Yeah, we know, it’s all too familiar. The holidays are behind us while all the excitement and euphoria of the new beginning subsided. Now it’s the January temperatures and the normal post-holiday mood that dominates. We have been in the New Year for just three weeks and many of us have already given up (once again) on our brand new resolutions. And to be precise, it is, in fact, 94% of us who did that.
No surprise whatsoever
Much of that regrettable statistic is due to the nature of the decision-making process. Does the following line of thinking ring a bell?
“In the coming new year I will become the perfect spouse, an excellent parent; I will spend more time with my family, I will work harder on my professional growth and career, I will go out more often with my friends, I will read more and see a play at least once each month, I will meditate and exercise, etc. And all of that I will do while still managing to have a healthier lifestyle.”
You probably know well how to approach this
It’s not what we would like to focus on today but let’s summarize:
The easiest way to stick to the plan and reach your goals is to work within a system. With the help of the 4 keys, aka Vision, the 90-day goals for action, the weekly steps, and the support of your Goal Buddy, you are destined to achieve consistent and rewarding results.
And now we would like to share some of those “tricks”. These are about how to not give up your goals on a cold January day and then try to pick them up on another cold January day twelve months later…
First, try to anticipate what mistakes you are most likely to make
Whenever you decide to exercise 4 times a week after work, you might very well first remind yourself how much you hate going to the gym in the evening. So, you have to make sure that you find your way to the gym instead of ending up being a couch potato once again.
Close your eyes and try to think of all the obstacles and distractions that might come up. These could range from reluctance, through fatigue, and to be drawn into some emergency. The following pieces of advice are pretty much a one-size-fits-all type of solution.
# 1 Break up with the old and unhelpful habits
Let’s say you want to start exercising in the evening. But at the same time, you know yourself well and you are so used to “park” yourself on the sofa after work and watch the evening news. Then the solution is simply not to do it until you have done your physical exercises.
In other words, foreseeing that an old habit of yours may sabotage the good intent you should make a conscious effort to avoid those situations.
# 2 Have a ready answer to any excuse you might come with
Think in advance about how to fend off any temptation to skip or postpone what you planned to do.
For example, thoughts like “I feel too tired” could be countered with, “Yes, I’m beat, but if I first have a cup of tea, or coffee, then I’ll be able to make it to the gym.”
Or if you know you’re probably going to say, “I’m not in the mood to read a book right now,” you should promise yourself something like “I will do only a couple of pages” and then you might get carried away especially if the book turns out to be an interesting one.
# 3 Make a list of the specific cases under which you can take a break
The exceptions to the commitment to your objectives are to be stated clearly and then followed regardless of all other circumstances.
Of course, it’s up to you. But there are some good guidelines to follow:
- You can skip the gym if you are sick;
- You may not read tonight if your child is down with the flu and you have to take care of it;
- And you can suspend your Keto diet for a couple of hours if you’re at some social or business event that serves mostly carbs.
The important thing is to set the rules yourself in advance and when your commitment is challenged you can draw strength from them.
# 4 Be psychologically prepared for the unexpected
That’s exactly what happened last year. But despite the unprecedented “force majeure”, we are still here, in good physical, mental, financial shape. Why do you think is that? The answer is as simple as it gets – because we are capable of changing and adapting. If there is a will, there is a way, right?
Have they closed the gym? We will train at home. If the professional tennis players are quarantined and do their tournament preparation in the hotel room then we should be able to do a few sit-ups in the middle of our living rooms.
There are no more classes available? We can figure it out. There are online classes and tutorials on the internet. Plus, there will be many more possible solutions to this problem we can’t see right now.
Is our newly-found home office way too distracting when the schools are closed and we have to look after the kids? If that keeps you up at night you are not alone. There is a lot of information on how we can balance the two. There will always be someone else’s experience we can learn from. After all, the whole world is going through the same.
# 5 Always keep in mind the answer to the “Why” question
This can save the day for you when you feel like throwing in the towel.
A “vision board” with photos, pictures, or clippings could be a simple and convenient way of having it always in front of your eyes. Or simply write it down in a sentence or two and then fix it to the fridge door.
It’s crucial to never forget what you dream about, what your vision is, and that it is a guiding light in the darkest moments.
# 6 Try to make it all fun
Ultimately, what counts is to take actions that will lead you to the desired results. It is even better if you get to feel satisfaction and enjoy the ride. There is no good reason why goal-setting should be hard. Why shed blood, sweat, and tears when there is a better way.
If you are not too keen on going to the gym it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise. There are many more ways to stay in shape. It’s perfectly Okay to do Zumba if you are not into weight-lifting. What matters, in the end, is that you are exercising.
Or if you don’t feel like taking classes to learn a new language you can do it all by yourself through apps, online courses, and in-person tutoring over the internet.
Once you’ve started, never stop
We all know that all new beginnings are difficult. But the truth is that when you work hard and with enough commitment and perseverance the going gets easier with each new day. If you make it a habit to work on your goals in that manner then nothing can stop you.
We hope that today’s talk will be of some assistance in coping with the stress so that you avoid mistakes. And if you have some ideas and tips of your own then share them in the comments section below. Let’s help each other and thus defy this sad statistical number 94%!