How are you doing on your resolutions? Did you even make any? According to a University of Scranton study, 38% of people say they “absolutely never make New Year’s Resolutions.”
Why do you think that is? Is it because their life is already perfect in every area? Are they passionate about their career, married to the perfect mate in the perfect house and always have good hair days?
I doubt it. I would bet that it is because they are sick of making resolutions only to give up. And since that same study said 92% of all resolutions fail, maybe you are too.
The average person makes the same New Year’s Resolution TEN separate times without success. Does this look familiar?
Here we are, more than 2 weeks into 2016. So what do we do if we are struggling or have given up on our resolutions altogether?
The best way to turn resolutions into results is to set goals, but those goals must be realistic and sustainable over time, not just based on our excitement about what could be.
The keys are having goals that are specific and measurable, monitoring our progress toward those goals, adding small success to small success day after day and surrounding ourselves with people who are aware of our goals and support us. For more information about goals, see this post.
I just watched a webinar by Jon Acuff that I think will be helpful. He talked about 5 obstacles to achieving our goals. I would like to share them with you and add some of my own thoughts and experience to each one.
5 Obstacles to your New Year’s Resolutions
1. Perfectionism. Sometimes, perfectionism keeps us from even getting started because we don’t know the perfect thing to do, we don’t have the perfect plan. Or, one of the reasons that 25% of people abandon their resolutions after the first week is because they mess up. Over the year and a half that it took me to lose 100 pounds, I messed up a lot. And life happened. I had a birthday, 2 Thanksgivings, 2 Christmases, 2 Easters, multiple picnics and other celebrations. I learned that I had to focus on the progress that I was making, even when it was small. I also had to decide to never give up. If I got off course, I made corrections but at no point did I completely abandon my plan. Remember that getting healthier is about the process, not perfection.
2. Comparison. We are all so different. While I may be good at one part of the process, you may excel at another. It is counterproductive to compare our journey with anyone else’s because either way, you lose. Either you think yourself better and get cocky which can cause us to coast along without the effort we need to put in or you think others are better than you. You feel ashamed and hopeless, causing you to give up. Comparison can only lead to arrogance or shame but never happiness.
3. Isolation. It is vital to surround yourself with people who support you and sometimes question you. We need community! I began my health journey with a juice fast. My sister joined me and we supported one another along the way. I also tapped into the Reboot community on Joe Cross’ website. One of the most supportive communities I have found is the Take Shape for Life health coaches. My health coach, Steve Young, has helped me so much along the way. And when I became a health coach myself, I joined an amazing group of people who really care about me and my health. Over the past year, I have attended many virtual meetings with them and when we met in person for the first time for our National Convention, we hugged like long lost relatives. Most of us participate in an online health games challenge. It is a place where we can help each other through the struggles, cheer each other’s successes and learn about how to live a healthy lifestyle. Leave a comment below if you would like more information to join.
4. Ego. We all have weaknesses and habits that are hard to overcome but you don’t strengthen weaknesses that you pretend are not there. We must admit our weaknesses and struggles in order to work through them. Humility is being able to say, “I need help.” I have had many clients who don’t share their difficulties with me. I can tell that things are not going well but am told that it is. What most of them don’t realize is that I probably struggled with the same thing that they are and I can’t give them some of the advice that helped me if they don’t share.
5. Comfort. Great lives are rarely created in great comfort. For many years, I had come to accept the “fact” that I was going to be obese and tired for the rest of my life. I had gotten comfortable with it. I didn’t like it but I figured that was just the way it was going to be. Then, one day I was awakened to the possibility that my life could be different by Joe Cross in his documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I watched it twice. I could identify with him and his autoimmune disease. I knew that I had to do something and I had to be willing to do something completely out of my comfort zone. I consumed nothing but fruit/vegetable juices for 25 days. I had no idea how to juice fast or if I would be able to stick with it or if I would have to gag down the juices. I did my research and tested juice recipes before I got started but you may be the kind of person who just jumps right in. Either way is great as long as you know yourself and what will work for you. That was radical but when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone, we find something in us that we didn’t know we had.
What is your biggest obstacle to achieving what you want for your life?