Episode 27: Goal-Setting and Habits with Fibromyalgia

Goal-Setting and Habits with Fibromyalgia

The Gentle Approach that Leads to Powerful Results

We don’t love New Year’s Resolutions, but it’s that time of year. A lot of people are making resolutions, like: I’m going to get in shape, I’m going to eat better, I’m going to get control over my finances. Well, the ideas and intentions are good, but resolutions don’t really set you up for success. In this episode, Tami will teach you how to create the foundation that you need, the support that you need, and the structure that is needed in your life to allow change to happen, and to happen easily.

Key Points

  • Why do so many of us fail at New Year’s Resolutions, even when we are desperate to see these positive changes in our lives.
  • Goal setting is also a challenge, especially for those of us with fibromyalgia. Learn why even S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-oriented) are not enough to bring you success.
  • Find out Tami’s super simple secret to make reaching your goals automatic.
  • Set your life up in a way that it becomes easier to do the thing, than to not do the thing.

Links & Resources

Note: This episode’s show notes and transcript contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we will likely receive a small commission. Read about what we do and don’t promote here.

  • Get free copies of Tami’s books here
  • Resolution Evolution 2020 has been postponed. Visit this link to find the new date and purchase tickets when they become available.
  • Your world doesn’t revolve around your illness. It revolves around your healing. Stories of Hope and Healing is a graduation celebration of the International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute. Join us on Saturday, January 18th at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time to hear how each of our newest graduates have been able to improve their fibromyalgia symptoms at IFCIgraduation.com.
  • Tami will be teaching LIVE, one class each month for the entire year. Her first workshop will be Gentle Goal Setting for Fibromyalgia, an expansion of what you’re going to hear on today’s episode. These classes will not be recorded, so we hope you can join us LIVE on Monday, January 13th at 3:00 p.m. Pacific time. Go to FibroWorkshop.com to RSVP, get the workbook, and get ready to make meaningful progress toward living a life you love.
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear on Amazon (affiliate link)
  • Below you will find both a full transcript and video of the episode, with any studies mentioned in the show linked in the transcript.
Play Video


You’re listening to the Fibromyalgia PodcastEpisode 27. 

Welcome to the Fibromyalgia Podcast! I’m your Coach, Tami Stackelhouse. 

In today’s episode, I’m going to be giving you a crash course on setting goals and helping you create some healthy habits. This is the time of year that we all look back on the past year, and look ahead to the new year and think about what we could do differently, what we’d like to accomplish, what we’d like to change, and what we’d like to get rid of. I want to give you guys some tools that are going to set you up for success in the new year.

[01:22] Before we dig in, I have this week’s listener shout out for you and a few events I want to let you know about that are happening this month. 

First I want to give a shout out to Melissa of Melissa vs Fibro. She shared one of our posts on Facebook, and I happened to catch it and wanted to share it with you guys.

[01:43] She says, “If you want education, information and inspiration, check out the Fibromyalgia Podcast. I highly recommend a binge of the backlog, including the episode with Dr. Jarred Younger. But this…. Gratitude is truly life changing. I’m so thankful for Tami and her work”.

[02:06] To give you guys an idea, those two episodes, if you want to go check them out, Episode 21 is my interview with Dr. Jarred Younger, where we focus on the latest in fibromyalgia research. We talk about the research he’s been doing, how he got into researching fibromyalgia, as well as what we can expect from him in the upcoming year with new fibromyalgia research.

[02:33] Episode 24 is all about practicing gratitude even with fibromyalgia, so I hope you’ll go check those out. It’s at FibromyalgiaPodcast.com/21 for Episode 21 with Dr. Jarred Younger and FibromyalgiaPodcast.com/24 for the “Practicing Gratitude With Fibromyalgia” episode.

[02:58] Now, I want to share with you a couple of special events that are happening this month, in January 2020. Now, depending on where you live, you may be able to take part in all of these or just some of these. There is one that is a live “in person” event and two that are virtual events.

[03:18] The first event is the live event. This is going to be held in Bellingham, Washington and it is partly education for the community but also a fundraiser for the Bellingham schools. This is going to be on Saturday, January 11th. We will include a link in today’s show notes if you’re interested in finding out more information, purchasing tickets, RSVPing, [etc.] I’m going to be speaking along with five others. We’re going to be talking all things Resolution Evolution. That is the name of the event. I hope you can join us if you’re nearby.

