We’re a few weeks into January and you may already feel like you’re falling off the wagon for your New Year’s resolutions. You know, all those high-minded health goals that you know you need or should do. It’s just that life keeps getting in the way…
And I get it – we’re mums, smashing goals in between parenting, running a household, working, and trying to squeeze in a semblance of a social life can be tricky.
But I also believe that it can be easier than you think to achieve your goals. You just need to understand your mindset and work with it.
Think about it.
Making yourself a coffee in the morning is a no-brainer. Why does glugging a green smoothie feel like an effort?
You always have energy to catch up with your friend. But where does it mysteriously vanish to when it’s time for your afternoon jog?
We all experience variations of the above scenarios when it comes to the question of how to achieve your goals. Some actions are so easy to implement into our routine, they feel effortless. Others? Eh. Not so much.
So what gives? Why can it be so tough to achieve your health goals – the very things we know will make us feel better?
So much advice around how to achieve our goals is one-size-fits all and formulaic. But just like we subconsciously alter our style when dealing with different people, we also adopt different styles for the various goals in our lives. Your personality, your learning tendencies, and the motivation you have for a particular goal can all give clues on how to achieve your goals in a way that works for you. Here’s how.
1. What kind of mindset do you have when it comes to the different areas of your life? Are you action-oriented, stagnant or self-sabotaging? Get curious – and non-judgemental –about when you’re action-oriented (you ALWAYS make it happen), stagnant (you might start or inch closer to your goal but fall short), or self-sabotaging (stop yourself from even starting, before inevitably ending up in that dark cave of negative thinking, ruminating and excuses). You might, for example, always do your morning meditation but keep making excuses for going to the gym.
If you feel like you can never achieve action and are just too tired, weak and unmotivated – you’re wrong. You can, and you already are in other areas of your life – even if it’s pleasing others or treating yourself with wine or chocolate!
2. Then ask yourself: what category does your current goal/New Year’s resolution fall under? Be honest. You need clarity to move forward. If you’re already taking – and sustaining – action, you’re on the right track. But if you’re stagnant (‘I want to be healthier but it seems so hard to keep going’), or worse, self-sabotaging (‘There’s no time and others can’t do it, so I can’t either), you need to prepare and plan.
3. If you know you tend to self-sabotage with a particular goal, instead of focusing rigidly on that goal and (unconsciously) expending all your energy fighting the self-sabotage, use this energy to create a contingency plan for dealing with your self-sabotaging strategies. Be as specific as possible, so you know exactly how to put it into action when you need it. Here are some of the ways I approach it with the example of a goal (15-minute training) and a self-sabotaging thought (‘I’m tired and don’t want to leave the house’):
a. Instead of leaving the house, I’ll do my training while prepping dinner.
b. I tell myself I can stop after five minutes – usually I feel so much better after a few minutes, I keep going.
c. I put $10 into my money jar for new clothes shopping if I commit to doing the workout.
Remember, there are no right answers – only you can come up with the solution that works for you.
4. Regularly review and remind yourself of your goal, what you can expect from your attitude, and your contingency plan to keep you on track.
You’ve got this mama. So go and get it!
I can’t wait to hear about your strategies in your contingency plans – so share the love and motivation with me in comments. Let’s learn from each other!