Most people begin the new year ready for change. They purchase gym memberships, find a new hobby, or touch up their resumes, but research names the second Friday in January as Quitter’s Day, the day when people begin to lose motivation with their New Year’s Resolutions. Goals are so important. They give us direction, make us think past the present moment, and allow us to actively to take steps towards self-improvement. That being said, it can be so difficult to stick to them and stay motivated. After the initial burst of excitement passes, it becomes harder and harder to not want to give up, but often this is a product of the way people go about achieving their goals.
IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
Often when we set goals for ourselves, we want to see the results immediately, which usually is not feasible. Most things take time and when we aren’t instantly greeted with the benefits, we get discouraged. We think that all the effort that we have done was wasted when in reality, we just needed to be a bit more patient. One of the most common goals (and currently one of mine) is to get fitter. I know from experience, this is such a tough goal to achieve. It takes a lot of work, but we may not immediately see benefits, especially because some of the health benefits are not easily observed. I encourage you to stick with it. Eventually you will see the benefits and it will make everything that you have done feel worthwhile.
WE CHANGE SO MUCH AT ONE TIME
When we are excited about our goals, we try to change everything at one time. This is a recipe for disaster. You will get, burned out, frustrated, and eventually want to quit. To successfully achieve your goals, you have to ease into it. Create a road to your goal that has different stages and add something new in each stage. This will take time, but it will ensure that you will be able to reach your goal without frustration. Any big life change is a process, so you need to allow yourself the time to get there.
DON’T PROJECT YOUR HAPPINESS INTO THE FUTURE
On my recent fitness journey, I came across this blogger, Greg O’Gallagher of Kinobody Fitness, who discusses the reason people fail to reach the fitness goals. Many people get so focused on the future, that they neglect the present. They delay their happiness until the lose ten pounds, or get their dream job, and fail to live in the moment and enjoy the process. I started to observe this behavior in myself as well. Life is too short to wait to be happy. We all have responsibilities, goals, and desires, but that does not mean that our lives have to be miserable now. Go for your goals but also enjoy your life!