[04:00] The second event I want to share with you is our next graduation. This is our Stories of Hope and Healing event. I do this twice a year. This is for the students and coaches who are graduating from my training program. They are all people who have fibromyalgia themselves, and as part of the graduation event—first off, obviously we’re celebrating that they completed their training program, but we’re also giving them a chance to share their stories with you.

If you are interested in attending, it’s totally free. It is Saturday, January 18th, at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time, and we will have all of the details on how to attend. It’s a virtual event you can enjoy from your own home and listen to hear their stories, get yourself some hope, and hear how they’ve been able to improve their own fibromyalgia symptoms.

[05:00] If you are interested in that, we’ll have the link in the show notes, but you can also go to IFCIgraduation.com. That’s I F C I, for International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute, IFCIgraduation.com. You’ll be able to RSVP there, get all the details, read a little bit of information about the folks who are graduating and their stories.

[05:28] The third event is something I am so excited to announce. This is something new I’m going to be doing for 2020, and I really hope that you’ll join us. I am so excited about this. I am going to be teaching a live class once a month for the entire year. Now, this was suggested to me by one of my coaches.

[05:56] I love doing these podcasts, and I love getting notes from you and doing the listener shout outs, but at the same time I’m doing this episode in my office, at my house, by myself. I don’t get to see your lovely faces. I don’t get to have questions from you and or to interact with you. Sometimes, it feels a bit lonely. I really wanted to find a way where I could connect with you guys on a much more personal level, have a little bit more face-to-face time, so… I am going to be teaching these classes LIVE, once a month for the entire year. I am excited to make these free. Anyone can come.

[06:43] There are a couple of special caveats I’m going to give you for these classes. First off, because we are going to be talking about fibromyalgia and I want to give people the chance to ask questions when possible, we are not going to be recording these events. If you are interested in the topics, I hope that you can attend live. There’s no charge, but you do have to RSVP so we can send you the link. Each class will have a separate link.

[07:15] The second thing is we are going to be locking the call. Locking the doors, like at a concert where they don’t let you in five minutes after the event starts. Again, we are doing that to protect everyone’s privacy. We want to make sure the persons who are attending have the chance to be open and honest, ask questions, and not be interrupted.

[07:44] Make sure if you’re interested [to click on the] link I’m going to give you. This first event is going to be on Monday, January 13th. It’s going to be at 3:00 p.m. Pacific. That’s 6:00 p.m. Eastern. Just go to FibroWorkshop.com and you’ll be able to get all the information, RSVP, and get that special link. Make sure you’re there ready to go, because when the event starts we are going to be locking [down] five minutes after we start.

[08:21] Now, this first one is going to be an expansion of what you’re going to hear on today’s episode, I am going to be conducting our Gentle Goal Setting Workshop, where you will get a whole workbook. You will be able to work in that workbook. I will walk you through the steps of setting some health goals, setting up the steps that you’re going to accomplish to meet those goals—really setting you up for success in 2020, so I really hope you can come. It’s going to be so much fun. I can’t wait to see your faces and teach this live.

[09:00] Again, that’s going to be our Gentle Goal Setting Workshop on January the 13th. That’s Monday at 3:00 PM Pacific Time, 6:00 PM Eastern Time. Go to FibroWorkshop.com to RSVP, and get on the list so that you are notified when we have the dates and the topics of the future episodes.

[09:24] All right, you guys, those are our events. 

Are you ready to get a little crash course on goal setting and habit building? 

Now, first I want to talk about why I don’t love New Year’s resolutions. This is the time of year, you know, a lot of people are making resolutions, and it’s things like: 

  • I’m going to get in shape.
  • I’m going to eat better.
  • I’m going to get better control over my finances. 

Well, that idea and the intention is good, but resolutions don’t really set you up for success.

Number one, they’re only… Oh gosh, what is the word I’m looking for? You guys? Okay, so they’re not specific enough. Saying things like, “I’m going to eat better.” Does that mean I have a salad occasionally? Does that mean that I cut out sugar? Does that mean I’m going on a keto diet? Does that just mean I’ll eat… what? We don’t know. Right? We need to be a little bit more specific.

