By Ashley Roe, Contributing Writer
We’re about a month into the new year and you may have already fallen into the new years resolution failure club or maybe you decided you wouldn’t even try since you’ve never gotten very far in the past. Whether you make resolutions or not, I want to encourage you to consider the importance of setting some simple goals for yourself this year. Having something to work toward doesn’t have to be an immediate set up for failure. Trust me, I’ve never been the goal setting, list making, super organized type but I have discovered the importance of setting goals for myself.
I recently discovered, or maybe rediscovered, some not so secret concepts that have reshaped the way I am going about setting goals for myself. I will admit, I am not going to share anything profound with you here, but something about hearing these in a different way has me more motivated that I have ever been. I hope that you might be inspired as well.
Truth 1: You can’t just wish to be different, you have to actually do different.
This truth I heard while listening to one of Cindy Bultema‘s daily Periscope chats. It’s such a simple idea, but made me realize that I can’t just sit around wishing to lose weight, get healthy, be more productive and have a better marriage.
If I want to be healthier, I have to actually make the choice to drink more water, exercise and eat more fruits and vegetables. To be more productive, I have to make the choice to plan out my day and do those things that will set my day up for success. In order to have a better relationship with my husband, I have to be willing to do the hard work to cultivate that relationship.
This one totally changed my perspective because it made me realize that all those things I have been wishing to get done will only be wishes until I actually make the choice to do things differently. I don’t want to look back a one year, five years or ten years down the road and regret the things I didn’t do. I want to look back and be glad for the things I did do.
Truth 2: Getting where you want to go is going to take some hard work
I hate to say it, but get ready for some hard work! I have been going through the Makeover Your Mornings eCourse by Crystal Paine. One of the things I have learned is that you even when you know what you want to accomplish and have a plan for how to do it plus the why behind it, you are still going to come up against difficulties in the journey to accomplishing that goal.
In one of the videos from the course, she gives an example of wanting to be a runner. She couldn’t just decide she was going to train for a marathon having never been a runner before, that would be way to lofty of a goal so she decided to make running a 5K her goal. Now she also couldn’t just go run a 5K without doing any sort of training, unless she wanted to set herself up for failure. Instead, she found a plan that would allow her to follow simple steps to work towards her ultimate goal. There were days when she wanted to give up because it just got too hard but she pushed through and eventually made her goal.
I liked that story because it reminded me that even when I plan out my goals well and do what I need to set myself up for success by breaking it down into manageable pieces, I am not immune to setbacks and hard days. For me, this has specifically been apparent in my life as I have tried to set exercise goals for myself.
In my entire life, not once have I made a consistent habit of exercise. Sure, I would get through a week or maybe even a month or two but eventually I would fall off the exercise bandwagon because I wasn’t willing to put in the hard work.
Recently made the decision to exercise at least three times a week in the morning for 30 minutes. After the first day I was so sore, I wasn’t sure I would be able to continue. However, I reminded myself that if I want to lose some weight and be in better shape, it is going to take a lot more hard work. I may not be able to do much but the more I work at it, the stronger I will be. Giving up after one day is not going to get me anywhere but back to lazy and out of shape.
Truth 3: There will always be something to distract you from your goals
Temptations are everywhere. Whether it’s that pile of candy from Christmas just begging to sabotage your new healthy eating plan or the constant pull of social media to suck you in and waste the time you wanted to use for your daily bible study. The lesson here is, there will always be something in the way.
The key is to recognize the distractions for what they are and make a choice how to respond. Maybe you decide that you will allow yourself one or two small cheats a week on your diet so that you can still enjoy your favorite chocolate now and then. Maybe you set aside a specific time per day when you will check social media and stick to that time instead of mindlessly scrolling whenever you feel like it. Manage those distractions, don’t let them manage you!
One other thing to remember is that there will always be off days. One setback does not define your success. Keep reminding yourself often why you want to accomplish these goals in the first place. Having a strong why to motivate you will help you to push through on those off days or get back up and try again the next day when all you want to do is quit.
If you made some goals the beginning of the year, I hope you are inspired to keep at it. If you haven’t made any goals yet, maybe it’s time to think of one or two that you would like to work on this year. I don’t know about you but I will be reminding myself often of these truths as I work towards doing what I want to accomplish instead of just thinking about it.