Well….another trip around the sun. Another 365 days to put in the rearview mirror.
Did you have a great year and reach all your goals? Or are you like most of us and lost steam, seeing your goals fall by the wayside?
For me, it’s the latter. Every year I tell myself, “this is MY year” and inevitably, at years end, I’m right back to where I started; unhappy with the state of my health and wishing I had tried harder and stuck with it longer.
My resolution every year is to clean up my diet and train daily. I start off on fire, but around March the excuses creep back slowly, and before you know it, it’s dirty food and lazy training. Why do we fail at sticking to our resolutions? Why is it so easy to fall back into old habits?
The short answer: we set ourselves up for failure.
Here’s why we’re doomed to fail and how to fix it:
We try to do too much too fast!
For me, when I get an idea in my head or establish a goal, I’m 1000% invested and it’s full steam ahead. Take my daily training for example; day 1 after setting that goal, I absolutely smashed an hour of training. The harder I train, the most effective right?
The human body hates dramatic, rapid change and when you introduce something alien, it shocks your system so bad you can’t help but obsess over the change and become hyper-aware of it.
When I add in daily training at high physical demand, the next session is all I can think about. So much so that I was literally having dreams about how hard it would be. Crazy right?
That’s my subconscious letting me know that it’s having a mini freak out. Do that for long enough, and eventually, you’ll give in. The Fix: Try introducing training 3-4 times per week at moderate resistance/intensity.
Only focus on that one thing a week.
This will also help your mind become at ease with the task at hand and not become overwhelmed by all the changes you have to make.
Baby steps are the key!
We’re too hard on ourselves
This is my biggest downfall.
Every time I have a goal in mind and slip a little bit (missing 1 training session); I beat myself up ruthlessly over it. My self-talk becomes so negative that it makes me feel like such a failure, I quit altogether. “I knew you weren’t going to be able to do it”…..”
Here we are again, back at square one”……”
You’re not mentally strong enough make it through one week of training!?
You’re WEAK” Crazy how your mind is your own worst enemy, right?
The Fix: Allow yourself to have minor slip-ups! It’s OK to have little setbacks here and there. No one is perfect, and that goes for you as well. Of course, don’t use it as an excuse to purposely cheat, but if the slip-ups do happen (they will), tell yourself its no big deal and move on. Don’t dwell on it!
We compare ourselves to others
You’re making a ton of headway towards your goal and then BAM, you see someone else who has the same goal as you making more progress than you are. You’re crushed. “How is it that they be so much further ahead than I am!?”
You then get discouraged, tell yourself you can’t do it, and then quit. All because you think someone is doing better than you. What you don’t realize is how they struggle with the same things you do and they’re most likely feeling the same way.
The Fix: Know in your heart that no one else’s progress matters but yours and yours alone. Look, everyone is different and everyone responds differently to change. Some people adapt super-fast. Some don’t. That’s just life.
But guess what?
You’re running your own race and no one else’s. You are the only one that matters and the success of others has no bearing on your commitment to yourself. You do you!
We set unrealistic goals
“I’m going to lose 30kgs this month!”……. “I’m going to quit my job, sell everything, and start a multimillion-dollar company tomorrow!”….. “I’m going to quadruple our net income this year!” You see where I’m going?
Setting big goals is OK, but if you set a goal that is SO BIG that it’s not feasible to attain it in the time frame you’ve given yourself, you are going to quit, and you are going to fail.
The Fix: This is a tough pill to swallow for some, but you have to be realistic about your goals. You need to take a step back, look at the big picture and ask yourself “is this a reasonably attainable goal?”
I know the saying goes “Aim for the moon and if you miss you’ll fall among the stars,” and that’s all well and good, but you can’t make it to the stars if you never get off the launchpad!
Having unrealistic goals will leave you grounded permanently. Start with small goals, knock those out, then move on to bigger goals. Remember, a combination of 10 micro-goals toward an ultimate macro goal will get you there WAY faster than one unrealistic macro goal.
We set too many goals
This is another fault of mine. When I’m fired up and highly motivated at the beginning of my “journey” I get a little goal crazy. One goal turns into ten, and before I know it, I’m so overwhelmed I don’t complete ANY of them. Paralysis by analysis I like to call it.
The Fix: Limit the number of goals you set for yourself to a maximum of 3. 1 goal would be ideal, but you should do no more than 3. Especially if you’re not accustomed to goal setting. Finished the goal faster than you thought? GREAT! Now move on the the next one!
We don’t have any commitment structures in place
The human mind is a jerk sometimes. You know you want to achieve your goal SO BAD, but your mind keeps trying to convince you to fall back into your old habits and forget about your goal (because the mind hates change, remember).
It’s so easy to convince yourself to stay in bed and miss a morning workout, to say I’ll get it in later, or worse still, I’ll do it tomorrow. The reason: you aren’t as committed as you need to be to do to achieve your goals! No one else is going to achieve your goals for you.
The Fix: Who looks back at you in the mirror, who is the person behind your name? How do you carry yourself from day to day, your interactions with others? What are you really like on a good day as well as a bad day, in face of a challenge or a great reward?
How do you react to the world around you? We ask all coaches who aspire to train our members, “what would be your top three values if you started a business tomorrow?”. Treat yourself the same way, what are your top three values, and why?
Don’t stop at three, grab an extra sheet and keep going. Draw a map of your value valley. We all find pleasure in different things, and it’s important to understand both what you like and dislike. Being able to say, “this does it for me,” forms a crucial part of our identity, so take some time to figure out what makes you feel good.
Our goals aren’t measurable
Having a goal is awesome, but not being able to measure it in any way is a recipe for disaster. Without a target number, percentage, or some quantifiable metric, it’s tough to see how much progress you’ve made, if you’re on target, or if you’ve made progress at all!
The Fix: Pick goals that can be measured in some way. Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight” instead, say “I want to lose 18kgs in 6 months.” Now you have a measurable goal that allows you to check your progress along the way.
Take the 18kgs in 6 months goal I just mentioned; you can extrapolate that out and know you need to lose around 3 kgs each month to reach your goal, or a little less than a kg a week. BOOM easy! Check your progress along the way and see where you stand!
2019 CAN be your year, but you’ve got to set yourself up for success. Use the tools here to put your best foot forward and have a happy, healthy, and successful 2019!
Better | Happier | Longer You Got This -Paul