want to change?
And maybe even you feel like a gust motivation and this excitement because you see this amazing possibility for 2023 and maybe even if you're like me, you've filled out a planner of all of January and how you're going to make those resolutions happen and that plan looks perfect and gorgeous. But historically, if you look at the past year for data, and you look at the years past, by February, those plans are often forgotten.
The motivation has dissipated, and those resolutions sit in a drawer collecting dust. So what I want to invite all of us to do is instead of setting resolutions this year, I want to encourage all of us to set specific, tangible and measurable goals and constrain your goals. So instead of having a mile long list of things that you want to change about yourself and your life, choose the top two goals that are going to elevate your lived experience.
I know for the high achievers that are listening to this, you're like, seriously, just two . I want you to just, just hear me out. When you have too many goals, when you want to change too many things, it is really easy to overwhelm yourself. It feels really good when you're writing it all on paper because you're imagining this fairytale life of having changed a mile long list of things.
But when it comes to real life implementation of actually putting those things into action, what traditionally happens when we have too many things to do is too much ourselves, right? So after a few weeks it becomes too much and we just kind of quit on all of them. So I want you to just take a moment.
You can even pause this episode for a moment and just ask yourself, what are my top two goals that are measurable and tangible that would actually elevate my life's experience? You know, you best maybe one goal's enough, maybe you can handle three, but I don't want you to let your overachieving self overshoot this.
The next thing is when you think about your goal for 2023, don't be vague. This is the absolute very first misstep that I often see with clients, and I know this because I have done this myself, is I'll have a very vague goal like lose weight , right? How many of us have like had that as our weight loss goal?
Like it'll be a goal for the year, like lose weight, get stronger. Stop yelling at my kids. Be more organized, right? Like, these are just really vague goals that I think sound really good. It sounds good on paper. Lose weight, you know, be stronger. Stop yelling. You know, have more balance. Like these are all vague and the trouble with vague goals is they might sound good on paper initially, but it's very hard to implement.
It's the very first misstep because now we have a vague idea of what we want, but we have not given our brain direction, so we want our goals to be specific, clear and measurable so that you can start to [00:10:00] give your brain direction in exactly how you're going to accomplish those goals. So if something feels vague, for example, lose weight, that's a really vague way of saying that you want to live in a lighter body.
So, just allow yourself to play with getting specific, clear and measurable. What for you feels like a goal that would be a stretch, but at the same time feel really reasonable for you. If your goal is to get stronger, instead of just writing to get stronger, how would you know that you've accomplished that goal?
I think that that's probably a better way of putting it. How would you know that you could check that off of your list for 2023? If losing weight was your goal, how would you know that you did that? Is it that you wanna lose 10 pounds or 20, or 30 or 40? Like how much weight do you want to lose that by December of 2023 you can say, yes, I did this.
So for all of you that are thinking about, like, I want to yell less, how will you know that you've accomplished that goal? What would be your specific clear and measurable criteria that you could be like, yeah, December, 2023? I'm yelling less. How would you know you have done that? If your goal was to get more organized or to get ahead on your schedule, how would you specifically clearly and measurably know you've done that?
So I want you to just pause here and really think about that one or two goals that you have for 2023 and how to really put some specific, tangible, measurable criteria around that goal because it's going to help you when we get to the next three questions. Okay. So now that we have gone through choosing a specific goal that's clear and measurable, I want you to know that it might feel a little impossible.
Okay? It's totally okay. It's impossible because of what we were talking about so far at the start of this episode, right? So if you have a goal that you want to lose, 30 pounds in the year of 2023, and you've never ever done that before, or you've never done it sustainably like permanently. It might feel like a little moment of impossibility because you've not done it yet.
Why don't you just remind yourself that it's normal? If you feel like that, that feeling where your primitive brain is like, I don't know, we've never done it before, it might not be possible. I want you to just recognize it and allow your primitive brain to have that thought, but just know that it's only because you have no evidence yet.
We are going to pose now three questions that you're going to take your brain through. It's a very tangible exercise that's going to really make that impossible goal completely possible and not only possible when you start implementing the strategies that you're going to get from this exercise, your goal will become inevitable .
So if you're driving while listening to this, just mark this time spot and know that you can come back to this moment in the episode where you can pause and actually go through these questions. I highly encourage you to sit with these questions. You don't just answer them in your head, but actually write down your answers.
I promise. When you get things out of your brain and onto paper, or you type out your answers, it makes such a difference. So here are the three questions. I'm going to share all three of them at the start, and then I'm going to go back and get into why each question is so important and necessary in making your impossible goal a possible reality for you in 2023.
