After all the snogging and “Auld Lang Syne-ing” had petered out on New Years Eve, did the Resolution Confessions begin? Losing weight, getting fit, getting that promotion, balancing the booze…
Everyone says that New Year’s Resolutions are a waste of time, as over 80% of them fail, most of them by the end of February! But I say, hey, whatever gives you a shove of motivation! Anything to set us on our way, right?
But as we all know, change can be haaaaard. We all want what’s on the other side of change – the banging bod, or the gazelle-like prance across the half-marathon finish line. It’s that messy middle that can really throw the spanner in the works, when the results aren’t really showing up as fast as we had imagined, and the gap seems so much further than the gain, with a whole lotta effort, struggle or depravation in between (*sigh*).
All right, my friend, I get it, I’ve got you. Let’s do this together.
Let’s think about this whole thing a little differently, to really set you up for success (but for real this time!)
Step 1: Ask yourself these two questions:
- What is my main goal for 2023?
- How will I feel when I achieve this goal?
See, here’s the thing with goal setting. We get so focused on one singular outcome, over which we very often have little control, and we succeed or fail based on this one outcome. Our sense of achievement, our happiness, or our confidence can so often rest on this one event, or one moment in time.
What about the rest of our lives? What if we change our mind? What if our life path changes completely? Have we then “failed”? Was our time wasted trying to get to this end goal? Was it all for nothing?
How about a little mindset shift: What if your answer to 2. was your actual goal? To feel healthy and vital, to feel a sense of accomplishment, or know you’re making an impact on the world. What if that is your goal, rather than the end result of 1.?
Now ask yourself: why am I waiting until 1. happens until I feel this?? Why am I denying myself this feeling, this joy? What can I do RIGHT NOW, when I’m on this journey, to feel this way? What can I do right now to feel fit and vital, or give myself a sense of accomplishment, that can also spur me on to my end goal? How can I make this journey to my goal just as fulfilling and celebratory as achieving it? Focusing on the journey is known as a Mastery Mindset, and is about finding joy, learning and satisfaction in the process, not just the end result!
Step 2: Switch from goals to systems
We all know from my last post here that “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. So let’s take a look at that plan of yours.
As I said before, your end goal might move, or be thwarted by life’s many twists and turns, but what can you rely on to get you through your day to day, and on your way to your end goal?
You don’t have control over losing 1kg a week, but you do have control over what you put into your mouth, so focus on developing your systems around that, and take it day by day – meal prepping, or menu planning, or sticking to calories, or whatever it looks like for you!
You can’t guarantee that you’ll make it to the NY marathon, but you can focus on your systems – joining a gym, running longer intervals, perfecting your tempo.
You can’t guarantee that you’ll nab that promotion in the next round, but you can focus on stepping up, networking, nailing presentations, closing deals, and learning learning learning.
So each time you eat healthier, or lace up those sneakers, or sign a new contract, you have a win, that little shot of testosterone and dopamine that spurs you to keep keeping on. Celebrate your wins as you go along, you’re sticking to exactly what you promised yourself, and taking it bit by bit, step by step.
Soon the gains will outweigh the gap, and your end goal may be in sight. It may look different from when you started, because hey, stuff happens, priorities change, and goals can look different over time.
But you’ve come so damn far, you’ve achieved so much on the way, developed new and lasting habits, and learned so much, and that’s for sure a win in anyone’s book.
Let’s celebrate! 🎉