Why is it hard to reach your goals when you make plans for a better life?
When setting a new goal, you are full of enthusiasm and feel motivated to improve some area of your life. You learn about who you are, match your values to your wants and develop the steps to achieve your dreams with targets and a well organised plan. You are ready to make changes that will benefit your future self. A couple of weeks later you review your goals and despair at being behind with the targets you have set yourself and feel like a failure.
The self-doubt creeps in. You feel you can’t achieve anything, you never stick to your plan, ‘I’m no good at this’. You feel like giving up.
Don’t despair! Every plan needs to be reviewed and updated regularly and it is nobody’s fault you are behind with your goals.
It could be your good intentions may well be being affected by any of these 3 things:
1. If you have people around you that are negative and have a belief that you are not capable of losing 2 stones, getting a better paid job or learning something new it will influence your belief in yourself. A saboteur will either intentionally or unintentionally undermine your efforts by giving their opinion on your efforts.
· Deal with them by reminding yourself why you set your goal. Was it for them or you? What will you gain from improving your health, your income, your life? What will you gain by listening to the opinion of others?
· Keep your goal to yourself. By telling some people, I’m going to … whatever it is, gives the saboteur a chance to comment and destroy your confidence. If you’re trying to lose weight, you could tell them you are eating a healthier diet by cutting out sugar or just don’t mention it at all.
2. Expectations of others take up your time. You will most likely have a routine with your family and at work and changing your routine might not run as smoothly as you’d like. When you try to make time to do something for yourself, those closest to you can lack understanding or be thoughtless.
· Your partner or children may expect you to continue the same routine which for you needs to change as you try to pursue your goals and keep on track. It might be that they continually interrupt you whilst you are focusing on the work you are doing to improve your career prospects. Or your elderly relative becomes irritated because you refuse to give them a lift to the shops or pick them up when you have plans for the gym.
· Explain to your family that you are taking a little time for yourself and some things will need to change. You will still be there for them but from now on you will be spending a night a week at an art club, a couple of nights or afternoons at the gym, and you will be unavailable at these times to take them anywhere.
· Teach others to do things independently. Teach children to make their own snack, (if they are old enough), to put the washer on, empty the bins, little things that can free up more time for you. It is so easy for family members to expect you to carry on doing the things you usually do but they are likely very capable themselves (unless they are very young).
· Set boundaries. Have a space where you work on your goal. Explain when you are in your space you are busy and are not to be disturbed. Switch off your phone so you can focus. Find a nice little café to work in if your goal is to learn or write or just to read quietly for an hour.
· Get your family involved in your goal. Go to the gym or for walks together, cook and eat healthy meals together, learn together. Your goal may be an opportunity for more family time, and they can learn a new habit too.
3. Your job takes up most of your time and you are too tired when you get home. You may be given extra work to do, or be asked to stay late at work on a project and you may feel this is hard to avoid as you fear upsetting your boss or that it will go against you if you refuse.
Instead of refusing to do the work, explain you have an appointment that evening, you don’t need to go into detail, just be assertive, say its personal and stick to your guns. Offer to do the work first things in the morning or to stay for an extra hour the following day.
· Don’t fear being disliked or upsetting others. Your goal is to improve some area of your life and you have set your goal as it is important and beneficial to you. Only if your goal is to progress at your place of work should you put in the extra effort.
· Organise your work, be efficient so you can free up a little time to focus on your needs. Having a work plan for the day and keeping to a schedule will help your day to run more smoothly allowing you to do more work on yourself. Plan meetings in the morning, stick to a time schedule and avoid wasting time on chit chat to get more done in less time.
· If you need to, have a nap when you get home, even if its 20 minutes, have one, it will help to relax and refresh your mind. If going to the gym more is your goal, the exercise will perk you up.
This is for you!
Reviewing and realigning your plan is essential to keep on track. Focus and don’t give up, take daily action, even the smallest of actions and keep going. Others can either support you or join in and if they can’t, do it for yourself with that inner satisfaction knowing you are achieving great things for yourself.
Commit to your goals, be confident, be bold.
Review and rewrite your plan from where you are at each stage, knowing you will get there and the feeling of joy and satisfaction when you do.
Sign up to Refresh Your Life Plan for tips on how to improve your health, your relationships, your life.
You can make excuses or you can make progress. You choose.
To achieve great things in your life, you must focus and commit to fulfilling your plans. Are things really getting in your way or are you making excuses?
- Procrastination, putting off something challenging in favour of immediate pleasure.
- Lack of commitment, you don’t feel like it tonight, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’.
- Lack of self-worth, thoughts of not being deserving of more in your life, ‘I never achieve anything’.
Reaching your goals needs determination and strength of mind so your thoughts don’t play tricks on you. Without belief, focus and commitment, your goals will seem impossible.
Remember you’re here to live the best life possible, to change something for yourself, for the better.
- What is it you really want?
- Why do you want it?
Stop being comfortable and sticking with the same routine. Shake up your life! Do things differently to change your life for the better.
Don’t make excuses, make something incredible happen in your life right now.
Believe in your self and your ability to follow the path you dream of.