Sticking to Your Goals: Why do we fail so often?
Happy New Year!
2018 is now underway and you’ve probably reflected on your achievements last year or lack of them and have made your decisions on what you need to do for this year.
Whether those goals are personal or professional, in order to be successful, you need to have a strategy and plan in place to get you to where you want to be.
But why is it that so many of us fail at attaining our goals?
Many people start the New Year with a resolution or goal matching their determination and resilience to see it through, but by the end of January, many already have failed!
Research by private health company Bupa found that just 63 per cent of people failed in 2015 and of those polled, nearly half of Brits (43%) lasted less than a month, and 66 per cent lasted one month or less and 80 per cent of people didn't make it to the end of March before reverting back to their old ways.
Life is full of distractions and challenges that can make committing to our success difficult at the best of times. With every goal path, there are tasks that we need to undertake which take us out of our comfort zone or; may take more of our time than we really want to give. So instead, it’s easier to either procrastinate or worse, give up all together.
You Demand Too Much!
Of yourself that is, and your focus may be totally wrong too!
It’s fine to set high expectations and it’s fine to want to achieve the best that you possibly can be, however there are 3 things that you really need to remember if you want to be successful:
Rome wasn’t built in a day! Every dream, every goal and ultimately your success takes TIME and you have to see it as a journey. You will make mistakes and there are likely to be brick walls that must find the strength and resilience to break down before you can move forward, but don’t expect it to be an easy ride especially if it means changing a habit that you have been used to for most of your life! In my experience, it usually takes me around 18 months to see the fruits of my labour, but for you, it may be less, it may be more. Everyone’s lifestyle and responsibilities play a part in the time it takes, so don’t judge yourself by other people’s standards. The more time and energy you can put into your goals, the quicker you are likely to achieve them.
Eat the elephant one bite at a time! Of course, I don’t mean that literally, but it’s a good analogy to use when thinking about your goals. Step-by-step, little-by-little, day-by-day you will get there if you make a commitment to doing something no matter how small that moves you a step closer each day. Commit yourself to mini-goals like, cutting out sugar for a month, if you want to get healthier or lose weight. If you pressure yourself into taking on big tasks all at once i.e.; I’m never going to have sugar again in my life! You may get overwhelmed, have a set-back or make mistakes and too many of those will put you off.
It’s just mind over matter! Whilst it’s great to start the New Year with a fresh perspective to make a change in your life, that in itself can sometimes be too much pressure. There is no set rule that says you must start a goal in January. You can start whenever you like. What matters most is that you focus on what you want to achieve and you set yourself daily or weekly tasks to work towards them. Have an idea in your mind of when you want to reach your goal if its something like writing a book, or losing 20lbs, but keep an open mind and allow it to come to fruition naturally. This way you are more likely to be successful.
What will the effects of achieving your goal be?
writing your story changes someone else’s life and provides you with more opportunities;
improving your health means you have reduced your likelihood of a long-term debilitating illness;
you inspire someone you know to lose weight as well as fitting into those skinny jeans again;
starting your business or getting that promotion will give you the income you need to live your dream lifestyle.
Your goals really do have to mean something to you for you to actually achieve them. They really need to change your life in the best possible way to keep you on track regardless of the challenges.
When you truly are committed to your success and you have the motivation, determination and resilience to see it through, all your effort becomes worthwhile. Focus on the destination, but enjoy the journey!