On 1st January this year, many of us committed to some kind of goal. Perhaps it was giving up smoking, going to bed earlier, hitting the gym three times a week. Yet, by now many people have not stuck to their new year’s resolutions. Some have probably given up entirely already. Why is that? Here are some reasons.
Problem #1 – Lack of Accountability
When left to our own devices, it is far too easy to fall back to our old behaviours. Recovering addicts are a good example – many of them have found that they could not achieve sobriety on their own. One study by Dominican University found that those who sent their goals, action commitments and weekly progress reports to a supportive friend on average were twice as likely to achieve their goals.
Solution: Have a trusted person who you can check in with and be challenged by on a regular basis.
Problem #2 – Lack of Awareness
It is very difficult to see by ourselves what negative accessory behaviours are causing the bad habit. For example, one might think that it is laziness that is preventing them from hitting the gym. However, what might actually be preventing them is a lack of sleep. But what is preventing having enough sleep? Is it overworking? Depression? Diet? It is hard to know what your “unknown unknowns” are, especially when you are busy living in it. Thus, it is incredibly valuable to have an outsider who can spot you and point out what negative patterns you might be running so that you can correct course accordingly.
Solution: Consider getting a life coach or therapist to help you discover your psyche and what is sabotaging your success.
Problem #3 – Aiming Too Big
Aiming for 10% body fat when your current body fat is 25% is a huge undertaking and will seem like an overwhelming task. Have a general goal in mind, sure, but set achievable mini-goals that can be accomplished from week-to-week. In 12 Step recovery, while the focus is sobriety, there is more emphasis on staying sober “just for today” and “one day at a time” – because that is a far more manageable and achievable objective. As the saying goes: “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
Solution: Break your big goal into small manageable sub-goals. For example, you may want to start a company this year. Perhaps the first goal could simply be incorporating the business.
Problem #4 – Not Celebrating Small Achievements
All-or-nothing perfectionistic thinking is a sure-fire way to become demotivated. It is important to celebrate the little victories (in a healthy way) to keep yourself motivated to keep going. Our brains like being rewarded. One way I rewarded myself recently after managing to get to bed an hour earlier (with my goal being an 11 pm bedtime) was to buy myself a Lego set!
Solution: Reward your small accomplishments. This could be giving yourself a shiny gold star (really!), getting a massage or buying yourself a new book. Note that junk food and alcohol do not make good rewards and could be setting you up for addiction!
Problem #5 – Giving Up Too Soon
Every person who has ever been successful has had setbacks. For example, JK Rowling was rejected by many publishers before Harry Potter was published. Thomas Edison had to experiment over a thousand times before he invented the lightbulb. Just because you failed today, doesn’t mean it’s the end. Tomorrow is a new day.
Solution: Don’t give up. Remind yourself of famous failures who later became successful. Listen to motivational music and speakers. Work with a trusted person or life coach who can encourage you to keep going.
It’s never too late to get back on track. You don’t have to wait until 1st January of next year to try again to change your life.
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.
Are you a first-time contributor to The Good Men Project for the first time? Submit here:
Have you contributed before and have a Submittable account? Use our Quick Submit link here:
Do you have previously published work that you would like to syndicate on The Good Men Project? Click here:
Got Writer’s Block?
We are a participatory media company. Join us.
Participate with the rest of the world, with the things your write and the things you say, and help co-create the world you want to live in.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: Getty Images