Question One is if you imagine yourself in 2023 in December, and imagine that you have already accomplished the goal, actually like visualize yourself there. I call this like a little mini vision quest. You can close your eyes, flash forward. It's December of 2023, and you've accomplished that goal. I want you to look back on that year knowing that you have already accomplished it, and ask yourself this question.
What was I doing on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to have accomplished this goal? Don't worry, we're gonna get into this in more detail in just a second, but just ask yourself for question number one, imagine that you're already there. You've already done it. What did you do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to have accomplished it?
Question number two, what obstacles did I have to overcome or grow beyond to accomplish this goal? And question three, imagine yourself again sitting in December, 2023 with your goal accomplished, and now you're reflecting back on the year. I want you to ask yourself, what were my most predominant thoughts and feelings that I had about myself in achieving this goal?
So those were my three questions. I wanna get into each one specifically and help you see why they are so important. So question number one was, if you flash forward to December of 2023 and you imagine that you've done it, you've accomplished the goal, maybe you've lost your 30 pounds, maybe you can deadlift a certain amount of weight, maybe you've specifically and measurably actually accomplished the goal that you have set in hand.
You're feeling light and confident and calm in maintaining this goal. And you look back at the year and you feel so grounded in how you're going to sustain this. Let's have her, your future self that's already created this, break it down for us. What did she do on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis to create this goal and now sustain it?
How did she prioritize herself on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis? How did she handle imperfect moments? How did she love the way that she was showing up in her process on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis? What did she do when she felt stress or worry or pressure, or when she didn't feel like it? How did she handle those moments?
And I want you to really think about answering these questions and getting granular. Don't be vague. Okay. So I think that this is one of those things, kind of speaking to what I was talking about earlier in the episode. It's really easy to say vague goals and have a vague action plan, but that's not giving your brain any direction.
What we're doing in question number one is we are reverse engineering how you actually create these goals. And I wanna tell you, this is a little mind bendy, but it's ridiculously powerful. Now, I know for high achievers that feel very practical in this, they're like, I don't know how I did it, because I'm not my December 23 year old version yet, I want you to take your best guess.
I want you to actually put yourself there. Take 60 seconds for your visualizing that you did this. Get really granular with what does your week actually look like? If you actually accomplished this goal and it was done, how would you have prioritized your time for yourself in implementing this goal?
Really get granular here and write it down. Take your best guess and write this down. Okay, so question number two is what obstacles would you have had to overcome or grow beyond to make your goal, just your it's done reality by December of 2023? Listen, you're going to have obstacles. It's just a fact, and I say this because if there were no obstacles, if there were no hard moments, you would've already solved this problem.
Right? What's happened historically is when we have had obstacles or moments that have been hard, they've been hard enough that our vehicle in achieving our goal has been stopped and we've turned around. So what we want to do is we want to use our most brilliant brains and reflect on this past year, reflect on 2022, or the year before or the year before that.
And really look clearly at what were your obstacles this past year or in years past that have blocked you? What were the obstacles or those hard moments that turned you around in the past? So if it was a weight loss example, if you have a weight loss goal, maybe you didn't love your plan so much, so many times they see time and time again.
When clients first start coming to work with me, they're like, I hated how I was trying to lose weight. I hated it. We tell you that's a big obstacle. If you hate your weight loss process, I'm telling you it's you're going to quit at it at some point or another. That's an obstacle. Maybe you have a fear of failing.
Maybe you have an imperfect moment and you have a weekend binge, or you gain weight on a holiday or a vacation, and that imperfect moment felt so big, felt like such an obstacle that you had a micro quit and that micro quit turned into to days, weeks and months, and you turned your car around. Maybe every single time you felt like you had a challenging moment, it just felt like too much, or you had stress or worry because of work or your kids.
And because you've used food to cope with your emotional experience, that obstacle felt too big to overcome. Those moments were so big that your car paused and it turned around. Maybe you were unwilling to make some hard decisions, like, you know, you want the goal, but you just wanted the food more. That's okay.
The purpose of question number two is not to shame or blame or judge any of the obstacles that have come your way. It's to just see them clearly. We want to really take an inventory of what our obstacles have been in the past because here's what we know. If they were not obstacles, we would've overcome them already.
What we wanna know is we can look at the year past and see clearly what our obstacles have been, and then what we get to do in this question is decide how it is that we want to traverse and overcome that obstacle. Each of these obstacles has a solution, and the best news is that you get to decide what you want your solution to be for all of the obstacles that you come up with.
Because if there were obstacles in 2022, you better believe that they will likely be obstacles again in 2023. And I think that this is one of the reasons that I'm even posing this as a question because I know for me historically, and I think for so many of you on January 1st, when we sit down with our resolutions and we have a mile long list, we don't often take solid inventory of the previous year in what the obstacles actually were and why they were obstacles.
