Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? If you’re like the majority of folks who did, you committed to making an effort to improve some area of your personal life. Everyone is unique, but the most popular resolutions usually have to do with getting in shape or losing weight, eating better, quitting smoking, or improving your finances.
Even if you don’t believe in making New Year’s resolutions, you probably have some area of your life that you want to improve and have set some personal goals to achieve. Now is a great time to re-visit those goals and check your progress. Unfortunately, many people abandon their goals at some point. But why?
The following are some common reasons that people abandon goals and some suggestions for getting back on track.
If you thrive on routine, you may have been excited to plan your workout schedule down to the minute. But doing nothing except running on the treadmill five days a week can get old quickly. It’s great that you’re dedicated to the task, but if you find that your fitness routine is not challenging enough, you’ll need to balance that dedication with some variety. Otherwise, you just won’t stick with it.
We are part of a society that wants information now. We expect instant results. We see dramatic physical transformations on reality TV shows and we think we can achieve the same thing. However, losing weight in a healthy manner takes time. Getting out of debt takes time. Rather than giving up your objective when it doesn’t happen fast enough, take a step back and congratulate yourself for the progress that you have made.
Lack of support
It often helps to tell someone else–a partner, a close friend, a co-worker–about your goal. Ask them to check in with you periodically to see how you’re doing. It will keep you accountable and might help you feel less alone in your challenge. You might even be able to talk someone else into joining you. Start a lunchtime walking club at work, for example, so that you don’t have to get in shape alone. A great way to gather support is to join an online community like Fitocracy.
Trying to accomplish too much at once
Often we are overwhelmed by life’s responsibilities. If your day is already full, then you might not be able to fit in a two-hour workout each day. Adjust your schedule, and perhaps you will find that you can let go of small tasks that don’t absolutely need to be done each day.
Comparing yourself to someone else
So, you want to quit smoking and your best friend recently quit cold turkey. You think you can do the same, and she’s your biggest cheerleader. While it’s great to receive support from friends, this type of challenge is something that you must overcome on your own, at your own pace.
Experiencing a major life change
Whether it’s moving, getting married or starting a new job, the stress can be enough to derail anyone’s personal goals. There’s no harm in slowing down and maybe even taking a break. Note your progress so far and ask yourself what adjustments you can make.
Trying to meet an unrealistic goal
Do you want to lose 50 pounds this year? Did you give yourself only two weeks to give up smoking? Even with the best intentions, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment if your original goals were not realistic or attainable by the deadline you set.
Motivation. Support. Incentive. These are crucial for meeting your goals. The motivation usually, but not always, comes from within, and you can find support in many places, from family members and friends to local support groups.
As for incentive, how about financial reward? That’s what we’re all about. Is today the day to start your own challenge.