Resolutions also don’t give you the steps to follow to actually make that thing happen in your life. They don’t create the foundation that you need, the support that you need, the structure that is needed in your life to allow that thing to happen, and to happen easily. Goal setting is also often a challenge, largely for those of us with fibromyalgia, mostly because we don’t break the steps down small enough. We don’t break the goal down small enough. Again, we don’t create the structure that is needed in our life to make it easier to accomplish that thing than it is to not accomplish that thing.

[11:24] In our next episode, we’re going to be talking with a professional athlete about how to exercise with fibromyalgia. If you’ve been thinking, “Oh, I want to get in better shape”, and you’ve thought about making that a resolution, make sure you tune into our next episode to get some more concrete ideas. As I mention in the next episode, in the interview, the whole point is to set up life in a way that it becomes easier to do the thing, than to not do the thing. 

Now, creating habits is, to me, the secret to making goals work because habits are all about programming your life and your brain — a little bit like a computer — so that you are automating things.

A good example is: when you walk out the door, you turn off the lights. A lot of you may have this habit where you walk out of the room and you hit the light switch, even if it’s not on, because your body just does it. Locking the car door when you get out of the car, or whatever that might be. 

This might also look like certain routines. Maybe you have a routine that you follow either in the morning or at night. I have a routine. I’ve talked about it on this podcast, where I get ready for bed at night, and I always do the same things in the same order. I never forget to take my supplements at night because they’re part of this routine. I don’t forget to brush my teeth, it’s part of this whole thing. I go through this routine almost without thinking.

[13:11] You can harness this same kind of [energy] with habits to help you meet your goals. This might look like: “Every time I brush my teeth, I am going to do a pushup” or something, whatever it is. I’ll give you a real one that I’m actually doing right now. I’ve been feeling like I need to build up my own stability, right? That’s something that a lot of us with fibromyalgia are a little bit challenged with, is balance issues. Wearing high heels occasionally — I don’t do it very often, but when I do, I just want to feel a little bit more stable. I thought a good thing to do would be to strengthen my ankles.

[13:57] One of the ways I’m doing that… When I’m brushing my teeth, you know, I have an electric toothbrush. It beeps every 30 seconds to switch the part of the mouth that you’re brushing. I’ll stand on one leg for 30 seconds until it beeps. Then, I move to another part of my mouth and I switch to the other leg. Then, I do 30 seconds on that leg and just keep on. It’s something that I’ve built into what I’m doing. It’s interesting because just in this short amount of time that I’ve been doing that, I noticed that when I stand on one leg, I don’t wobble around so much. Those little things can actually help you create even bigger things.

[14:40] Here are some tips for you. Those are my stories. Now, I’m going to do a little bit of education and coaching for you guys. You probably have heard of setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals: S for Specific, M for Measurable, A for Attainable, R for Realistic, T for Time-oriented.

[15:04] A “smart goal” would be something like: I’m going to lose 10 pounds by June 1st. It’s specific, it’s 10 pounds. I’ll know when I’ve reached it, right? It’s measurable, right? We know how much 10 pounds is. It’s achievable. I can do 10 pounds in six months. Right? That’s super attainable. It’s realistic, right? It’s not like I’m going to lose 10 pounds by tomorrow. Right? It’s realistic and it has a deadline. It’s time oriented.

[15:42] There are a lot of things with that…. That’s not enough. It goes back to what I was saying earlier about creating structure in your life that supports you creating those habits and meeting those goals. Just saying that I’m going to lose 10 pounds by June 1st, but then I do nothing to change how I eat, or change how I move, all of those kinds of things. What is the likelihood that I’m actually going to meet that goal?

[16:09] Setting the goal is not enough. This is a lot of what we do in the Gentle Goal Setting Workshop. We are actually breaking it down. What does that look like? What habits do I have to create? What does it look like to be someone who is losing 10 pounds? 

A great resource that I can share with you, and it’s so funny because I just read this book recently. It was like everything I read, I’m like, “That’s so funny. I’ve been teaching my clients this for 10 years.” If you want to read a book, if you’re a reader, if you love that, then I highly recommend the book Atomic Habits (affiliate link) by James Clear. There is a lot of information in there that is the same that I teach my clients. It’s a great resource for you. 

