Hey friends, It is a no brainer that most of us, at some point in our lives have looked for the opportunity to restart. The idea of starting again and becoming a better person has been around for centuries. The ancient Egyptians had the idea of "Sebayt" (teaching) and the Ancient Greeks had the more commonly favourable "Stoicism" (endurance). In our present society, the notion of self-improvement through learning and endurance is intertwined into our culture; we are taught from a young age that growth in any discipline leads to rewards. And the perfect time for discipline and new growth is the 1st January. But, the problem many of us face is the word above, a lack of discipline. The inability to stick to our new year resolutions is sad and frightening. We often find ourselves caught up in other activities and find humour when we tell someone that we have given up. This appears to be a cultural norm, so we will discuss how we can stick to our goals and create a meaningful long-lasting impact. 1. Plan To start, the first stage of fulfilling any goal is to create an efficient plan that highlights our objectives and targets the specifics. For example, if we set five new year resolutions, we need to ensure that we actively strive towards achieving them on a daily basis. If we break our goals down into smaller frames, we will increase the rate of success. Tips to form an effective plan • Break down the large goal into daily activities. How many times a week will we run to achieve our resolution? • Make it visible. Is the resolution written down or is it mentally stored? Keep it visible • Reward yourself. Completed a step? Have a treat. This will encourage progression • Review, always. How is it going? Is it still working? Make small adjustments to stay on track. 2. Accountability How often do we tell ourselves to change our old habits? It's time to achieve our goals this year? Spoken to anyone about failing a goal after a promise? Does it feel good or bad? A goal is more likely to be completed if we talk them through with a loved one or a friend (accountability coaches also exist, yes, I know). The simple act of someone reminding us to stay on track can give us the extra motivation to push through. For example, a personal trainer (PT) will push us to our limits in the gym but it all means nothing if we stuff ourselves with cake that evening. The PT will then ask about our evening nutrition, making us feel guilty. A few weeks go by, and our nutrition gradually becomes healthier as we don't want to disappoint our personal trainer. We can use our accountability partner for the same reason. The key is to have someone aid our journey. 3. Deadlines Everyone should have one goal on their list that looks outright impossible. The light at the end of the tunnel should look dark without a way to the light. It should be dark enough but achievable. How do we achieve the impossible? Deadlines. Deadlines help provide focus and meaning; they make clear what we're expected to deliver and when. They encourage progression and the ability to track our goals weekly. They provide a means to an end. The impossible goal we set for ourselves? Watch it shrink as we tackle it under pressure weekly. Tips to create effective deadlines: • Think small; one step forward is still better than no steps forward. Make it achievable but slightly difficult • Make it personal; how can we apply it to everyday life? Need to run 1km by Sunday? Need milk? Run to the shop • Be time reasonable. Hate mornings? Don't set the deadline for mornings. Know thyself • Use alarms/ calendars. How else do we set deadlines. 4. Enjoy the process There are times when we must admit to ourselves that we are no longer enjoying our journey as we once did, and this may be down to several reasons: • Our goals are too high • External/ internal factors • Lack of goal clarity • Difficult It is important to find the source of our motivation and build an understanding of why we no longer enjoy it. By analysing this data, we can break down our goals into smaller pieces and figure out where we are going wrong. If we don't enjoy the journey, we won't stick to it.
Tips for enjoying your goals: • Bring a friend - gym buddy • Make it easier - 1km run not 5km • Encourage rewards - snack • Don't multitask - avoid being overwhelmed • Take necessary breaks Summary Struggling to stick to your goals? Use these steps: 1. Plan 2. Hold ourselves accountable - use others 3. Incorporate deadlines 4. Enjoy yourself. Small progress is still progress. Watch how it compounds. Thank you, Joe