9 months ago · lizzie · 0 comments
It’s very easy to set a new goal. In fact, every year, at midnight on New Year’s Eve millions of people around the world decide on New Year’s resolutions that they have every intention of keeping, but alas rarely adhered to, or even attempt, by the end of January.
One would assume that if you set a resolution, it’s because you’re fed up with certain aspects of your life and you have decided that it’s time to make a change. However, in many cases, at the time of making the resolution, certain essential ingredients are likely to have been missed, such as:
- Writing a clear, precise and easy to follow plan
- Developing a monitoring chart to check that you are maintaining your plan
- Committing to your new goal
- Understanding deeply why the goal is important to you
- Increasing your internal belief that you can achieve your goal
- Committing to the sacrifices you will have to make in order to sustain this goal
I experienced the sixth item above when I was 17 years of age. A friend and I were walking down a very busy shopping strip when we were stopped by Animal Liberation activists and asked to join their organisation. My friend was already a vegetarian, but being South American, I was brought up eating meat – and lots of it. However, despite my upbringing I have always been a passionate lover of animals and so I was easily convinced to join this organisation. After singing up, we walked across the road into Hungry Jacks where I proceeded to order my usual delicious hamburger. BUT… of course, my sensible friend reminded me that I could no longer eat meat after deciding to join this organisation. So, disappointed, I left the store hungry.
At that stage of my life, I had not really understood the relationship between the animals I loved and the animals I ate. So, I have to admit I was a reluctant vegetarian. So, needless to say, it wasn’t too long afterwards that I slowly began to eat meat once more. However, I couldn’t get shake that feeling that it didn’t seem right for someone like me who loves all animals, such as cows, sheep, pigs and chicken, to sit down to a meal and eat them. This feeling stayed with me for many years until one day I decided I couldn’t do it any more. At this point, I researched protein sources, ensured I had the right recipes, understood wholeheartedly what I would need to give up and trusted in my ability to commit to this lifestyle. I still eat some seafood (this one will take another effort and commitment to give up), but I now realise I had to be in the right frame of mind before I could achieve my goal – permanently.
As you can see, deciding on a new goal is just the tip of the iceberg. If it’s not a deep burning issue and desire for you, it is highly likely you will not sustain the motivation to continue on your path to achieve your goal. Exercise and dieting are prime examples. Most people know they should be getting fitter, but until they deeply believe it’s imperative to do so, this goal will unfortunately not be realised.
We are all creatures of habit and our bodies and minds like to be comfortable. So, every time you attempt to shake things up and ‘rock the boat’, you are likely to feel uncomfortable and revert back to old (often bad) habits.
In order to form new habits and achieve your goals, you need commitment and consistency. This way you slowly become accustomed to change and eventually the new habits become those you are now comfortable with and couldn’t dream of changing.
So, the next time you decide on something you would like to change, really take time to think about how you are going to achieve it; assess whether or not you have reached the stage where you are happy to make the sacrificing along to way, and then focus on why it’s important to you. Once you have addressed all these issues, it’s time to use past experience to show you that when you set your mind to something you can achieve it.
Just think about anything you decided you wanted (be it good or bad for you). Think about the natural process you took to get you there. You may have decided to buy a new house or car, ask your partner out on a date, get into shape, or apply for a new job. Every new challenge would have been thought through carefully. So, give all your goals the same courtesy and if you find you’re unhappy, make the commitment to live the life you dream, not the one you exist in.
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