I feel like this is the PERFECT time to write this blog!! I heard recently that the 3rd Monday of January is one of the most difficult days of the YEAR – and I believe it too!! I know what you’re thinking, 3 weeks in? What hope do we have?? But honestly, we can fix it, so don’t worry.
First, I’ll just explain why this particular day carries such a heavy accusation. So let’s rewind a couple of weeks…..
It was Christmas, we finally got those special days off that we had been waiting for all year; we drank, we ate, we were merry. We managed to catch up with friends and family. We ate again! We were grateful for those around us and grateful for being fortunate to live the life we do. “It’s not so bad after all, I suppose”, we said to ourselves. We were determined to make 2017 even better than 2016! We made silent promises to ourselves to relax, live in the moment, enjoy life, eat healthy, workout, travel more, spend more time with friends and family. We then segway’d into NYE, where we allowed ourselves one last hoorahhh, the opportunity to indulge once more before entering the new year with determination and focus. This was it!!! Here’s to 2017!!
We approach the New Year, full of passion, determination, our goals are at the forefront of our minds. We are Goal-Digging-Beasts, taking on life one positive strive at a time. Nothing can stop us!!…….Or can it??
The doubt starts to creep in around now (3rd week of Jan) when what we know as “reality” kicks in. Those days that we had off work have meant that we’re now playing catch up, the cold weather has meant that we dread going outside for the daily run that we promised ourselves, transport companies decide to strike, meaning that a 40 minute journey has now turned into a 2 and a half hour journey. The year is flying by so quickly already and the festive season feels like a lifetime ago!! We begin to question if we’ve bitten off more than we can chew, we slowly start to subconsciously adjust our goals. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
If so, you’re not alone, which at least is some relief. But let’s get to the bottom of this!!
If you did make new years resolutions, I’m going to take a guess and assume that you decided that you would start to implement the actions you needed to do all around the same time? For example, if you had a plan to find a new job, get fit and healthy and decorate your room; you may have started handing out CV’s, blasted out some gym sessions and bought your paint from B&Q all within the first few days of Jan? Let me just point out, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, it’s a very productive thing to do. The problem is, when week two of the year isn’t quite as productive (because we’ve forgotten about the other daily commitments that take up more time than we’ve made allowances for) we feel disappointed in ourselves. We get a bit frustrated because life has got in the way and we feel that we should be further ahead than we actually are.
The good news is, we still have plenty of year left!! In order to make the most of it, I would suggest that you stagger what you would like to focus on. Still do everything, but pick a “Focus of the Week” this will help you to see the progress you’ve made in that area, rather than doing a teeny bit of everything and not seeing a great deal of results. So let’s say that this week, your Focus of the Week was “Decorate room” – it doesn’t mean that the entire thing has to be complete by the end of the week, that’s wayyyyy to much pressure. But picking it as the focus, means that you can do things like select your colour scheme, find the right bedding that you want, maybe buy the dressing table and some photo frames. This is making progress towards the end result without panicking you. The following week could be to focus on healthy eating; so you could do a big food shop, and prep your meals and snacks for the first part of the week, this will then reduce temptation when out and about as you’ve already got food on you. Once you begin to rotate your focus as each new week comes in, they’ll become second nature. And rather than catapulting headfirst into your goals, you’ll gradually get there and the discipline will have developed over time to keep you there.
As humans, we are ridiculously self-critical; I can guarantee that if you ask the 5 closest people to you if they’re disappointed in how you’ve done so far this year with your plans, they would say absolutely not. From an outside perspective they can see the improvements you’ve made even though they’re not quite up to your very high personal standards. My advice to you right now, STOP being so hard on yourself!! If you’re too hard on yourself it can completely demotivate and derail you. When it comes to that stuff, we are our own worst enemy! Try not to fall into that trap.
Getting motivated is the easy part, but staying motivated is a whole different ball game. That is the biggest difference between success and failure, losing your motivation. Your persistence, your drive, your hunger can easily diminish once it has been created. So here’s three steps to help you to sustain it, even through the difficult times;
- Tell the world – this is a scary one I know!! Many people keep quiet about their goals, because there’s a chance that they may not achieve them. And nobody wants their failure* to be exposed. But what we don’t realise, is that by not proclaiming it, we are less likely to succeed because we are not being held accountable. We secretly like a little bit of pressure to push us. I would also suggest an accountability partner! I don’t know what I’d do without mine!!
- Be precise and put a deadline on it! – You may have heard people say “A goal is a dream with a deadline” and this couldn’t be more true. Your dreams are your “One Day” thoughts, things that you would love to achieve but not really sure how to or if you really are capable. The second that you sign it and date it, it becomes a goal. That goal, you must work towards with everything you’ve got! If you want to lose weight, do not say “I’d like to lose weight in 2017” NOPE! You need to say “I WILL lose 12lbs by the 20th September” write it somewhere that you can see it, and sign it. This will make a huge difference.
- Decide WHY you’re doing it – Sometimes it’s not enough to just want something. “I want a Ferrari” probably won’t get you a Ferrari. It takes a LOT more than that. If you attach this to your reason why, it becomes part of your subconscious. Having the Ferrari isn’t really about having the Ferrari, it’s about what it represents. Really delve deep into this, think about what it is about that car that will contribute to your life. The financial stability that surrounds it, the fact that your children may have the kind of future that you had only dreamed of as a child, the personal achievements that you must have made in order to get to the end result. Think about how it will feel and believe that this car is yours. Your WHY is stronger than anything life can throw at you, if you really get to the bottom on it.
The bottom line is that motivation is the key to success, and without it, we are destined to fail*. Do your best to stay motivated in your chosen path and success will come your way.
Failure* – There really is no such thing, just lessons along the way. You make the decision whether to dust yourself off and continue. The only way you can ultimately fail it to quit. So don’t quit!
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