We are approaching the 2 weeks mark into 2018 and sadly, many of us are already disillusioned with our goals. 2 weeks is both too short to see dramatic changes and just long enough to realize the amount of work it takes to get there. But really, what gives? Surely we want these things if we declare them to the world? But do we want them bad enough to do the work to get them? Are we willing to give up some of our current comfort? The truth is, we all get pretty comfortable in our own bullshit and the stories we create for ourselves.
The difference between a wish and a goal is that you are willing to work for one of them. The other, you simply hope will magically happen. It seems obvious, but as a coach I can tell you it really isn’t.
This is why one of the first things you learn when starting to set goals is to be specific. Adding specificity commits you to actions, and only through actions can you bring change and results.
Instead of a vague statement like “I will eat healthier this year”, try to identify some key components that could have an impact for you. For example: “I will eat a palm size of protein with every meal”, “I will have 6 servings of vegetables daily”. Two actionable, measurable changes.
If you want to travel more, identify what it is that’s coming in the way of travelling? Maybe it’s financial reasons? Commit to saving 10% of your income for a travel fund, or commit to brown bagging your lunch and you could easily save 200$ a month. Yes, it means you will need to take some time to grocery shop and make lunch. But you are still taking time daily to go out and buy a meal or to eat out. Brown bagging will benefit your health and your wallet.
Seeking instant pleasure is hard-wired in us. We naturally want to go for the instant gratification. Working towards your goals requires patience; it also requires the ability to resist the pull of instant gratification while you work for the bigger picture. The power of delayed gratification is essential to reaching your goals. Pass on the second serving now, look great in a bikini in July. Save 200$ and pack your lunch to work this month, look great in a bikini in Hawaii in March! See where this is going?
Another thing I see is that we often set goals for the wrong reason. If you find yourself setting the same goal year after year and never actually achieve it, there could be a few reasons. One of them is that you may not actually want to. Ask yourself: do you really want it? Sometimes we set goals because we think we should or it is expected of us to want these things, but the truth is, not everyone needs to read more or lose 10 lbs or meditate daily.
For me, I used to set the same yearly goal around yoga and vow to go 3 times a week. As a marathon runner, I was already really tight and told that I should stretch more. Yoga seemed like the obvious solution. The problem was, I didn’t actually like it that much; certainly not enough to give up that many hours weekly to it. Through being honest with myself, I found that I actually liked walking more and it gave me the same active recovery I was seeking through yoga. Before I felt like a failure, always setting the same goal and never achieving it. But since I enjoy walking, I made it happen. Now I don’t run marathons anymore, but as a competitive Crossfitter I can still certainly benefit from the down time and it’s been a great way to do some active recovery. My body loves motion and blood flow, my mind likes the quiet time. Now if I could just do something about the rain I’d be golden!
So don’t give up on your goals. But refine them. Sit down and take a moment to decide what you really want & put a couple of actions in place. Small daily habits done consistently over time will lead to big changes. Have patience, my friend! The road to success will be full of setbacks but the reward will be well worth it in the end. We are not even 2 weeks into 2018; it is too early to give up on yourself.
If you don’t know where to start, find yourself a good mentor or coach to guide you through it. And if your goals involve your nutrition, we’d certainly love to help!