New Year, new you! Isn’t that the same garbage you keep telling yourself? Somewhere in life someone told you, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will be among the stars.” That is a great quote… for a third grader. (Sorry Les Brown, but it is true!) In adulthood, that does not always apply. Why? Because in adulthood, you will actually have to apply yourself. To set an ambitious goal is just that, ambitious. While that may be very noble of you to have this goal and wish to achieve it, if you’re serious about reaching it, you must apply yourself.
What did you promise yourself last year? Quit smoking? Drop some weight? This was going to be the year you actually ran that marathon? How many goals did you have? More than one? Several? Double digits? There is a difference between being ambitious with your goals and being unrealistic.
I read this great article a few weeks back by Dan John. Dan has a good point in what he writes there. Basically, we have over-emphasized the New Year’s resolution thing. Could you imagine at the start of, say April, you announce, “This is the year! This is the year I quit smoking or lose some weight or run that marathon. This is the year!” It sounds absolutely ridiculous. So why do we over emphasize it starting January 1? It sounds absurd when we say it any other time of year.Here you are, at the same time last year, announcing those same old resolutions. Again, THIS IS THE YEAR. Let’s be serious. You failed last year.
That’s right- YOU FAILED.
You came out guns-a-blazin’, balls to the wall, full throttle in a vague, pitiful attempt to reach your goal. Before you know it, your goals have fizzled out like a cheap 4th of July sparkler and fallen to the wayside.
What was the reason?
Firstly, you simply had too many damn goals. Focus on one goal. One goal when approached correctly is time consuming. Quit messing that up by adding two others to the mix. Dan makes a great suggestion. Just lose 1 pound. “That’s easy,” you’ll say. It probably is. First, why don’t you try hitting that 1 pound mark THEN come talk to me about what’s next. Don’t ask me until you hit that goal first.
One at a time!
Secondly, you failed to plan. In other words, you planned to fail. Most goals fail because you have not planned accordingly. You have this great goal to lose 1 pound in the next year. Then ask yourself, “How am I going to make that happen?”
In reality, you’re not doing anything someone before you has not wanted to do or done previously. Google is an amazing tool. Use it. Research what others did to make that 1 pound weight loss a reality. Do what they did. If that doesn’t work or you think you cannot do that, or better yet, you really don’t want to go through all that effort, CALL ME. Seriously, I have a lot of experience with such things. I’ll devise a plan for you.
Thirdly, your ego got the best of you. This is so often the case and no one wants to admit it. You had this great, attainable goal. Then, you attempt it only to fall right on your face because you thought you were further along than you really were. Remember that 1 pound goal? You keep telling yourself that that’s easy. You can get there, no sweat. In fact, you can get there in half the time and probably lose 10 pounds. You decide to start on the track to losing 10 pounds at the 5 pound mark. You forgot pounds 1 through 4. Most important is that first 1 pound you were supposed to shed. 1 comes before 5, 5 comes before 10.
You can’t figure out why you haven’t lost those 10 pounds yet. Or, even those 5. Well it’s because you forgot 1. Seriously, you are not where you think you are. Go back, start at 1 pound and you will have a much, much better chance of succeeding in meeting your 1 pound weight loss goal. Not only am I going to tell you to start at 1, I am going to tell you to perform your due diligence to each additional pound. Then so-on and so-on.
Humble pie doesn’t always taste so good.
And finally, the fourth reason why you failed in the New Year last year is instant gratification. Or in this case, lack thereof. We live in a world where so much comes to us instantly. When we don’t see results immediately, we give up. We want it right now. Well, little toddler, this isn’t the case. This goal will take time and require real work. How bad do you want it? How serious are you?
When you are serious, and when it is important to you, you will do it every day. It wasn’t until I heard it from someone else did it finally make sense, “When it is important to you, you will do it every day.” Like flossing.
I knew that all along, but it really did take someone to tell me for it to really sink in. How important is this 1 pound weight loss to you? Are you going to work for it every day? If not, then it’s just not that important to you.
I told you what you did wrong and where you failed. How do you fix it so that you reach that lofty 1 pound goal this year? First, remember you have too many goals. Make one. If you hit the first goal, make another and hit that. Then, make goal two right after the first, consider yourself on a hot streak and try a third. Figure out what it is you want to do. Be specific.
One step at a time!
Second, you need a plan. How are you going to reach the top of the mountain? It is probably best to find a way before you set out on your trip. Make a plan. Make a backup plan. Make a backup to the backup plan. This is important to you and you will do what you need to do to reach the top of that mountain. Plan accordingly.
Third, ego, leave it at the door. Resolve to start small. Dan made a good suggestion with his 1 pound weight loss. If 1 pound is easy, do it, and then go for 2. You may never know how easy the first step is if you start at step 5. Do not over complicate when starting. First steps are there for a reason.
Fourth, it is time for a reality check. Get over the idea of instant gratification. Seriously, you didn’t go from a size 28 waist in high school to a 40 waist overnight. It took you fifteen years to go up 12 sizes. It shouldn’t take you fifteen years to get back down to your high school size but it sure as hell isn’t going to happen overnight. Remember that bull crap ‘moon and stars’ quote from the beginning? It’s bunk! You will have to actually apply yourself here. STOP LOOKING FOR THE EASY WAY!
If you are serious about a goal, and it is important to you, you will pick one. You will focus on it. You will work towards it every day. If, IT IS important to you. You will plan accordingly or seek out those who will help you plan. Remember, this goal is important to you and you are doing what is necessary to make sure you achieve it. You will check yourself before you wreck yourself. There is not an easy way or a magic pill. Goals take perseverance and real work.
So, how is that 1 pound weight loss coming along?