The point of the “atomic” part of the Atomic Habits is that you’re breaking things down into the absolute smallest possible piece, which we really need to do with fibromyalgia, and it creates an enormous change in your life. Just like atomic explosion. Atomic, like atom — super small — and atomic, like an atomic explosion creating something really big. 

A lot of what I do with my clients is helping them strategize. Helping them break down the goals they want to accomplish. Breaking them down into small steps that they can take daily and weekly. It’s helping them shift their mindset, a very powerful thing.

[17:47] You can do it. Start thinking like the person you want to become. I know that sounds a little vague. I’ll give you some specifics. Let’s say that you were at a Christmas party. As I’m recording this, that’s the kind of thing that’s happening right now. Let’s say you’re at a Christmas party, and people are drinking. Let’s say you’re trying to cut back on the amount of alcohol you’re drinking, for whatever reason. Which do you think is more powerful when someone offers you a drink? You saying, “I’m trying to drink less” or saying “I don’t drink”?

You could apply the same thing to eating sugar. Someone brings you a plate of cookies. “Oh, I’m trying to cut back on the amount of sugar I’m eating” or “I don’t eat sugar. Thanks.” Which do you think is going to give you the most support? 

I mean, number one, which is most empowering for you, but number two, which one is going to get people to say, “Oh, okay”, or say, “Oh, come on, you can just have one. Right?” 

There’s a whole different identity with being the person who is doing or not doing the thing. “I’m a nonsmoker” versus “I’m trying to quit smoking.” Right? “I am the person who exercises” versus “I’m trying to create an exercise routine”, or “I’m the person who always makes the bed every morning” or “I’m trying to…” You know, it’s very different.

[19:21] Setting those identity-type goals and becoming the person who does the thing is huge—and it’s sometimes hard to wrap your brain around. One of the ways you can wrap your brain around this is to think about what the person who has that thing or does that thing, what their life looks like, and how is that different than yours? 

Let’s say you’re trying to become someone who is more active. What does that person’s life look like? Well, they probably routinely do some sort of physical activity, exercise or walking, or whatever it might be. They might eat a little bit differently. They probably are drinking lots of water. They might be getting more sleep, or whatever it might be. Look at what those things are.

[20:17] For example, being that this is the Fibromyalgia Podcast, if you are looking to be a person whose fibromyalgia is under control, what does someone DO who has their fibromyalgia under control?

[20:35] I can give you some hints, because I’m one of those people. I make sure I get enough sleep. I am careful about keeping my boundaries, saying no to the right things, saying yes to the right things, making sure that my priorities are in line because I don’t have unlimited energy. 

That’s true for everybody on the planet, right? We’ve talked about this in the episode “Say NO So You Can Say Yes.” You can go back and take a look at that. We’ll have the link in the show notes.

[21:05] Think about it. What are the things that someone does, who has their fibromyalgia under control? I promise you, we’re not pulling all-nighters. We’re not eating crap all the time. We’re not, you know… we’re not [doing] a lot of stuff. There are a lot of things we do. Look at that, and let that help inform your choices for the habits that you want to build and the goals you want to set.

[21:32] Another thing that is super important, especially with fibromyalgia, with chronic pain, and with chronic illness: we’ve had so many things in our lives that didn’t turn out the way that we expected. We may have had to quit a job. In our next episode, you’re going to hear about how Megan had to give up being an athlete for a little while and come back to it. There are just a lot of things we haven’t accomplished or have had to give up.

[22:07] The number one thing that I do with my clients when we’re goal setting, is actually create the habit of accomplishing your goals. Setting those baby goals so small that there’s no way you can’t do it. For instance, if I was coaching someone on wanting to be the person who is active, we might start with just putting on your tennis shoes, maybe walking for a minute, maybe driving to the gym, even if you don’t go into the gym. Starting with something so small that you can actually do it.

Another thing that I really like to do with my clients is to get you connected to WHY. Why do you want to accomplish this thing? Are you wanting to lose weight because society is telling you you should lose weight? Maybe you don’t actually want to. Maybe you’re comfortable in the body that you have. Maybe it’s really about looking good in your clothes, and there’s another way to accomplish that. There are a lot of things we can take a look at, but you have to be connected to why you’re doing it, because willpower alone just is not enough. It just isn’t.

