Where resolutions go to die
Good heavens! It's almost halfway through March!
So…. How are your resolutions coming along?
I’m not a huge fan of resolutions, only because I think that the whole “new year’s resolutions” concept piles on entirely too much unhelpful pressure and expectation. It also gets people to try the DO ALL THE THINGS AT ONCE approach which in itself can cause you to fail.
Because making changes to your life is a process and can be frustrating as hell.
The most common thing that people seem to struggle with is motivation, procrastination, and feeling like they aren’t getting closer to their goals. It’s quite dispiriting to decide that you’ve been doing this for 4 weeks now and still aren’t achieving what you thought you would. And when you aren’t seeing the results you hoped for, the lack of motivation starts to rear its feet dragging self, and soon, it’s easier to give in to old habits and comforts.
Luckily, a change of focus can really help nip this in the bud.
It’s not going to be a long-term and sustainable change if you absolutely hate it. If you’re honestly feeling like dragging yourself to the gym every day is soul destroying and there’s not a single moment where you think “that was good!” then find another way. Experiment until you find an enjoyable way of achieving your goal. You’ll be much happier, and it will be a lot easier to stick with. Have fun with your goals! Otherwise, you’re swapping one misery for another, and that sounds like a crappy idea to me!
Focus on your progress, not your achievement. Embracing the fact that progress IS happening can be incredibly motivating. Just because you had a difficult day and let a whole host of negative thoughts rush through your head, doesn’t mean you’ve blown your chances of reaching your goal to have a more positive outlook. Just like one poor workout doesn’t mean you’re never going to get fit. It’s a blip. It happens. To everyone!
What’s important is the overall progress. Every single time you are choosing a more positive reaction or to say no to another brownie, or yes to lacing up your shoes and going for a jog, you are progressing.
You are better off than you were before. And THAT is a whole lot better than nothing!
Our culture is so obsessed with the end result that we tend to forget that any kind of achievement comes from many many smaller wins. Focus on how far you have already come. Focus on the win of making the better choice every time you do. Each time you acknowledge your progress, you help make the action a habit and as we know habits very quickly add up to bigger things.
Longer term, it’s the little wins and the habits that make the biggest difference. (And it’s easier!)
And finally, I like to ask myself two questions.
1- What will my life be like if I don’t make the effort to do this?
2- What will my life be like if I do?
Remind yourself of why you’re doing this in the first place. Our motivation tends to wane because we get sucked back into the day to day business of living our busy lives and instead of renewing our motivation; we beat ourselves up for having lost it in the first place.
You didn’t lose it, it got tangled up in the “to do” list.