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Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Purpose and Strategy is not enough

It may not come as news to most of my dear readers that in order to achieve change in our lives we need to have a goal and a plan on how to reach that goal. Then we have to make the changes necessary to achieve that goal.

Here's a new way to look at things.

First of all I am not a big fan of the word goal. To me, it denotes an end point - I have reached my goal - the end. So let's change this word to purpose.

What is my purpose? What is the one thing I am trying to achieve? What direction does my life need to have in order to satisfy this desire? (see you can't say "I reached my purpose" now can you?) How would I like people to describe me?

I want to live a healthy, joyful, lean life. I want to have an athletic body in function and in form. This is my purpose (hopefully not my only purpose in life, but pretty damn important to me at the moment!).

I want people to say "You know Katie - she is the one that is really lean and healthy. I hear she gets up really early every day to train at the gym and absolutely loves it. Have you seen her arms? She gets on airplanes and puts everyone's luggage in the overhead locker!" rather than "You know Katie - she only weighs 55kgs now but she used to be 85kg".

So what must I do to achieve a healthy, joyful, lean life in an athletic body? I have to train, eat well, and address the issues in my head that prevent me from achieving what I want. This is my strategy. Not just a plan that is formulated and followed to the letter, but an active strategy that changes, develops and grows as my experience and knowledge increases.

But having a purpose and a strategy is not enough. How do I act on this?

By living consciously. Every time I chose an action or a behaviour I ask myself this simple question - is this action or behaviour in alignment with my purpose and strategy? Is this the wisest thing to do in this situation? How can I meet my present longings in the context of everything I want out of life?

I have been doing some inner discovery prompted by your comments about how harsh I am on myself. I accept that in the area of health and body image I could use some improvement in my self esteem (other areas need some work too but let's just start here). I have discovered so much about myself today that I am almost overwhelmed. So many things make sense now. I will share as much as I can with you in the coming days.

But for today - write these words and put them on your mirror and on your computer screen -
Behavioural Alignment
The third one is the kicker!


  1. This IS serious - yes! but you've made me smile and laugh about putting up peoples luggage on the planes!!!

  2. Great post! Going to do what you said now.

  3. Katie,
    what an awesome turn around - I am off to write these three words down too.

    Maryanne x

  4. You said:
    "I want to live a healthy, joyful, lean life. I want to have an athletic body in function and in form."

    You are living it and you already have that athletic body in function and in form. You just want a few tweaks to get it even better.

    When it comes to food stop the guilt (something I'm working on).
    As was spelt out to me, eat healthy foods 90% of the time and if you over-indulge one day just cut-back the next day to balance things out.

  5. Katie,

    this is a Pullitzer Prize winning post. Your BEST by far. I think you really hit the nail on the head.