The other thing that we have to do is make sure we’re moving towards something — creating something that we want — not just moving away from something that we don’t want. Losing weight is a classic example of this, right? We get frustrated with the clothes in our closet. Things don’t fit right. We are uncomfortable. We get frustrated. We decide, “That’s it. I’m losing weight.” You’re moving away from that, being uncomfortable in your clothes, being uncomfortable in your body.

Well, you lose 10 pounds, 20 pounds. Your clothes are fitting again, maybe even getting a little bit too big. You’re starting to feel good. Everybody around you is giving you compliments because, “Oh, good for you. You’ve lost weight.” That kind of takes away the why I’m running away, right? Why I’m moving away and wanting to lose weight. It’s not enough to carry you towards maybe losing another 80 pounds if you’ve got a 100 pounds to lose, right?

[24:35] You’ve got to [understand] why you’re doing this. Get really connected to why you’re doing this, and think about what it is that you’re creating. I try really hard to make sure that my clients are really connected, both in their hearts and in their minds, to what it is they’re doing this for and what they want life to look like.

[24:59] If you are sitting there, and you are in a fibro body, and it’s causing you a lot of pain, don’t do it just to get out of pain. Think about what getting out of pain will allow you to do. Will you be able to get down on the floor with your grandkids and play with them? Will you be able to be active with the rest of your family? 

One of my coaches — I love telling her story — she didn’t want to be the person who was holding the coats anymore, right? By reducing her fibro symptoms and getting more in shape, she’s no longer the person holding the coats. She’s actually out there with her family on the walk, participating and active with them. Think about what it is that you want to create, why it is that you’re doing this.

[25:52] We also want to build in rewards. Our brains want and crave that. That dopamine hit of checking off the box that you did it, of meeting your goal, of accomplishing it. If you don’t set rewards for yourself along the way, it’s just going to feel like a grind. You really want to give your brain that happy hit as you accomplish things. That may look like: “When I do this thing, I’m going to give myself this reward.” An example that James Clear uses in the book Atomic Habits (affiliate link), is walking on the treadmill is the only time you get to binge watch your favorite show on Netflix. Tying the thing you want to do with something that you need to do but maybe don’t necessarily want to do.

Just recently, to give you an example from my own life, last night I wanted to play a game. My husband is sitting in the living room, playing a game. I’m like, “Oh, that looks like so much fun. I want to play a game. I will get to play a game as soon as I am finished proofing the transcript for Episode 26.” After I was finished proofing the episode, then I got to play my game. Giving yourself that reward is part of setting yourself up for success.

[27:24] Teaching your brain: You can do this. You can accomplish things. You can meet goals. Because I am betting if you’ve had fibromyalgia for any length of time at all, your brain is probably thinking you can’t. There have probably been too many times where you’ve had to cancel plans with your friends, or have set goals and then had to, you know, not meet them. We need to retrain your brain that YOU CAN DO this.

[27:56] We also need to give you the right support. Now, I mentioned that a few times, about setting up your life in such a way that it’s easier to do something than it is to not do it. I want to give you a few examples of that. This is the structure of your life, structuring your life so that it makes it easier. I’ll give you some examples from my clients.

A classic one, if you’re trying to lose weight… I know I’m using this as an example a lot. It’s just something that a lot of people can relate to. I am certainly not implying that this needs to be your goal. Because a lot of people can relate to it, I like to use it as an example.

[28:39] If your goal is to lose weight or to be healthier, maybe reduce your cholesterol numbers, your blood pressure, or your blood sugar levels, one of the things you can do to help structure your life, is not have a bunch of junk food in the house, right? If you always have candy or ice cream or cookies or whatever it is, then that’s going to make it harder for you. Right? Because it’s right there.

If you are trying to be the person who is more active, just being more and more physically active, getting a little bit more in shape, then you can do things like making sure that, you know, you’ve got your gym clothes with you. You can set it up so that you have space in your calendar.

[29:37] That’s one of the things that happens to me over and over again. Something I’m continually working on is: I will schedule my coaching calls with my clients, my classes, recording the podcast, and I realize that, “Oh, I filled up my day and there is no space for me to go for a walk.” There is no space in my day to do whatever it is that I’m trying to do. You’ve got to actually put it on your calendar. 

