Following through on goals

We all have things we want to accomplish.  Goals like weight loss, job promotion, buying a home, finishing a race, or starting a yoga practice are common and most of us have at least one of these goals now or in the past.  I have a few of them myself!

And we all usually know the work that we need to do to reach our goals:

  • Eat healthfully and mindfully
  • Do the extra research on a work proposal
  • Save money by cutting back on personal entertainment
  • Keep up with a running plan
  • Go to yoga class

Usually the steps we take to reach the majority of our goals are not difficult to do in theory or really in practice.  But a lot of the time we just don’t do the work, or maybe only put in half of the work.

I’ve been struggling with that lately.  Well, really for the past month or so, I’ve just been having difficulty putting in the work to reach my next goals.

I’ve found that I make a lot of excuses as to why I can’t do something or why I should do something that’s counterproductive to my goals.

For example:

“I’m too tired to go to yoga class.”

“I deserve to eat a cookie because I’ve had a long day and it’ll make me happy.”

“It’s too hot to go outside for a walk.”

Well, the hot thing in NC right now is true.  Unless you are enjoying a 3am walk, it’s pretty unhealthy to be outdoors for too long.

And really, I’ve just realized, right now, even though I want to accomplish certain goals, I’m allowing my excuses to overrun me.  Which says to me one thing:

I’m not ready to reach my goals.

What does this mean?  To put forth effort and reach a goal, you can’t be forced to do the work, whether you are being forced by someone else or yourself.  If you are being forced, you will only put in minor effort.

However, if you really want to put in the work, then you will put in 110% almost every day.  (You will have off days, but you will get back on track!)

When you are ready to reach your goals, the work effort will come.  You will wake up one day and say:

“I’m going to my yoga class today, no matter what!”

“I’m putting in extra effort in the office today!”

“I’m going to the grocery store to buy food instead of eating out this week.”

Because your goal has now become more important to you than your excuses.  You are ready to reach it.

There are ways to help speed along the process of becoming ready.

1) Learn about your goal – whether it’s reading fitness and nutrition sites, taking an online class about a new career skill, or reading about budgets.  Gain knowledge.  Knowledge is power.

2) Read personal stories of others who have achieved the goal you are wanting to reach.  There is a blog about every topic out there.  Just search the internet and you will find your role models and inspirations.  If you are a visual person, you may want to keep inspiring images and quotes around to help keep your mind and eyes on the prize.

3) Every time you make an excuse, ask yourself if you really want the cookie or the weight loss, the movie or the savings, the tv show or the run?  Sometimes you will pick your goal, and other times you will not.  But there will come a time when you pick your goal more than not – so keep challenging your excuses.

4) Remember, you don’t have to be perfect to reach your goals.  If you have a bad day, that’s ok.  One day is not going to derail you from achieving your dreams.  If you buy into the all or nothing, then you will always end up with nothing.  We are all humans, we all make mistakes.  And that’s just fine.  Move on, and keep going forward.

5) And finally, never give up on your goals.  It’s easy to want to do something, not achieve it (for whatever reason), and think well “I can’t do it.” or “That goal is not for me.”  I’ve heard so many people say this about their goals!  And it’s simply not true.  Anyone can do anything.  So maybe it’s not the right time.  That’s ok.  But one day it will be the right time.  So never give up!



3 responses to “Following through on goals

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