Now that we are in 2017, have you set yourself a new goal? A “resolution” for the year? Have you done this in many prior years and never stuck with it? There are several problems with new year’s resolutions or goals. Once you reach a goal, you’re done. Often the goals we set are too hard to reach. Maintaining motivation is not an easy task. Goals generally don’t change your life style, which means people will often go back to old behaviors after reaching a goal.
So how does one actually stick to a goal, see it through, and maintain the progress? Whether this goal is to exercise more, eat healthy, work on their stress, depression, or anxiety level, or another goal? One thing: Set a realistic goal. I think I talked about this in a previous blog. However, if the goal we set for ourselves is too high or unrealistic (I will lose 100 pounds by summer), we tend to get bummed out that we are not reaching this goal and stop working towards it. Make sure your goals are realistic and reachable. Another thing: Stop thinking of goals as an end point and start thinking of them as a stepping stone to the next goal. When we think of goals as a point to reach, what happens when we reach that goal? We celebrate and end up forgetting all the hard work we just put into reaching that goal and go back to old behaviors, thus undoing everything we just did. A third thing: Don’t look at goals, but look at your lifestyle…what do you need to change in your life to be a “better” you; a “healthy” you; or whatever you want to “be” by reaching that goal. Additionally: What support do you have? Who is in your corner cheering you on? How can you use them more? How can they help you stay accountable for staying on track? Another trick: Is your goal written down? There is a lot of evidence that when we write things down, we are much more likely to stick with it and actually do it. Lastly: I truly believe in the power of attitude and its impact on us. If your attitude is one that is on target with meeting your goals, you are much more likely to reach that goal than if your attitude is one that you believe you will fail because you’ve failed in the past.
Out of all of these tricks and ideas, the two I personally think are most important (others may disagree – type your comments to let me know what your thoughts are!) is first: to make that goal a lifestyle change. It can’t be an end point. If it is an end point, we are much less likely to maintain any gains. If it is a life style change, we then have changed our attitude. That leads to my second important aspect: Attitude. Life’s happiness is strongly contingent (although not always) on our attitude. We are much more likely to get what we want with a positive attitude.
I have had so many goals in life myself, and my biggest goal to date was becoming self-employed as a therapist and coach. As of today, I met that goal. As stated above, this goal is a stepping stone to my next goal (which is self-growth). I never want to stop growing as a person, therapist, and coach. I have plans on what to do next and plans on what to do after I meet those “stepping stones.”
Go out there and tackle the world! Call me or email me if you need help or want help identifying your goals and how to reach them! I will be more than happy to help you along your journey! 860-501-9767; 941-462-4807; firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!!