Maybe you’re learning a new skill. Maybe you’re learning to play the guitar. Stick it on your calendar.

[30:18] Maybe you want to be better about connecting with friends and family. Put it on your calendar. I’m going to call a friend, or I’m going to go have lunch with a friend. Put it on your calendar. You might not even know who you’re having lunch with yet, but at least you’ve saved the space for it, so that there is space in your life. That structure is there. You’re not, you know, months down the road thinking, Oh shoot, I really intended on doing X, Y, Z. You’ve got it on your calendar.

[30:51] Some of the other structural things are sometimes very unique to you, and sometimes they feel so small and so silly that you think it shouldn’t even matter, but it does. I call these “Barriers to Entry.” The more barriers there are, the harder it is to do the thing, right?

[31:17] For instance, when we moved from Portland to Bellevue, where we live now, there were a lot of things that went by the wayside. I stopped getting acupuncture because I moved away from my acupuncturist. I had to find a new chiropractor. I didn’t know where the gym was. All of those things are different now. 

Some of the ways that I could build in structure to my life and make it easier were things like finding out where the gym is, figuring out what the hours are, doing some research on who the best acupuncturist is. Reading reviews on Yelp.

[32:04] Sometimes there are things we need to do before we can do the thing. Often what I do is simply ask the question, “What do I need right now?” Sometimes the answer is, Well I need to do more research. Or, oh, I need to ask for referrals. I need to send a message to my old doctor’s office and say, “Hey, do you know someone?” I need to go on the internet and see where the gyms are near me. Whatever it might be.

[32:42] Sometimes the answer is: “What I actually need is more energy. I’m just exhausted right now.” That happened when I moved. Turns out moving three hours north to Seattle, there’s a big difference in sunlight, and I had to increase my vitamin D. I was just feeling really tired and depressed, and fixing my vitamin D levels, I had more energy. Now I’m like, okay, let’s figure out where the gym is now. Needing to ask yourself the question “What do I need right now?” Then really listening to that answer and honoring that answer.

Sometimes, those “Barriers to Entry” are things like having the right supplies. Here’s a good one: It’s kind of impossible to cook healthy food if you don’t have any in the house, right? If you don’t have groceries or if the kitchen is always a mess. If there’s a lot of stuff on the counter and there’s no space, then you’re not going to feel motivated to make dinner. There are a lot of things like: if you have the right tools, if you have the right space.

[34:00] I’ve worked with clients on things like, “I’m supposed to do these exercises for physical therapy, but you know, I don’t really have a good place to do it.” Well, what does that look like, to have a good place? Do we need to clear out a space in a bedroom on the floor? Do we need to get creative on things like where or how you’re doing it? 

My chiropractor gave me some exercises to do for my neck, and I wasn’t doing them, so I applied all of these things I’m teaching you to myself.

[34:36] First, I put the little foam thing I’m supposed to use to stretch my neck with in the place where I’m basically going to trip over it as I get ready for bed at night. That makes me aware, right? Because out of sight, out of mind. But now it’s right there, that Denneroll is helping me [remember], “Okay, I need to do this thing.”

[35:03] Then, I discovered that it worked for a little while, but as my time doing the stretches got longer and longer, I got more and more uncomfortable on the floor, because you have to lay on the floor to do the stretches. Anyway, I was lying on the bathroom floor. It’s a tile floor, so of course it got uncomfortable. Again, I’m asking myself, what do I need? “Oh, let’s go do this on the carpet. That will help.”

[35:31] Then, it was too cold in the bedroom because I like to keep my bedroom cold. I was like, “Oh, I just need to go outside the bedroom, and do it on the floor in the hall.” Funny thing, as I’m doing all of these things, just asking myself, “What do I need? Why is this hard? Why do I not want to do this?” I kept coming up with better answers, tweaking it a little bit, tweaking it a little bit more. Now, it’s actually fun to lay on the floor and do these neck stretches.

