January 12. That is the day that most people give up on their goals, but not you. We dig deeper inside of ourselves.
Because we don’t give up. We re-evaulate. We ask the right questions, pay attention to the right data points. We are either not following our passion or we are not doing what works, but both are things to investigate.
1. Is the goal in question in line with my skill set or values?
Is it just a means to an end, a seeming necessity, pressure from society, age, or someone important?
For instance, my goal is to not have a to-do list longer than 5 things if at all possible, while still fulfilling my purpose. This is important to me and doable. I will not give up. I will try to automate as much as possible and not put myself around situations that involve so many errands. I can move on to the next question.
If you are unsure if your goals go in line with who you truly are, think back to your childhood, what you enjoyed and what you excelled at. Were you athletic? Studious? Organized? Nurturing? Is that where your passion and goals are? It is a habit to focus on what we think we should be focusing on, instead of focusing on meaning or passion in the things that we do. Once you lose sight of purpose, it can become drudgery. Meaning makes the days flow.
2. Am I being too hard on myself?
If you are trying to lose weight and you keep trying the same things you’ve always tried, it probably won’t work. You have to get to the underlying problems. If you talk down on yourself all the time, it makes it likely that you will break your dietary rules, morals, boundaries – anything worth having. So be realistic. Treat yourself as well as you treat other people in your life. Some people treat their pets better than they treat themselves.
Also, if you don’t have a track record for discipline, it is not a good idea to set yourself up for failure by making your goals extreme or rigid. Adjust. Always adjust. Never give up. Just be flexible. You either adjust or justify, but always adjust. Take time to relax, always. Reward yourself and be reasonable. Draw up a schedule until it works well for you: Try making it more fluid, more relaxing, more enjoyable – try different methods.
Identify problem spots: distractions, clutter spots in your house, apathy. Always focus on what is holding you back. Is there a workaround? Can you focus more energy in that zone? Can you knock it out earlier in the day?
3. Are my goals visible?
Have you minimized so much that you cannot see what you want or need to do? Visible cues are very important. Use Post-Its as reminders of only the top priorities (always prioritize). Use notes as encouragement too. Don’t become so eco-friendly that you can barely make it through the day. Be pragmatic, always. Keep water bottles around the house if you’re trying to drink more. Keep more fruit visible if you’re trying to eat better. Buy an apple corer if you eat a lot of apples. Keep your timer separate from a distraction like a phone or laptop. The key to avoiding setback or anger, is to not put yourself in the situation that will cause it in the first place.
Best of luck in 2018. I’m glad to be joining you in this year. May you never give up on yourself.