Having a hard time reaching your goals? Do you find yourself always setting yourself up for failure? I have had conversations with so many individuals, ranging from family members to friends, clients, athletes, etc., about why they are not where they want to be. You always hear a lot of reasons, maybe excuses, as to why their goals are not met or why they cannot reach their goals. Sometimes things happen in life that legitimately hold people back for a time. These may include, for example, natural disasters, sickness, or even a pandemic (COVID-19), etc. However, 90% of the time or more, individuals self-sabotage and thus set themselves up for failure. And most of the time, they accept this.
I’ve been caught up in this cycle for quite some time myself except that I’ve never made an excuse. My reasoning is that I haven’t made the time to do so, and I really never set any goal, so that’s that. But I haven’t set myself up for success, either.
Recently, I’ve been on a better path and have been back at getting my health right and training again. I do have goals that I want to attain, and I have set myself up to make sure they can be accomplished. This doesn’t mean that I haven’t struggled here and there along the way. Every day can be a battle when you are trying to change your habits. Here are some things to do when you really want to make a change.
Set Realistic Goals
When setting a goal, do not make it so big that it seems impossible for you to achieve. It’s okay to set a main goal—for example, to lose 30 pounds. But set mini goals along the way, like five pounds within the first month. You want to set markers along the path that are realistic and can be accomplished. Making your way to these smaller goals will keep you motivated when you achieve them and keep you on the path moving forward.
Tell Someone About Your Goal
When you say it aloud to someone, it becomes real. If you tell the right person, he or she can help to keep you in check along the way as well by checking in with you on how things are going. It’s even better if you can find someone with similar goals who is willing to walk the path with you. Being self-motivated and keeping yourself in check can be hard. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and get help.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Putting yourself in an environment that is going to be conducive to achieving your goals is everything. A lot of individuals follow the herd mentality. This term describes behavior in which people act the same way or adopt similar behaviors as the people around them. So, as I mentioned above, surround yourself with those who have similar goals and are supportive of what you are trying to accomplish. If you are trying to stop drinking, you don’t go to a bar and surround yourself with drunks. If you are trying to lose weight, you do not surround yourself with individuals who eat like crap and don’t exercise.
Surrounding yourself with supportive, like-minded individuals is one thing. You also need to surround yourself with good nutrition. If you don’t want to eat like crap, then don’t have crappy food around your accommodations. You do not need the temptations, so don’t have them around. If a craving for oatmeal cream pies comes up and you have them, guess what? You will probably have one. If you don’t buy them or have them around, it’s easier to say no to that craving. Set yourself up for success.
Give Yourself a Small Break
Some people can blast on things without issue. They are rare individuals. Needless to say, you will screw up from time to time, and that is okay. Plan on having a break here and there when it comes to setting a new routine. If you plan the break, you have something to look forward to, and you won’t self-loathe as much when you do take a break.
Now when I say “break,” I mean one meal/week or something. Not an entire week of eating and drinking like crap. It can be easy to find yourself falling back into bad habits. Allow yourself to have a small break, but be ready to get back on the horse the next day. If you plan these breaks in advance, you will have a much easier time staying on course.
Make This a Life Change
In reaching your goal, then what? Well, through this process, you will hopefully find yourself not wanting to go back to the situation you were in that led to your making a change. Understand that the changes you have made need to be life changes. If you want to meet your goals or go beyond them, most of this stuff is a marathon, not a sprint. Goals do take time and usually a lot of effort. Being open to change and embracing it is everything. If you are not ready to make a change in your life, you will not succeed in the long run. You need to sell out to the idea of changing your life habits.
Don’t self-sabotage. No excuses. If you want to make a change, then decide to do it, and make it. Set yourself up for success, and find the time to achieve your goals. It is hard. No one said it would be easy. Be willing to be comfortable with discomfort.