[36:07] Now that I’m out in the hallway, my cat, Sam… You guys have probably heard me talk about him — he’s the Belly of Happiness and Joy. He loves it because I’ve got my hair down on the floor and he’s like, I don’t know… it takes him back to his childhood or something. Anyway, he gets his nose down in my hair and just has some good cuddle time. Sometimes, I end up stretching my neck a little bit too long.

[36:31] Anyway, the moral of the story is: Keep asking yourself, “What do I need? Why am I not accomplishing this? Why am I resisting this?” Is it my inner 2-year-old that’s flashing back? Mom telling you to go to bed, and you just don’t want to. How can we make that better? How can we make that easier? How can we set it up so that you can succeed?

[36:57] I’m going to go ahead and leave it there for today. I hope that gives you a bunch of things to think about, and I really hope that you will come to our Gentle Goal Setting Workshop on Monday, January 13th, 3 PM Pacific — that’s 6 PM Eastern. You can go to FibroWorkshop.com to sign up for that workshop. As part of signing up, you’ll get a workbook emailed to you that you will be able to use in the class.

[37:34] We will be going through and setting up your goal for 2020. Be it a little one, be it a big one, we’re going to break it down into bite-sized pieces, and teach you even more than what I’ve taught you so far in this podcast, and really get you set up for success, so that you can start accomplishing things. Again, there are so many things that you can accomplish. There’s so much that you can do. You’ve just got to break it down into small enough pieces that it becomes doable in a fibro body.

[38:12] You guys are listening to me on this podcast and, you know, here I am, 10 years being a coach. I’ve had fibromyalgia for, I don’t know, 12 years, and I’ve accomplished all these things: creating this podcast, starting a training Institute, writing two books, on and on and on. I promise you guys, I did not accomplish that all at once. The secret to me doing all of those things is everything I told you today. It’s just taking one little baby step after another.

[38:52] You guys, my favorite fairy tale is “The Tortoise and The Hare” and I am absolutely the tortoise. Just one tiny, little baby step, not necessarily even moving very fast, but I am not going to stop. I’m going to keep going, and, eventually, I’m going to get there — and you guys can do that too. Don’t underestimate the power of tiny, little baby steps over a long enough period of time. You can accomplish so much more than you think you can, and we can totally help you do that.

All right, you guys! Next episode we are going to be talking about exercise, which will be a great opportunity for you to practice some of the things that you’re learning here. I know that word ‘exercise’ is kind of a four letter, bad word in our fibro world. I know a lot of you were very active before fibromyalgia and maybe listening to this podcast are thinking, “I wish I could get back to that.” We’re going to give you some tools to do that on the next episode.

[40:10] We also have our Valentine’s Day episode coming up, which is still in the works. I’m going to have something special for you.

[40:19] Then, Episode 30 is our next Ask The Coach. Please send in your questions to ask me, or to have me talk about in that episode.

[40:29] We’re also going to be interviewing ChronicBabe herself. We’re going to be interviewing Jenni Grover about her new project, her new venture. She’s going to be talking about Creative Resilience. That is going to come out in Episode 31.

[40:50] Stay tuned. We’ve got a lot of good stuff coming up for you guys. I hope I will see you at that class on January 13th, where we do some goal setting. Between now and then, if you’re listening to this episode, and you’re planning on coming to that class, one of the things that you can do is think about what goal you’d like to accomplish. Come with an idea in mind of what you might like to accomplish, so that we can then break down that goal, set up the structure that you need in your life, and I can coach you on how you’re going to be able to accomplish that goal.

[41:31] I will tell you if your goal is too big and we need to make it smaller. Just so you know, making goals smaller is not about not accomplishing them, it’s just about breaking it down into a small enough piece that your brain and your body can actually wrap itself around it. 

Running a marathon when you haven’t run at all is absolutely something that could be a goal, but we have to break it down small enough so that we can actually measure our progress and do the things we need to do to get to a marathon. If you have a goal of running a marathon, we need to break it down super small. Maybe do 5k, maybe just walk for a minute at first, and that’s totally fine. Just also know that our long-term goal is something much bigger. We meet a goal. We set a new goal. We meet that goal. We set another goal. And we just keep moving forward, just like that tortoise.

[42:33] All right, you guys. Have a great New Year, and hopefully I’ll see you at the class on the 13th. Meanwhile, you’ll see me back here in two weeks for our next episode. Bye!

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