So with the New Year right around the corner, I thought the most appropriate topic I could choose is GOAL SETTING!! EVERYONE on the planet makes goals, but how often are those goals achieved? Goals for their weight, their education, their income, or their happiness. We all LOVE to set goals for ourselves, make New Year Resolutions, and sometimes we even create an action plan. But with all this we still don’t meet or even come near our goals. Why is that? Is it human nature? Are we just not wired to keep the promises we make to ourselves? Are we fickle and don’t have the attention span to maintain the focus necessary to achieve the things we say we want? So, what can we do?In this blog post today, I’ve done a little digging to uncover the top 5 reasons why we do not reach our goals and I’ll also provide strategies for how to overcome those hurdles.
1. Vagueness A. Our goals can be waaay too vague. For example: “I want to lose weight. I want to eat healthier, or I want to make more money this year.” While those are very worthy goals, they are not going to inspire any real changes in your habits. B. Try using the SMART method of setting goals. S-Specific M-Measurable A-Achievable R-Relevant T-Timely Creating a goal using these guidelines, your goals might look like this. “I will eat a half cup of two different fruits and a half cup of two different vegetables each day, starting on Sunday, for the next week.” This is a great goal for people who are just starting their journey to eating healthier. Or if you’d like to set an exercise goal use this template, “Beginning on January 1st, I will spend one hour a day exercising (running, doing yoga…) for three days each week for the next two months.” Then ask yourself, is it achievable, can I physically accomplish it? Is it relevant to your current situation, do I have the available resources? If the answer to both is yes, then let’s get started.
2. Higher Purpose A. Most people haven’t taken the time to identify their core values. CORE VALUES work is something we explore EXTENSIVELY through coaching. We might all say that honesty or personal responsibility are important to us, but what makes it a core value is if it’s something ingrained into who we are, something we NEED to feel whole, complete, and productive. If one of your core values is family but your goal is to earn more money this year, (vague and lacks anything measurable!), and the opportunity to work overtime comes up, you’re probably not going to feel motivated to take it because you’d rather spend the time with your family. And who wouldn’t?? B. You need to align your goals with your core values in order for them to be attainable. That doesn’t mean you’ll never make more money than you already are. It means creating a SMART goal around the quality time that you can structure for your family that won’t make you feel like you’re missing out, is what will help you truly achieve your goals. Maybe reserve Sunday nights as family game night and leave the other days of the week open for work opportunities.
3. Procrastination A. THE P-WORD!! Haha!! Seriously, we are human, therefore we procrastinate. It’s a part of us all in some way shape or form. It might be doing the dishes, folding the laundry, or some other menial household chore. Orrrr, sometimes we procrastinate about much bigger things. Like seeking mental health help when we know we’ve been struggling for a while. Or maybe we procrastinate on setting a goal because we just don’t know where to start. B. The best way to battle procrastination is through chunking and The 5 Second Rule! I. Chunking is the process of breaking down the overwhelming ideas floating in our heads and sorting them into manageable pieces. Through coaching I have decided to create BLC, but I had NO IDEA where to start! I know how to coach, but I never went to school for marketing, web design, or advertising. So while there has been a learning curve, I have been coached by one of the greats on how to focus on one or two aspects at a time. I built my website over the course of a week. Then through coaching I chunked down and created a timely way to start this blog, (posting on Sundays) and tapped into the power of Facebook live, (on Wednesdays). These chunks are much more manageable and achievable.
II. Mel Robbins is one of my absolute favorites in the world of coaching. She has researched the science of the brain and has developed The 5 Second Rule. Watch Mel discuss the power that something so simple can have by clicking here. The basics are that if you have an idea that will help you to take a step toward your goals, that you have only 5 seconds to take action before your brain shuts down the idea. So the best way to tackle procrastination is the moment you see a 30 minute window of time open up, you count backward from 5..so, 5…4…3…2…1…and then immediately get out of bed, or walk to the treadmill, or put the cookie down, or hit send on the email you’ve been terrified to send. You’ve got this!
4. Taking Responsibility A. We are all required to ADULT every single moment of every single day and it can be gosh darn EXHAUSTING!! I get it. Who wants to have ANOTHER responsibility to maintain. So policing ourselves to only eat 2 cookies instead of 4, or letting the bananas over ripen on purpose so you can make banana bread instead, (I’m super guilty!) can sometimes be a challenge. But making changes to our patterns and habits IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY IF we want to actually achieve our goals! B. So, how do we stop making excuses and hold ourselves accountable??? If coaching has done ANYTHING, (and it’s done A LOT!) for me, it’s held me accountable for my actions. Having a cheerleader, someone to help me through the goal setting process and someone to check in on my progress has been a HUMONGOUS help throughout these past few years. Try an accountability partner, (maybe your spouse or best friend), write down your goal and post it on the mirror or in another highly visible spot, or proclaim it on social media and ask a few trusted people to check in with you about it.
5. Negativity A. This is a HUGE reason why we get discouraged about so many aspects of life. Why must we be constantly bombarded by the negativity of the world?? And when I say bombarded, I mean BOMBARDED. As an LEOW, (Law Enforcement Officer Wife), I saw first hand the negativity in the world. But we also see it in ourselves, (Wow, too bad I’ll never fit into those jeans again!), in our family, (Oh, you’re still in retail?), and in our friends, (I just don’t know if my marriage is going to survive!). And don’t even get me started about the negativity in the media! I refuse to watch the news and I’ve never allowed my children to either. SO if there’s no escaping the negativity that surrounds us, what can we do?? B. Unfortunately there is no quick fix. I CAN suggest mantras like, “Every day and in every way I’m getting better and better.” Or I CAN recommend cutting all the negative people out of your life, (YA, RIGHT!). We know that isn’t practical. But we CAN avoid the news, we CAN stop following negative people on social media, and we CAN change our self talk. One of the biggest lessons I have learned from coaching is in order to make REAL changes STICK, you have to change your paradigm…(more on that in another blog). Basically our paradigms are our habits; many have been shaped for us since birth. Changing some of our paradigms, or belief systems can be very very challenging. Others only take a quick fix. For example, what do we do when we lose something?? We look for it until we find it…well in that case I don’t want to lose ANY weight because I sure as heck don’t want to find it again!! =) Instead we need to create a SMART goal using positive language that will help us shape and adjust our habits and beliefs to avoid being bogged down by the negativity all around us.
Sooo There you have it! The top five reasons why people don’t accomplish their goals with some hints and tips to help you move beyond those snafus! But the bottom line in all of this is that we set goals but then don’t change the habits around those goals. Science states that it takes 21 days for a new habit to be established. Let’s start making some positive changes today by setting SMART goals and creating habits that will help you LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE!All my best,JenPS. Send me a message/email if you have an idea for a blog topic, to talk about your goals, or see what a coaching relationship can do for you!