Potty training and reaching your goals. What do they have in common?

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Potty training and reaching your goals. What do they have in common?

About two months ago we woke up one morning and decided it was time to start potty training our 2 almost 3 year old(31 months). We didn’t make a plan or decide to start Monday we just decided we had a few days of down time so let’s give it a try. Now we were lucky and our little man picked it up almost straight away and the whole process caused us very few headaches and messes to clean up. What really amazed me was how much the whole process was similar to weight loss or any fitness goal. Please keep reading as I explain the numerous angles that this is true.


First we just started! We didn’t put it off again and again. We just jumped in and committed to consistency.


Consistency was and still is key. We asked the little man regularly if he needed to pee. We watched him to look for signs of weakness or distraction that would aid in an accident. And most importantly I think is we were consistent and continue stay consistent with the positive dialogue and energy surrounding the good and bad. We maintain positive energy and a positive dialogue when he is successful on the potty and when he has an accident.


How many of us could learn from this with the way we talk to ourselves? A little positive dialogue can go a long way on the road to goals. With our little guy he knows an accident is no big deal he just says he will ‘be better next time’(toddler speak for it is ‘okay we will try again next time’) and heads off to play.


Can you imagine if every time we fell off the fitness or nutrition wagon we just said ‘be better next time’ and carried on with our lives with no guilt or shame! We would all be crushing our goals and it would seem effortless without all the emotional baggage we attach to it.


We used rewards for highly reward and treat motivated toddler. If a prize works for you to develop a consistent system then use one! Some people thrive on getting their reward/cheat meal in a week. Some people thrive on working towards a new gym outfit or night out. If you are motivated by a reward then make a plan and get to it! I am sure some parenting books would say this system is bad for development. I know some studies have shown it doesn’t always work in weightloss but I am a big believer in do what works for you! If you haven’t found what works for you give this a try with the positive dialogue your foundation.


For some people rewards are not motivating so find what is and stick to it with a POSITIVE dialogue.


When we went out of our normal situation/routine there was a couple accidents. What I learned from this…I knew we were in a different situation and I should have been more prepared/diligent with my systems because they were easily interrupted. So what did I do? When we are in a new situation I go back to my extreme consistency and motivation that I started with to get to my goal of potty training. Just like our health goals it is easy to become complacent when things are going well. It is up to us to prepare for turbulent situations so we can be just as successful in them.


For example this week I know he will be sleeping in a different bed on the weekend and in a different environment so I will go back to some more treat motivation, I will monitor his water intake before bed closely(this is where accidents happen for him), if I hear him stir in the night I will ask him if he needs to pee and I will also remember to remind him regularly. He has developed good habits at home to not need all this help but good habits in every situation take time. Just like it is easy to eat well and exercise in our regular routine but when things are a little out of the normal we can struggle to stay on top of our healthy habits.


All of this was affirmed a few weeks ago when we were out of our normal habitat and a few accident happened. I of course tried to beat myself up for not helping him by doing all the things above but instead I learned from it. I used some positive dialogue and said to myself ‘be better next time’.


Hopefully you can have a positive and useful take away from this. Next time you feel like you fell off the fitness or nutrition wagon, instead of beating yourself up for the next day, week or month just say to yourself ‘be better next time’ and give yourself a positive chance at the next meal, next workout or next planning opportunity. Watch yourself for signs of distraction and remind yourself of what your goal is. Make a plan to incorporate your healthy habits when you are outside of your normal routine. Keep your chin up and love yourself enough to be positive!



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