Let me start this post by commending you for taking some time ahead to sit down ahead of the new year and hash out some goals for the upcoming year… Congrats.
Now let me tell you why you are going to fail. (SORRY!)
1. They are not specific enough
Do you remember your mom saying, “use your words” when you were a little kid and wanted something. Or perhaps, for all my sales people out there, you’ve heard your sales coach tell you you’ll never get the sale if you don’t ask for it. This is very similar
Let’s look at a very common new year’s fitness goal… “I want to lose some weight.”
Perfect! You set your goal and after the first month you lose one pound. You run into a friend who asks you how your New Year’s resolution is going and you answer… “awful! I’ve only lost 1 pound!!”
Whoa, whoa, whoa!! Doesn’t that count? You lost some weight!! OK, fine, let’s flip that.
Maybe, after a month, you’ve lost 10 pounds… That’s really great. But then you think, “well shit, if I can lose 10 in the first month, then clearly I can lose 120 this year!”
In either scenario you end up spinning wheels because you can never firmly answer question of how you’re doing.
Be specific. “I would like to lose 15 pounds.” BOOM!
2. They are too big
No, no, no… I did NOT say NOT to dream big. Of course you should. In fact, do exactly that. I just mean that you are trying to eat the elephant in one bite (it’s an expression, I do not condone the eating of elephants)
If you want to make changes to your life, they must be exactly that… life changing.
Otherwise you won’t spend the necessary time, or put forth the necessary effort if it’s “just not worth it.”
What I mean is that your goals need to be chunked down into “digestible” nuggets you can easily consume. There is nothing wrong, at all, with wanting to lose 50 pounds. You could feasibly, and healthily I’d like to add, lose 1 pound a week and hit your goal.
However, you’ll be much better off chunking that 50 pound mission down into much smaller targets.
If you stare at the number 50 every day, you are much more susceptible to feeling defeat after one month if you’ve “only” lost 4 pounds, even though you are perfectly on pace.
Let’s lose 5 first. Once you lose 5, can you lose 10? After 10 can you get to 20? And so on…. Your psyche will thank you.
3. You don’t have a system
Finally, you have to have a system put in place to keep your task top of mind. To use an expression I’ve heard my great friend and nationally renowned sports psychologist say, “if you measure what you treasure, you will treasure what you measure!”
In the example we are using, the idea is not to become a slave to the scale, but yet, to use the scale as a tool to keep your task at the forefront of your conscious thoughts on a day to day basis.
There will be ups and downs, but if I know today that I will have to “check in” on that scale tomorrow, I am much more likely to not skip that workout I don’t want to do.
I’ll give you a personal example. I have challenged myself to get better sleep. So, I use an app on my watch to track some metrics while I sleep. Then EVERY morning, I enter those metrics into a spreadsheet where I can track progress.
Is it perfect? No. Does an apple watch give you an EXACT look into the quality of my sleep? No. But putting the numbers in front of my face every single day, let’s my brain know, on a subconscious level, that this is important to me.
None of this is easy, and I’ll take all the help, subconscious or otherwise, I can get!
4. BONUS: You are talking to yourself all wrong
OK, so you’re armed with a precise goal, chunked down into digestible parts, with a system to keep you on track… case closed, right? Now we just sit back and watch our goal-getting self, crush this shit, right?
Well… there’s a good chance you might be fighting yourself and you don’t even know. It really comes down to how you talk to yourself and the underlying perspective you are creating to view the world with.
I wrote a whole other article, which you can find HERE.
However, I don’t want to leave you completely hanging, so I’ll give you a little tease. Learn to see your goals as challenges and watch your inner spirit ignite as it rises to face them.
It’s not, “I have to….” It’s, “I want to”
It’s not, “I want to…” it’s, “can I?”
Read more about how to elicit this inner beast HERE.
As for now, use the 3 steps above to help get you on pace to crushing this year!!