I want us to really solidly work through obstacles because I think that they are just the gateway to you achieving your goal. Question three is, to me, one of the most important questions, but I think it's important to go through questions one and two first before we get to question three. Question three was, imagine that you've accomplished this.
Imagine that you have that goal in hand. You're living lighter, you're feeling stronger, you're more organized, you're balanced, and you are now there and you're going to live there sustainably. You've gotten through obstacles, you've created solutions, and you've overcome your hard moments in a way that you didn't do in the past.
What were you thinking and feeling predominantly to show up for yourself on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to have achieved that. I'm going to share some of the thoughts and feelings that I have felt whenever I've experienced this and the thoughts and feelings that I see my clients having when they're also achieving their impossible goals.
And I want you to make your list because again, we're talking to your future self to kind of help inform how you're going to show up this year. Thoughts that have been deeply impactful for me are I matter. This goal matters. This matters more than, for example, with weight loss, my weight loss goal reaching my ideal weight matters more than this plate of nachos right now.
I will never again wait until tomorrow. This is a hard moment and I can handle it. I've got this. This is stretching me, but it's also simple. I want you to think about yours and write them down because these are like your battery. This is your battery pack for the year that's going to drive you to show up on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis towards your goal.
Here's the thing. When you go through this experience, when you go through this exercise and you start implementing in real time, this is going to make you a different person. And guess what? You just get to start practicing, get to start practicing thinking and feeling these thoughts, feeling that commitment, that determination that will light you up on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis because I promise you, January first's motivation is going to be gone by February.
Motivation at the start of anything is always fleeting, and it's why I always tell my clients motivation is the worst quality fuel. What we want to do in question three is really steep ourselves in commitment and know that it's something that we have to remind ourselves on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
That person in December of 2023 that has accomplished this goal. If we go back to these questions, questions one, two, and three. She didn't rely on January first's motivation to get her through the whole year. She had to prioritize on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis how she was going to show up for herself, how she was going to think about herself and how she was feel about this goal.
So I want all of you to think about if motivation this January 1st motivation or Monday morning's fresh start was not how you got through this year. What is it that you want to start thinking and feeling on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to take action? My friends, this is a little bit of mind bendy reverse engineering, and I almost like to think of this as a little time traveling, but it is seriously such an important tool.
I wanna really take you through weight loss as an example, before you actually reach your ideal weight in a permanent, lasting, calm and confident way, it might feel a little impossible. I've had so many clients tell me on their initial consult that losing that 10, 20, 50 pounds felt like a dream. Like they could kind of see it, but it kind of feels impossible.
It did not feel like reality. And I want you to know that it's normal that you experience this with any big goal because you've never done it and you've just told yourself you can't imagine it. But I also want to just normalize that your primitive and most reflexive thoughts are steeped in doubt and nervousness.
And sometimes what happens is under the guise of practicality, your most primitive brain will start driving your car. We've never done it before. So is it safe to even try? That's what our brains will tell us. And here's the thing, your primitive brain's most reflexive thoughts around big goals are happening to keep you safe.
But here's the thing, it's happening to keep you safe, not from actual lions and tigers and bears that can actually physically harm you. Your primitive brain is doing that to keep you safe from how you will talk to yourself if you don't hit your goal. I just want to really emphasize this because this is a reason that so many of us don't try to start.
I want you to remind yourself that there's no lion actually sitting at the finish line of the goal, and you aren't actually unsafe when you set a big audacious goal. But what high achievers are typically influenced by is their inner voice, and from the work that I do with high achieving working moms, I know that so many women have a harsh inner critic that they're completely unaware of.
This is where your primitive brain is steeping its subconscious biases in, and it's the reason that so many times we don't set big audacious goals and we don't hit them because the possibility of disappointment or despair or discouragement feels too painful. Here's what I want to tell you about hitting your audacious impossible goal of 2023.
Disappointment and despair and discouragement at the possibility of not hitting that goal is not too painful. Sure, it sucks to feel discouraged and disappointed, but I promise you that emotion is just a vibration in your body. It doesn't feel good, but it always, always passes. You don't have to let fear of that emotional experience ever drive you to not show up towards your goal.
And I say this because when we fear failing at that audacious goal, when we fear the possibility of disappointment and discouragement, I want you to really think about what we do. We can just look at the years past and think about how we have showed up. We don't try, we don't prioritize the audacious goals.
Seriously. We stop accessing our most creative solutions focused thinking, and we stay undecided. We are letting our primitive brain lead under the guise of practical safety. And honestly, the trouble with all of this is that we let a trickle of disappointment into our life on a daily basis because we keep the status quo.
