Doctor, I Think I Have A Problem…
Sticking to and achieving goals – They don’t have to be new year resolutions
“What’s that? You’re sick?” Inquired the doctor.
“Well, sort of. You see, I have all these ideas; I make plans, get set up and go! But then, after a little while…I find myself right back where I started.” She replied glumly.
“Ah, I see. Does this usually occur around the middle of January?”
“Why yes!” She cried in astonishment. “How did you know that?”
“Well I have many of these cases every year. It’s very easy to diagnose. You’re suffering from Next-yearitis. It’s a common condition, almost everybody has had it at some stage in their life; and it spreads like wildfire in December – it’s very contagious.”
This is a common theme of most people at some stage in their life. They make a list of things they wish to accomplish, they get all ready to go and they begin….but that’s where it ends. Their list remains full of incomplete items – or the list remains completely blank! They can just never seem to stick to the things that they have set for themselves. Why?
There are a few reasons for this.
1. Change is hard – If you have a set routine or habits, then it’s very easy to stick to them; by definition, it’s what you are most likely to do. You need to accept that to get into a new routine, it takes effort. It also takes time. There is no magic number of days that once you’ve been doing something for that long, you will now automatically do it. It takes time and patience; something that most people don’t want to expend when doing what you’ve always done is much easier.
2. It feels “weird” – Doing something you haven’t done before might feel weird and unusual. This is to be expected; you’ve never done it before! Persistance is the key – the longer you do it, the easier it becomes.
3. No reason to change – If you’ve decided you want something different, have you actually considered the reasons why you want it? If you don’t have a concrete reason then you are setting yourself up for failure straight away. Work out your reasons, maybe the driving force is not what you thought and you might be better off doing something slightly different.
4. No motivation – This stems from number 3; if you have no reason to change, there is no catalyst, no motivation to keep you striving to reach it. Once you have your reasons clearly defined, figure out how you will keep yourself motivated – will you track your progress? Will you reward yourself? Is someone else completing this goal with you? Or perhaps you are extremely strong-willed and determined. Whatever works, use it!
New Year’s is coming up (already…) and the next wave of resolutions are ready to begin. Why wait? It just gives yourself longer to get used to the way you do things right now. Instead, sit down, grab a pen and paper and write down what you want to achieve, your reasons, your motivators and understand that it takes time. Then, begin!