Every year you set resolutions and by the end of January, you’ve given up. Why? You’re not a failure. You really do want this. So, what is going on?
How Do You Eat An Elephant?
Setting too many goals at once sets you up to fail, no matter what your goal. If you are trying to lose weight and get healthy, you might set goals such as, eat 7 cups of vegetables per day, cut out all sugar, drink half your weight in ounces of water, do cardio everyday and strength train every day. While it’s necessary to end up doing all of this to achieve your goal, you need to take it one bite at a time (pun intended) because waking up on January 1 and deciding to do it all at once will ensure that you will be eating a whole bag of Doritos by day 3.
Keeping It Real
Setting unrealistic goals is another sure way to fail. It’s true that you may want to earn a million dollars, but is it conceivable to do that in one year? For some people, yes, but for most of us it’s not real. If you want to lose 100 pounds, it is realistic to do that in the time frame you’ve chosen? Be realistic with yourself and your life circumstances. If you are recovering from surgery, you might not be able to run a 3K in a month. If you set your goals too high for the time frame that you are giving yourself, you will end up feeling like a failure, no matter how far you’ve come.
Use a short-term strategy to achieve long-term success. If you are traveling for the holidays, think about the fact that there are lots of turns and stops along the way. You must drive down your street, then you turn and drive down another street. Eventually, you are outside of the city limits, driving down the highway. Then another highway and another. You will eventually reach your destination by taking lots of short trips. So, set daily, weekly and monthly goals. Before you know it, you have arrived at your destination.
Why Are You Doing This?
“Well, duh, I’m doing this because I want to lose weight.” Ok, but not really. Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want that promotion? Why is it important to get organized this year? You must be able to answer this question with an answer that sets you on fire. Is it because you want to be able to play with your kids or grandkids and your weight (health) is getting in the way? Do you want that promotion because you’ll finally be able to afford the house that your family needs? Do you need to organize your house so that your emotions don’t feel so chaotic when you walk in the door at home? This is where your motivation will come from to keep you going when it gets hard. Write your “why” everywhere. Post it so that you can see it daily. Find pictures of your reason for inspiration. Put them on your phone, refrigerator, dash- everywhere you can think of.
If At First You Don’t Succeed….
What if you fail? What if you start off doing well and then something happens and you crash and burn? You already know the answer. GET BACK UP! You only fail when you give up. Taking a detour may take you a little longer to get to your destination, but you will still get there. And besides, life detours build character. I have written another article specifically on “failing.” If you’d like to read it, you can find it here.