I would way, way, way rather, you, me, and all of my clients, set audacious goals that we have to reach high for, do the work for, to stretch our brains for and fail. Then not set the goal at all. And I say this because in the reach of that goal, you become a different person and it's that person that fails and stumbles her way and gets back up again that will eventually hit her goal always. That audacious goal eventually becomes your in hand result because failure and the fear of failure never stopped her. I've seen so many clients shift this in our work together where they first come onto a consult call, like, I don't know, can I really believe this?
To, in our work together, how they start creating their impossible goals into their reality. Now, I just wanna put a caveat here. When it comes to impossible goals, there's something to be said about setting an over goal that really is, it's going to feel like the example that I gave at the start of this episode, which is growing feathers and flying.
I want you to imagine that you have a hundred pounds to lose, or 50 pounds to lose, or, or a number that really feels like a really big goal that you haven't created yet. I want you to really sit down and think about what feels reasonable for you to actually accomplish this. So impossible goals does not mean not reasonable.
I think that sometimes we think that, you know, if I lost a hundred pounds in six months, then that's an impossible goal. And I think sometimes in doing that, when we put a goal out there that feels unreasonable, then we start to access some of our fight, flight and fear responses that we can actually avoid. So I wanted to put that caveat out there, that losing a hundred pounds is not impossible, but the timeline that you set for it should feel reasonable. I think that it's really important to take that through the filter. So when you go back at the start of this episode and you're thinking about a specific clear and measurable goal, put that goal to a timeline that feels reasonable, that really, you know, you can actually sustain. I want you to really think about imagination because these three questions that I've posed in this episode are asking you to imagine yourself basically a year from now with that goal in hand.
And I've seen time and time again with many of my clients, and I know this was me too, where my practical self was like, I can't even imagine that. Priyanka, I don't know what you're talking about. I don't know how to imagine. I wanna tell you that telling yourself that you don't know how to imagine is a mistake.
If you go back to your childhood, your imagination was wild and active. Before at some point came along the way that you stopped dreaming and imagining before you learned to be practical. Before you ever learned to be practical, you were a dreamer. And I want you to think about how every major invention in the history of humankind first came from imagining and dreaming that something was possible.
Dreaming and imagining isn't flu, flu. It's not a waste of your time because you're already an expert in it, and it's the reason that you have so many of the things in your life that you do, right now. You've already had glimpses of the future when you imagined where you would be if dot, dot, dot fill in the blank.
So the invitation in this episode is instead of imagining failing and worst case scenarios and impossibility, I want to have you pivot and imagine your dream and desired result instead. And if the total end result feels like a total stretch, it's okay. Break it down and put it to a timeline that really feels reasonable.
Be willing to let it be slow as long as you feel like it's done. If you have 50 pounds to lose, or a hundred or a really big goal that does feel borderline impossible, break it down. Break it down to the next five or the next 10 pounds. Don't ever tell yourself that you can't do something. It's an immediate blocker.
Instead I always want to encourage you to flip it around too. I wonder how I could. Let your brain stretch here, and I promise you, this is the growing value of leveling up the quality of your thinking, and it helps you steep your brain in solution and possibility and eventual inevitability. You have to actually give yourself permission to believe and imagine and put down the barrier of practicality for just a minute.
Here's the last thing that I want to leave you with for this episode. This is not a one-time exercise. I think that this is another thing that I know that I have done and I think that so many of us do, is we sit down at the beginning of the year or the beginning of the week and we write down our plans and we feel inspired and excited and grounded and committed, but then we forget about really investing time every day to remind ourselves of why we want this.
That is a piece that I think is missing from so many New Year's resolutions and New Year's goals. So I want to encourage you, make this plan today. Allow yourself to feel that grounded, committed, lit up, excited, determination towards your goals for 2023. But don't put this in a drawer tomorrow.
Come back to it on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis and remind yourself about why you want this. It is seriously the fuel that will create in hand results by December of 2023. I hope you all enjoyed this episode today, and I hope you have a very, very, very healthy and happy New Year's, and I cannot wait to see you next week.
If you want to take this work deeper and into real life implementation, you have to learn all about the Unstoppable Group. This is my six month intimate small group coaching experience for high achieving working moms who want to live lighter and lose weight at the same time. I take my clients through a science-backed simple strategy that seriously blows their minds.
You can learn all about exactly how to work with me and when my next group is starting over at theunstoppablemombrain.com/group. And seriously, if you are enjoying the podcast, you have to be on my email list. I share some of my absolute best tips, strategies, and skills to only my email list, so make sure you're on there.
I really think of it almost as a little love letter and a magic into your email inbox because it is some of my best stuff. You can join my email list over at theunstoppablemombrain.com/magic. I'll see you next week. Bye. Thanks for listening to the Unstoppable Mom Brain Podcast. It's been an honor spending this time with you and your brilliant brain.
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