What has happened to those New Year’s resolutions you ask yourself very soon after you have set them down. It’s only a matter of weeks before those grand ideas have wafted away in the morning mist not to be seen again for another year.
When you made them they seemed so easy to adhere to. You were going to go to the gym three times a week. That was an easy goal to set. You were going to drink and smoke less, maybe even give up smoking. Seemed reasonable at the time.
Arriving at work on time every day was definitely possible until they started those road works of course and all traffic ground to a halt in the morning. After all that couldn’t be your fault then could it. Phoning your parents once a week was on that list, so was signing up for a new course to help your career along.
By February those New Year’s resolutions had evaporated and you felt guilty that they didn’t at least last until mid-year. It seemed that every year those goals set at the beginning of January have a shorter shelf-life.
What stops you from keeping those promises you make to yourself? What stops you from making those changes that could enrich your life? Why do you hang onto those old habits for dear life, never wanting to let go?
Setting goals and sticking to them is one of the most difficult things to do. Countless self-help books are available in shops and online stores. The proliferation of eBooks on the topic shows that there are many people who want to learn the secret to goal setting.
The biggest secret and one that is seldom discussed is that goals need to be packaged into small achievable steps. It is the idea of one enormous goal that often puts people off and stops them from trying. It’s like planning to climb Mt Everest but you haven’t tried to climb the local hill.
As long as you keep your eye on the goal or your final outcome you will manage to get there by using small steps.
An interesting story was told by a woman entrepreneur who started a very successful weight loss club in competition to the more famous Weight Watchers. She set up her office in the garage of her home. That’s where she tested and assembled her product line of diet foods and supplements and planned her marketing strategy.
Her weight loss club grew into a huge organisation with the additional income of product sales in supermarkets. During an interview for a program on successful women she said that if she had known how big her organisation would become, she wouldn’t have had the courage to start it.
That’s how our goal setting fails us. We set our goals to be so large we fail at them because we lose courage. We need to lose weight? We don’t set a realistic goal, we want to immediately get rid of all the excess weight. The fact that it might have taken ten years to creep up on us is forgotten. We want to get rid of it in a month. When that doesn’t happen we give up.
We want to go back to University to get a degree to help with our career and we give up after a few months. It wasn’t supposed to take that long and be so much work.
Break up your goals into small bite size pieces. Make them smaller and easier to achieve. Being able to easily attain many small successes will more easily encourage you to keep going to reach the bigger goal at the end of the road.