Have you set your goals at some stage and been so keen to succeed, just to throw it all in after a few days or a week saying it is all too hard? You give up by convincing yourself that you won’t achieve as a setback has stopped you.
Your goals will still stay there though. The desire to reach the goal won’t go, but it can create a perpetual desire to reach them, giving it another go and then saying its all too hard. This is when we really need a plan and a bit of assistance with that plan to understand how to create real change.
There are a variety of goals we set ourselves in life. We set our goals to lose weight, build our physique ready for summer, get to the gym 3 times per week. It looks easy, right? We even go that extra step of visualising ourselves fitting into that outfit, having those sculpted abs and see ourselves walking into the gym and doing our workout. Great! Why then does it sometimes fail?
Ill use the example of the weight loss goals today. Ill also be using some generic examples, so if you have another circumstance that you can relate to, you can use the same concept.
My goal is to lose 5kg. I have a 10 week goal. Ive broken it down to lose 500 grams per week. I have a food plan, I am visualising my end goal. I’m Ready!!!
The first few days go great, but then you get to about day 4 or 5 and you’ve had a really busy day at work, you’ve got a headache, the traffic was bad, you’re tired! Ive been good the last few days. This one chocolate biscuit wont hurt. This one glass of wine will relax me, Ive been good. I deserve a treat.
Sure you deserve a treat, but is it a treat? You’ve gone through the same scenario before and that one break of having the chocolate biscuit, then goes to afternoon tea the next day where that ‘Healthy’ extra protein ball wont make a difference, and then, well, all of your goals are back out the window waiting for next time you decide to do it again and its all too hard. You’re back where you started and the guilt creeps back in.
Next time you set a goal and if it is something that you’ve worked on before that you’ve struggled with, look at why. Do you have ingrained habits that are really tough to break? Look at the reasons why your plans don’t succeed.
Could it be a perpetual bad habit that continues? I want to lose weight, but…. Chocolate biscuit, wine, extra snack, etc? There is a cycle with habits, both good and bad. Firstly identify the Habit that you’d like to change. What is the cue that makes you have this? Is it a hard, stressful day? Change of routine, social occasion. Once you have recognised this, you are on the first step to change.
Secondly, the cue will trigger your routine like above, I’m stressed, i deserve this wine, biscuit or whatever it is. Your brain then will signal a reward. There’s like a little voice in there that says, ‘You deserved that, you know you did! Don’t listen to that other voice that wants you to deprive yourself of all of these good things!!!!!’.
The habit in your mind has become a reward which has created a craving. You want it and feel you cant do without it. Well you can do without it. Change it, don’t think its gone, its something new that you’ll start to crave too.
Then try to break the cycle. Understand your cue or trigger. When that stressful day hits, your routine changes or you’re stressed, don’t reach for that treat, aka SABOTAGER! Stay strong, change that habit. Reach for a big glass of water, breathe, walk outside and take in the sunshine! Anything! Just change that habit that’s not working for a new habit that will. Is it easy? NO! Are you Strong? Yes. Can you make a change? Absolutely!!!
Habits good or bad take time to form. It takes willpower. Willpower can also be likened to training a muscle. You must use it and get it stronger. Change one thing at a time too. Don’t try to change every habit that you have all at once. Like I said, willpower can be trained like a muscle and your willpower can get fatigued too if you try to change too much at once. Build it stronger day by day.
Understand that you are changing your habit for good and stick to it. Real change takes time. You are doing this for the long game. 7 days, good, 21 days great, 30 days plus and awesome and you are on the road to new positive habits and changes.
Track your progress, it works. Count the days that you continue your positive habits until they become routine. Reward yourself when its done. If it was weight loss you were aiming for, get yourself that new outfit or just compliment yourself daily for the awesome job that you’ve done!
Remind yourself daily that you are worth it and that you are mentally and physically strong to do it.
Set your goals and smash them! You just have to know how ❤️