The beginning of a new year initiates feelings of new beginnings and provides individuals with the opportunity to better themselves by creating great goals. These goals can range from losing weight, getting back to the gym, or picking up a new hobby!
At the start, everyone feels excited about how their new goals are going to change their lives. However, along the way toward reaching these goals, something happens that causes feelings of frustration, leading individuals to never reach their goals.
During this post, I am going to break down common challenges that can cause us to no longer want to pursue our goals. I will also give some tips and tools on how to overcome these challenges so you can achieve your goals and become that newer self you keep envisioning.
Taking on Too Much at Once
The new year comes, and we create some great goals for ourselves. For instance, one goal could be to run a marathon in April. This is a great goal! However, individuals with such a big goal often take on too much of their goal at once and will try to run five miles…every single day. This quickly leads to fatigue and causes individuals to not achieve their goals.
The All-or-Nothing Mindset
The all-or-nothing mindset is the most common and most damaging mindset to establishing and completing goals. Having this mindset causes individuals to give up on their goals the moment they fail.
Let’s use the same example from before. An individual has been running every day for a month and is starting to feel a little fatigued. They skip a day of running, then another day, and suddenly it has been a week since they have been to the gym. They think they are never going to reach their goals, so they stop going to the gym altogether. The all-or-nothing mindset is causing individuals to not believe in their abilities to accomplish their goals, leading to discouragement and inevitably giving up on attempts to reach their goals.
A lack of positive social support can cause individuals to be subject to behaviors that do not help them reach their goals. It can also trigger stress within the individual. Using the same example, an individual may be struggling to go to the gym because their friend asks them every night to go out to the bar with them. While the individual usually says no at first, the friends pressure him to by saying they will have a good time and he can go to the gym another day.
“So…how do I overcome these challenges?”
The following tips will help you overcome these challenges and successfully reach your goals.
1. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
S.M.A.R.T. goals are a psychologically proven, successful method of goal achievement. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound goals. This involves creating one big goal, setting a date that you would like to achieve that big goal, and then creating small, manageable goals to achieve while you are trying to achieve the big goal. This allows us to avoid taking on too much of our goal at once. Additionally, this type of goal setting does not align with the all-or-nothing mindset, therefore helping you create a more positive mindset.
Put this into an example. Let’s say that you would like to lose 50 lbs.
- First, set a date for when you would like to reach your goal. Ex: I want to lose 50 lbs by June 5th.
- Second, create your first small goal that works towards your big goal of 50 lbs. Ex: I will lose 10 lbs in a month.
- Third, determine what steps you will take to lose 10 lbs in a month. Ex: Week one- I will eat breakfast every morning. Week two- I will not eat a snack after dinner, but instead, I will have a cup of tea. Week three- I will eat vegetables at dinner instead of having a carb or starch. Week four- I will eat vegetables at lunch now.
- Fourth, measure your progress. This could be getting on the scale once a week and recording your current weight. After measuring your weight, determine your progress. Are you on track? What is working well for you? What adjustments do you need to make to get back on track?
- Fifth, determine if you reached your first goal! Did you lose 10 lbs in a month? If you did, great! Create the next goal and follow the same steps. If not, that’s okay! You still made steps to achieve your goal and you should be proud of yourself. Now, reflect on what happened this past month. Write down what happened, and make a small step back toward your goal.
Doing this makes the goals concrete and allows us to take on smaller, more attainable goals rather than taking on a big goal at once.
2. Adopt a positive mindset that helps you achieve your S.M.A.R.T goals
Now that we have a plan for our S.M.A.R.T goals, we need to adopt a better mindset that allows us to achieve these goals. Something that we all need to understand is that nothing will be perfect all the time, including us. Life happens, and sometimes we cannot always perfectly reach our goals. This does not mean that we need to give up on our goals altogether. Rather, we can pick up where we left off.
Let’s use an earlier example and say you are currently trying to have tea after dinner rather than a snack. On Friday night, you are watching a movie with your loved one and have a couple of pieces of popcorn. That is okay! Do not beat yourself up and assume that because you got thrown off that you are done working towards that goal. You achieved that goal most of the week, which is something that should be acknowledged and celebrated. Let us not make eating a snack after dinner a regular thing again, but rather, let’s get back on track! Enjoy the popcorn, and tomorrow night, you will plan to have a cup of chamomile tea.
Affirming our positive actions can continue to help us achieve a better mindset. Journaling is a great method of affirming your actions. Every night before you go to bed, write down three actions that work towards the goals that you accomplished today. Write down how you feel about achieving those, then create a goal for the next day. This allows you to stay on track by celebrating your successes!
3. Gaining social support
Often, the people in our lives assume that since we are making changes, they also need to make changes. It is our responsibility to not only make them aware of our goals but WHY these goals are so important for us to accomplish. If your WHY for losing 50 lbs is because you do not want to take blood pressure medication anymore, then you need to make your loved ones aware of that motivation. When they hear a concrete reason for these changes, they will be more likely to accept the changes you are making to your lifestyle.
Making them aware of the changes you are going to make every week can help them adjust and be more accepting. This way, they are not surprised and know how to support you.
Remind yourself and others that this is your goal. You are not asking them to change their life, but to understand the changes you are making are for good reasons. If you are not comfortable sharing your goal journey with others, that is okay! There are steps you can take to make sure you do not feel any social pressure to get off track. You could work with a coach to help keep you accountable. You could use affirmations to help you during times of social pressure. Check out our blog on Social Pressures for more information on how to successfully reach your goals while confronting social pressures.
How Awaken180° Weightloss Helps You Reach Your Goals
Awaken180° Weightloss provides clients with weekly coaching sessions. These coaching sessions ensure that you are reaching your new years’ goals! We help you create smart, tangible goals that help keep you motivated toward your goals. Additionally, all of the coaches provide positive, uplifting feedback while coaching you on how to adopt such a mindset to help change your overall lifestyle! Finally, you will be gaining social support throughout all your coaching sessions. We can even help plan ahead for social situations or provide advice on keeping your goals while experiencing social pressures.
Changing our habits is really hard, but remembering your motivation for change will help you stay motivated. Implementing these tips will help you avoid challenges and accomplish your goals, and the coaches at Awaken180° Weightloss will help you learn how to implement these tips and keep you motivated toward your goals.
Whatever your goal is for the new year, just remember, you got this.