We have said goodbye to 2018 and have now ushered in 2019. Many people have high hopes at the start of a new year. They create all sorts of goals and set all kinds of expectations. Gym memberships skyrocket. People start eating better. They start “taking care of me”. They start doing all good things, all at once, simply because the calendar has turned over. And we as a society celebrate this. We celebrate starting new habits. Because good habits are a good thing. Right?
The problem is that if we set our sights on something that is too big, too unrealistic, too crazy, we are simply setting ourselves up for failure. This is why gym memberships plummet in February. People start eating junk again (thank you Valentine’s Day). And the “taking care of me” turns back into instant gratification of sleeping in, not exercising, and eating whatever you want.
We live in a society full of the need for instant gratification. And this is why New Year’s resolutions so often fail. It is not realistic to wake up one day and assume, simply because it’s a new month and a new year, that everything that you do is somehow going to magically be different because you WANT it to be. That’s ridiculous. Yet we subscribe to this mentality year after year after year.
People start the New Year saying, “I’m going to get in shape” having no real idea what that means other than they want to look like a Victoria’s Secret model (thank you media). So they go to the gym and work out…and work out HARD. So hard, in fact, that they often have trouble walking and/or even moving the next day or two. They hurt and they may have even injured themselves. Because going from zero to eighty is not safe. It is not smart. There is literally nothing smart about it.
Living a healthy lifestyle takes proper planning and, sorry folks, but discipline. We need to set the target, whatever it is, and then build mini-goals to help us get there. The point of mini-goals is twofold. First, accomplishing ANY goal will likely make you feel better about yourself and begin to increase your self-confidence. Second, accomplishing ANY goal will get you closer to the big goal! So it’s a win-win!
But, because we live in a society inundated with the need for instant gratification, the idea of goal setting is often a difficult thing to swallow. However, the work necessary for sustainable goal attainment is hopefully worth it. Life is not about the final destination – because that’s the same for all of us (uhhh…the ground….). We must learn to find value in the journey itself. We must learn to set the big goal and create our own small stepping stones to help us get there. And once these two things are in place, we must be relentless in our pursuit. The only difference between a successful person and someone that has failed is that the person that succeeds never gives up.
So pick your target, develop appropriate mini-goals, and BE RELENTLESS. Use New Years as a time to reflect on your goals from the previous year and see how close you’ve gotten and where tweeks can be made so that you can get even closer the next year. And if you are nowhere near your goal, it could either mean that the goal is simply not that important or it could mean that proper mini-goals were not established.
YOU CAN DO IT! I BELIEVE IN YOU! BE RELENTLESS!